The Illinois Track and Field team has seen lots of success this season, with several records broken more than once and many first place titles brought home. Three Illini track athletes have qualified for the NCAA championships, including Olivia Howell, Jon Davis and Tyler Sudduth.
Howell has broken the school record several times this season in the women’s mile, shaving off four seconds from her previous best at one point. This is her first year at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
This is also Davis’ first debut, and will be competing in the men’s mile. Both Howell and Davis were 2022 Big Ten champions in the mile, and titled all Big-Ten First-Team. Davis was the first Illinois men’s mile champion since 1975, with a time of 4:08.37 and Howell earned the first place title for her second year in a row.
The team placed tenth overall at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, with a season best in the men’s 4x400m relay and a first place title in the men’s medley relay in addition to the first place performances by Howell and Davis. There were also two top-8 finishers in the women’s high jump.
Head coach Mike Turk was pleased with the performance of the Illini track athletes at the Big Ten Championships. “I am proud of our competitiveness and our program development,” said Turk. “We definitely have much more work to do but we’re starting to see results.”
Despite having two new Illinois athletes in attendance this year, this is Sudduth’s third appearance at the indoor championships, previously qualifying in the men’s 3k and distance medley relay.
This year, he qualified for shot-put, throwing the second best in program history at the Indoor City Music Challenge in Nashville, with a throw of 19.59m. Howell and Davis also earned their spots while competing in Nashville.
The three Illini Track and Field athletes will be at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama on March 11-12 to compete.