Illini Earn Comeback Win at EIU Big Blue Classic

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(ISN) _ CHARLESTON, Ill. – After sitting in third following the first day of the EIU Big Blue Classic, the Fighting Illini men’s track and field team ran away from the field on the second day of competition, scoring 180 points to win the meet. The Orange and Blue outdistanced runner-up Southern Illinois by 55.50 points.

The Illini grabbed six event victories on the second day of the meet. Jonathan Wells was a double-winner for the Orange and Blue, taking both the high jump and the long jump. Wells leaped 7.42m (24′ 4.25″) in the long jump and cleared 2.17m (7′ 1.50″) in the high jump. Wells’ high jump mark ties him with Greg Shroka for second-best clearance in school history.

Brandon Stryganek won the 100m with a time of 10.54. He also teamed up with Mo Maat, Maurice Watkins and DJ Zahn for the win in the 4x100m relay, posting a time of 40.39.

Aaron Wilks won the javelin with a toss of 60.14m (197′ 4″), and the 4x400m relay team of Cam Viney, Matt Burns, David Kendziera and Joe McAsey closed out the weekend with a win, posting a time of 3:14.16.

Zahn added a runner-up performance in the 200m (20.77) to his win in the 4x100m relay, and McAsey took second in the 400m (47.56). Zahn’s performance in the 200m ties him with Dominique Worsley for fifth all-time in Illinois history.

Dylan Lafond led the way as a trio of Illini runners scored in the 1,500m run. Lafond finished second with a time of 3:50.11, while Garrett Lee (3:50.44) and Jannis Toepfer (3:53.72) finished third and fourth, respectively.

Kendziera also grabbed runner-up honors, finishing second in the 110m hurdles with a time of 13.97. Viney also scored points for the team, placing ninth with a 15.25 performance.

Malik Lee and Brandon Noe tallied third-place finishes for the Orange and Blue. Lee was third in the 800m with a time of 1:52.80, while Noe took third in the discus with a toss of 55.53m (182′ 2″).

Mitch Mammoser and Blaze Galardy finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the pole vault competition. Both Mammoser and Galardy cleared 4.99m (16′ 4.50″), but Mammoser took the higher finish based on the tiebreaker of misses at previous heights.

Matsen Dziedzic led a trio of Illinois scorers in the shot put, finishing sixth with a toss of 16.05m (52′ 8″). Noe and Davis Fraker finished eighth and ninth with throws of 15.63m (51′ 3.50″) and 15.61m (51′ 2.75″), respectively.

George Wayda and Parker Deloye rounded out the group of Illini athletes scoring points for the team. Wayda took eighth in the javelin with a heave of 50.78m (166′ 7″), while Deloye was 10th in the high jump with a clearance of 1.97m (6′ 5.50″).

The Fighting Illini will travel to Tucson, Arizona next weekend for the University of Arizona’s Jim Click Shootout. Action takes place on April 11 at Drachman Stadium.

Illini Point Scorers

100m
1. Brandon Stryganek – 10.54

200m
2. DJ Zahn – 20.77

400m
2. Joe McAsey – 47.56

800m
3. Malik Lee – 1:52.60

1,500m
2. Dylan Lafond – 3:50.11
3. Garrett Lee – 3:50.44
4. Jannis Toepfer – 3:53.72

110m Hurdles
2. David Kendziera – 13.97
9. Cam Viney – 15.25

4x100m Relay
1. Mo Maat, Brandon Stryganek, Maurice Watkins, DJ Zahn – 40.39

4x400m Relay
1. Cam Viney, Matt Burns, David Kendziera, Joe McAsey – 3:14.16

High Jump
1. Jonathan Wells – 2.17m (7′ 1.50″)
10. Parker Deloye – 1.97m (6′ 5.50″)

Pole Vault
4. Mitch Mammoser – 4.99m (16′ 4.50″)
5. Blaze Galardy – 4.99m (16′ 4.50″)

Long Jump
1. Jonathan Wells – 7.42m (24′ 4.25″)

Shot Put
6. Matsen Dziedzic – 16.05m (52′ 8″)
8. Brandon Noe – 15.63m (51′ 3.50″)
9. Davis Fraker – 15.61m (51′ 2.75″)

Discus
3. Brandon Noe – 55.53m (182′ 2″)

Javelin
1. Aaron Wilks – 60.14m (197′ 4″)
8. George Wayda – 50.78m (166′ 7″)

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