MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota- The Illinois men’s and women’s track and field teams competed on the first day of competition at the 2022 Big Ten Outdoor Championships on Friday, May 13 at the University of Minnesota Track and Field Stadium, highlighted by a performance first-year pole vaulter history. Tori Thomas.
Thomas was on her last attempt at the height of 3.83m before throwing five consecutive clear jumps to propel her into the top three of the event, finishing third and winning bronze with a personal best of 4.23m . The freshman mark of 4.23m also ranks second all-time in program history, just behind program record holder Stephanie Richartz, who recorded a jump of 4.45m in 2015. .
In the decathlon, junior Aiden Ouimet positioned himself in seventh place halfway through the event. Ouimet started with a fourth-place finish in the 100m with a time of 10.94, before posting consecutive fifth-place finishes in the long jump (6.68m) and 400m (50.33). In the shot put, a fourth place with a mark of 13.33m coupled with a performance of 1.85m and a ninth place in the high jump allowed Ouimet to end the day with 3769 points.
In the heptathlon, first year Kenli’s Nettles sits in the top five after a strong first-half outing. In the 100m hurdles, Nettles placed seventh with a time of 14.34, before taking first place in the high jump with a mark of 1.71m. A season best shot put of 11.17m was good for a sixth place finish, as a time of 25.43 in the 200m resulted in the same placement. Nettles ended her day of competition with 3252 points.
Along with strong multi-athlete outings, four Illini advanced to the finals, led by a freshman DeVontae Ford with a ninth place overall in the 400m hurdles, with a time of 51.93, to qualify for the final of the event on Sunday. The 1500m race saw a trio of Illini qualifiers, including junior Olivia Howel and freshman Halle Hill. Howell rode a strategic race, finishing second in his heat with a time of 4:30.46, while Hill was seventh overall and fifth in his heat with a time of 4:23.38. Senior Jon Davis took the win in the men’s section, placing first overall with a time of 3:44.22.
Women’s Pole Vault
Tori Thomas » 4.23m
Illinois Notable Athletes
Women’s Pole Vault: Tori Thomas // 4.23m // 3rd place // 6 points
Access to the final
400m hurdles men: DeVontae Ford // 51.93
1500m women: Olivia Howel // 4:30.46
1500m women: Halle Hill // 4:23.38
1500m men: Jon Davis // 3:44.22
The Illini continue the action Saturday, May 14 with day two of the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Saturday’s events begin with the 110m decathlon hurdles at 10:00 a.m. CT.