Track and Field

Track and Field

Hurdler Jones in elite field

CHAMPAIGN – Coincidence or not, Big Ten titles come in pairs for Illinois' greatest 400-meter hurdlers.

From Mark Koster (1970-71) to Ben Beyers (1994-95) to Sherman Armstrong (1999-2000), Illini conference champions in the event don't stop at one crown.

Who's that Illini?

A six-time Big Ten champion, I earned five All-America honors, all in the shot put in the late 1990s. My best NCAA finish came in '96, when I finished sixth outdoors and sixth indoors. I own both school records.

Tate: Road rules have taken track away from fans

CHAMPAIGN – Dominique Worsley, an Illini freshman from New Hampshire, must be an outstanding sprinter.

He inaugurated his collegiate career by winning the 60- and 200-meter dashes Jan. 7 in the Hoosier Open. He took second in those events in the Big Ten Indoor, as coach Wayne Angel's improved Illini missed second place by a point. And most recently Worsley was named Big Ten Co-Athlete of the Week after capturing the 100 and 200 in Waco, Texas.

Q and A with Eric DiSilvestro

Illinois senior pole vaulter Eric DiSilvestro has qualified for NCAA regional competition with a personal-best of 17 feet, 1 inch (5.21 meters), achieved in January at the Carle Health Alliance Classic at the Illinois Armory. A Palatine native, DiSilvestro was fifth at the Big Ten outdoors a year ago and placed second this winter at the conference indoor meet.

Q: How did you get started in the pole vault?

Big Ten weekly award to Worsley

PARK RIDGE – Illinois sprinter Dominique Worsley, who won two events at the Michael Johnson Classic last weekend in Waco, Texas, was named Big Ten Co-Athlete of the Week in men's track and field on Tuesday.

Who's that Illini?

I won seven Big Ten women's track and field titles between 1995 and 1998. My best individual events were the 100 and the 200. My best time in the 100, 11.28, was good enough to share the school record with Benita Kelley.

Coaching an ongoing process for Williams

CHAMPAIGN – Willie Williams has been a fixture at University of Illinois track meets for most of the last half century.

He was in the stands at the Illinois Invitational on Saturday in his role as a volunteer assistant. He returned to coaching last fall after retiring in 2000 after 18 years as an Illini assistant in charge of sprinters and hurdlers. He's been a part of the Illini track program since arriving as a freshman in 1950 except for 23 years as a high school coach in his hometown of Gary, Ind.

Mensah's strategy reaping rewards

CHAMPAIGN – Just because Yvonne Mensah readily agreed to compete in the triple jump this year, that didn't mean the Illinois All-American had a clear idea of what she was getting into.

"The first couple of days of practice, it was really funny because I didn't know what the phases were," Mensah said. "I didn't even know how you did it."

Who's that Illini?

I was a four-time Big Ten champion in the shot put, including a streak of three indoor titles beginning in 1993. I swept the league shot put crowns in 1994. My best NCAA Championships performance came in 1995, when I placed sixth indoors. I rank third in UI history in both the indoor (62 feet, 1 inch) and outdoor (62-3) shot put.

Illinois freshman Worsley quickly proves he's the real deal

CHAMPAIGN – Wayne Angel can only imagine what others thought when he signed a sprinter from New Hampshire.

Heck, the Illinois men's track and field coach will admit to the same sense of eyebrow-lifting skepticism when Dominique Worsley – a high school prospect recommended by a recruiting service – returned a questionnaire to Angel back in 2004.