Track and Field

Illini junior sees future in distance

SAVOY – If Danielle Fonzino keeps this up, the University of Illinois junior is going to run herself into a new event come track season.

For the second meet in a row, Fonzino was the first Illini across the finish line Saturday morning as the host team placed second in the Illinois Invitational women's cross-country meet.

Zieren paces self for return

Jason Zieren isn't sure how his left foot was injured. And he doesn't know when he might return to action.

Byrne 'missing link' for UI

CHAMPAIGN – The first time Gary Winckler asked Michelle Byrne to join his University of Illinois track and cross-country staff, the East Tennessee State coach answered thanks, but no thanks.

Now she's thankful the Illini head coach didn't take no as her definitive answer.

Former Illini quick to give coach credit

   Greg Dykstra, then a junior at Rockford Guilford High School, was biding his time before the start of the mile run at a conference track meet when his coach came storming up to him.

   "He comes up with this rolled-up newspaper in his hands and says, ''Did you read what they wrote about you in the paper?'' " the former University of Illinois runner said recently. "He had this really disgusted look on his face."

Wieneke UI''s marathon man

   CHAMPAIGN  In the spring of 1967, Bob Wright was becoming an all too familiar figure at Rockford Guilford High School.

   The University of Illinois track and cross-country coach made recruiting trip after recruiting trip in single-minded pursuit of a state champion in the mile.

   Or so Gary Wieneke assumed.

Mon, Aug. 11: Starkey wins bronze in track championships

   ATHENS, Greece  Starkey was strong, but Sergei was sensational.

   Former Illini Dean Starkey became the first American to win a medal at a major pole vault competition since the 1984 Olympics when he took bronze Sunday at the World Track and Field Championships.

Thurs, Aug. 7: Buford advances

ATHENS, Greece – Former Illinois standout Tonja Buford-Bailey qualified for Friday's final in the World Championships track and field meet in the women's 400 hurdles with the third-fastest time in her heat and the fifth-fastest clocking in the two semifinals.

Fri, Aug. 1: Winckler helps Buford-Bailey

When Tonja Buford-Bailey has run in track's marquee events – the Olympics, world championships, U.S. nationals – the former University of Illinois All-American could always count on her coach to be there for her.

Problem was, Gary Winckler couldn't always get to his prized hurdler.

Fri, July 4: Wieneke reception set for Sept. 5

A reception to honor Gary Wieneke for his 30 years of coaching at the University of Illinois will be Sept. 5 at the Chancellor Hotel and Convention Center. Wieneke has been the Illini's cross-country head coach since 1967 and has served as track and field head coach since 1975.

Mon, June 23: Illini earns spot on U.S. team

   EDWARDSVILLE  Injury and ineligibility had made this a painful freshman year for Candace Nicholson at the University of Illinois.

   She had one race to soothe the hurt: Sunday''s 800-meter final at the U.S. Junior Track and Field Championships.

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