Track and Field

UI puts field help in vault

CHAMPAIGN – Help is on the way in the field events. So is another top sprint prospect from the Hoosier State.

The latest recruiting class for the Illinois men's track and field program includes:

Buford-Bailey advances in meet

Former Illini track star Tonja Buford-Bailey, recovering from injury, advanced to the 400-meter hurdles semifinals Thursday at the USA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Ex-Illini Buford-Bailey attempting a rebirth

DALLAS – Tonja Buford-Bailey once viewed hurdler Sandra Farmer-Patrick as a rival.

Now the two-time Olympian from Illinois sees Farmer-Patrick as a role model.

As Farmer-Patrick did earlier this decade, Buford-Bailey interrupted her track career last year to start a family. As the former Illini embarks on the comeback trail, Farmer-Patrick and others offer reassuring proof that world-class careers can be reborn after giving birth.

UI''s True goes out with bang

BOISE, Idaho – Bobby True gave Illinois' men's track team a second All-American in as many days, placing fourth in the 800 meters at Friday night's NCAA Championships.

The senior finished in 1 minute, 47.93 seconds. Missouri's Derrick Peterson won the race in 1:46.97.

UI's Ridley captures All-America honors

BOISE, Idaho – Illinois sophomore Babatunde Ridley finished seventh in the long jump Thursday at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, leaping 24 feet, 71/2 inches to claim All-America honors.

Ridley, who placed second May 23 at the Big Ten meet, was unable to compete in the event all last season while recovering from a back injury.

UI's True advances in 800

BOISE, Idaho – Illinois senior Bobby True advanced to the finals of the 800-meter run after finishing second in his semifinal heat Wednesday at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

True clocked 1 minute, 49.64 seconds to place second behind SMU's Roman Oravec in their heat.

Armstrong bags award

Illinois sophomore Sherman Armstrong, who took home two titles at last weekend's Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships, was named the conference's Athlete of the Year.

Illinois'' True, Van Swol bring out best in each other

BOISE, Idaho – When push comes to shove, Jason Van Swol knows he can count on Illinois teammate Bobby True to bring out the best in him during workouts.

"A lot times at practice, he won't just go run his own thing, go out ahead of everybody else and run a great workout for himself," Van Swol said of the five-time track All-American. "He'll sometimes start behind everyone else and push us. Sometimes literally."

Poor weather no hurdle for Armstrong

   WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.  Neither rainy conditions nor ruinous setbacks were going to thwart Illinois in the 1999 Big Ten Championships.

   Heck, Sherman Armstrong felt right at home.

UI''s Ridley misses out on history

   It was one small misstep for a man. But it would have been a giant leap for Babatunde Ridley.

   The Illinois junior finished second Saturday in the men''s long jump at the 99th Big Ten Championships in West Lafayette, Ind., with a season best of 25 feet, 5 1/2 inches.

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