Track and Field
CHAMPAIGN – You won''t find many – if any – track and field medals or trophies or certificates of achievement in Abe Jones'' apartment.
The Illinois junior gives them away almost as fast as he accumulates them. Good friends get some. Others are sent back to his high school alma mater for display.
I was a two-time track and field Olympian, competing in the 10,000 meters in 1976 and ''84. I was the only American male to win a world-cross country title when I broke the barrier in 1980 and repeated a year later. I was the first runner in Big Ten history to win the conference''s cross-country title four times (1973-76). I was an NCAA cross-country champion as a junior. I remain the only Illini to win an NCAA regional title, capturing the first of three in a row in 1974.
CHAMPAIGN – Ask Carlene Robinson if she''s used to central Illinois weather and you don''t wait long for a response.
"No, we''re not used to the cold," the Illini track standout said. "We''ve had to get climatized."
Illinois champions of earlier generations would have been impressed by Zach Glavash''s 600-meter time, 1 minute, 16.96 seconds. It was the fastest ever on an unbanked indoor track.
So it was a world record, albeit esoteric. Yet Illini greats would have been more impressed by the scene at the finish than the time on the scoreboard. Glavash leaned on teammates to support himself. He reclined on the track, utterly emptied.
CHAMPAIGN – For 2 years, Zach Glavash won every race he entered. But that was high school.
A two-time Class A 800-meter state champion at Chillicothe IVC, Glavash went from being best to last the second he walked on the Illinois campus. And he knew it.
Tonja Buford-Bailey, an assistant coach for Gary Winckler''s Illini women''s track and field team, was inducted into the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Hall of Fame on Jan. 28.
Junior Eric Wallor is in his first season at Illinois after transferring from Harper College. After sitting out the 2003-04 season, Wallor raced for the first time last weekend, winning the Redbird Challenge in Bloomington. The Palatine product was 11th at the NJCAA Division national meet in 2002.