Track and Field

Track and Field

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.

Akinosun reigns at USA Juniors

DES MOINES, Iowa — Illinois freshman Morolake Akinosun outran SEC Outdoor Freshman of the Year Jennifer Madu to capture the women’s 100-meter title Thursday at the USA Junior Track and Field Championships.

Morris makes run at nation's best

CHAMPAIGN — Graham Morris isn’t exactly on a first-name basis with 2012 Olympic silver medalist Leonel Manzano or 2011 World Championships bronze medalist Matthew Centrowitz.

Illinois team grades

Baseball: B
Comment: NCAA tournament team won 35 games, most since 2000

Football: D-
Comment: Task one: End that 14-game Big Ten losing streak

Men’s basketball: B
Comment: Inconsistent bunch proved they belonged in NCAAs

Men’s cross-country: B
Comment: Big Ten finish of fourth was program’s best in 16 years

Illinois team-by-team breakdown

Baseball
High point: Receiving Big Ten’s only at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
Low point: Losing NCAA elimination game after entering ninth inning with 3-2 lead.
Big Ten finish: T-5th
What’s next: Plenty of holes to fill in field, but starting rotation returns intact.

Football

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Illinois Year in Review

TOP MALE ATHLETES

1. Justin Parr, baseball. Big Ten Player of the Year and first-team All-American taking sweet swing to pros.

2. Jesse Delgado, wrestling. Sophomore Big Ten champion became first Illini to win an NCAA title at 125 pounds.

3. Fred Hartville, gymnastics. Proving Big Ten vault title was no fluke, freshman repeated feat at NCAA Championships.