IIT Track & Field Teams Make A Statement

In just one year the Illinois Tech track and field teams have qualified six individuals who competed in NAIA National Championships for both the outdoor and indoor seasons. These men and women qualified in a variety of events, such as the 1000m, 3000m steeplechase, 10,000m, distance medley relay, and even the ,arathon. They train year-round either with their teammates on campus or by themselves during summer and winter breaks. Great strides have come from their programs due to the efforts from both the student-athletes’ determination and coaching styles of Phil Kopinski and Calin Hantau. This unique group of young talent and wise mentoring has enabled these programs to make a name for the university locally and nationally. One notable accomplishment was achieved by Abby Jahn,  architecture undergraduate from Wasilla, Alaska, who placed 7th in the 3000m steeplechase and earned her All-American honors. This feat was truly a great step for the program.

“Abby ran a smart race. With two laps to go she was in 12th place. After a solid 400m she moved to 9th,” said Head Coach Phil Kopinski.  “With one more lap to go Abby surged past two other competitors making her IIT’s first All-American in track and field.”

As the men’s and women’s running teams head into the fall cross country season, they continue their success in representing athletics for IIT. Led by a strong senior class, their next goal is to qualify both teams for the NAIA National Championships held late November. To qualify, they must place in the top two teams at the CCAC conference meet early November.

If a whole team decides on a goal, all they have to do is believe in each other to make it happen. It sounds unrealistic, but something magical happens when people come together. An unstoppable momentum that drives doubt to the ground and allows everyone to be a part of something great!