ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Olivia Howell closed out the 2023 indoor track season on top of the mile podium. She crossed first with a 4:34.00 to earn her first NCAA Indoor Championship Title and claim her second-straight Indoor First Team All-American nod.
Howell’s time broke the Albuquerque Convention Center facility record that was set by three-time Olympian and Nike athlete Shannon Rowbury on Jan. 16, 2010 (4:34.14). Her 10 points from this event win placed Illinois 20th overall. This is the highest team finish since the 2013 season when they finished 14th.
“As I mentioned last night our main talk all year long was the NCAA Championships,” said first year Director of Track, Field and Cross Country Petros Kyprianou. “Olivia was very diligent, focused and ambitious in taking this. We spoke about it with both Olivia and coach Haveman. Her energy was right and followed a great race plan that produced her first NCAA Title. This also resulted in our highest team finish in 10 years which is huge for us in changing the culture and striving for NCAA success. Olivia made history today gave us the NCAA Championship christening as the new Illini staff.”
The Fighting Illini track and field teams return to action on Fri.-Sat. March 24-25 for the beginning of outdoor season. They will take flight to UCLA.