Sleepy day wakes up U of I Coaching hire, USATF Jr Nats

Coach Petros Kyprianou will look to restore track and field dominance at the U of Illinois

It was a normal hazy day in the land of Lincoln when the phones started ringing and buzzing during the afternoon. The University of Illinois-Champaign hit the mega ball jackpot of coaching. They landed one of the premier coaches in the world as their director of track & field. Petros Kyprianou was announced by athletic director Josh Whitman.

Whitman, a former Illinois football standout and NFL player, has been in the Illini AD chair since 2016 but knows the seriousness of maintaining the health of an athletic department. With the changing of the guard within major college athletics such as the expansion or annexation of power five teams to level the playing field, U of I has to be in the mix. Unfortunately, long-time headman, Mike Turk was axed at the end of the 2022 season. This is an opportunity for the Illini to seize control of the border in terms of locking in top tracksters while usurping the regional of blue-chip talent.

Kyprianou is perhaps best known for his success as an associate and head coach at the University of Georgia. His program won two national titles and finished with three runner-up plaques from 2015-21. As mentioned previously, recruiting will be vital for sustained relevance. Kyprianou has done well in that department and it will be interesting to see how he does in Champaign.  


We are entering the apex of the summer track & field season with two junior national championships over the next few weeks. Crystal Lake Prairie Ridge HS rising senior Rylee Lydon did not waste a moment in getting things started at the USATF Junior National Championships in Sacramento, California. Representing the TNT Track Club during the summer under the tutelage of coach Brandon Stryganek, he indicated that Lydon was down by five seconds entering the final event (800m) and needed a 'hail Mary' in order to win the Young Women's 17-18 Heptathlon title. Lydon overtook Yvette Harris scoring 4677

Lydon's scoring table: 
100 HH (16.32)
HJ (1.65 meters/5'5")
SP (9.88m/32'5")
200 (25.40)
LJ (5.34m/17'6.25")
JAV (20.83m/68'3")
800 (2:16.18)
The Vipers Young Men 4x800m closed out their day with a runner-up finish in 7:58.31. Anchor leg Jackson Gilbert clocked 1:56.8 to move his team from the fourth position.