Track and Field

Track and Field

Garner new Illinois women's track coach

CHAMPAIGN — Nearly a month after Tonja Buford-Bailey left Illinois to become the associate head coach at Texas, Illinois has a new women’s track and field coach.

Illinois announced the hiring of Ron Garner on Friday to replace Buford-Bailey, who went to Texas after five seasons as head coach at her alma mater.

Loren Tate: Game has too much weight

As an annual exhibition of stars, baseball’s All-Star Game is attractive and exciting. It provides a welcome four-day break midway through a grueling season.

But the suits are determined to make it something it isn’t.

All in the family

Tom, Darrin and Casey Fletcher are far from the only multi-generation family members to make their mark in University of Illinois sports history. Here are other notable examples of Illini athletes who kept it all in the family

Bill and Doug Altenberger

Big Ten dumps Favor Hamilton

The Big Ten female athlete of the year award no longer is named for the Olympic track star from Wisconsin who later acknowledged working as a prostitute.

Big Ten spokesman Scott Chipman said Tuesday that Suzy Favor Hamilton’s name was removed from the award after discussions between the league and Wisconsin.

Wiest back with Illini

CHAMPAIGN — Former Illinois men’s gymnastics standout Chad Wiest is back with the Illini.

Wiest, who was the 2011 Big Ten floor champion and a two-time All-American, was named the Illinois women’s gymnastics assistant coach Thursday.

Buford-Bailey leaves Illinois

The University of Texas announced on Wednesday that Illinois women's track and field coach Tonja Buford-Bailey has joined its women's and men's track and field program as associate head coach.

Lewis-Smallwood getting better with age

If there ever was a time for Gia Lewis-Smallwood to deviate from her training diet, Sunday night was it.

To celebrate her gold medal in the discus at the U.S. track and field championships in Des Moines, Iowa, the former Illini and Centennial High star splurged at one of her favorite fast-food joints, Red Robin.

Lewis-Smallwood wins discus

DES MOINES, Iowa — Gia Lewis-Smallwood, a former Illinois and Centennial standout, is the best women’s discus thrower in the U.S. Next, it might be the world.

Lewis-Smallwood claimed her first national discus title Sunday at the USA Outdoor Championships and advanced to her second IAAF World Championships, which are scheduled Aug. 10-18 in Moscow.

Spencer qualifies for worlds

DES MOINES, Iowa — The only college runner in the 400-meter finals at Saturday’s USA Track and Field Championships, Ashley Spencer showed no signs of nerves.

The NCAA champ from Illinois finished strong to place third and qualify for the World Championships in August in Moscow.

Akinosun, Spencer sizzle

DES MOINES, Iowa — Running a career-best time in the women’s 200 meters Friday didn’t give Morolake Akinosun a second title at the USA Junior Track and Field Championships.

It did, however, ensure that the Illinois freshman will be doubly busy during the Pan American Junior Championships later this summer in South America.