Huskers Open 2013 Season on Friday
Where: Lincoln, Neb. (Devaney Center Indoor Track)
When: Friday, Jan. 11 (4 p.m.) - Saturday, Jan. 12 (Noon)
Live Results: Huskers.com
The Nebraska track and field team is set to open the 2013 season on Friday, Jan. 11 when it hosts the Holiday Inn Invitational at the Devaney Center Indoor Track. The two-day meet will then continue on Saturday when the action starts again at noon.
A nationally prominent program, Nebraska will look to add to their 104 conference team titles in their second year in the Big Ten Conference.
The Husker men's squad returns a talented group in 2013. All-Big Ten performers Tommy Brinn (600 meters), Ricco Hall (400 meters) and Patrick Raedler (long jump) are set to lead the Huskers along with a veteran class of returners and talented newcomers.
The No. 21 women's team is led by reigning indoor Big Ten triple jump champion Mara Griva as she looks to continue the Huskers' dominance in the jumps. The Huskers will also be guided by All-Americans Jessica Furlan, Ellie Grooters and Mara Weekes.
The all-time winningest track and field coach in the history of the Big 12 and the former Big Eight Conference, Nebraska Head Coach Gary Pepin enters his 33rd season at NU during the 2013 track and field season. The longest tenured active coach in Cornhusker athletics, 2013 will be Pepin's 33rd season as head coach of both the Husker men's and women's track teams. Pepin captured 23 Big 12 titles as the Huskers' leader.
In his first 32 seasons at Nebraska, Pepin has coached athletes to 57 NCAA titles, 477 All-America honors and 516 conference titles.
Make in 104
The Nebraska women's track and field team capped its first Big Ten Indoor Championships in style with a 114.50-106 win over defending champion Ohio State last season. The NU women earned the second Big Ten title in school history and the first team title for the track and field program. Nebraska has a total of 104 conference titles as a program.
As an overall program, the Huskers won 51 Big Eight titles during the conference's history from 1974-1996 and Nebraska continued to dominate the conference since moving to the Big 12 in 1997. NU had won a league-high 23 team titles, including the program's historic 100th conference team title in 2007.
The Huskers added their 101st and 102nd titles during the 2009 and 2010 outdoor seasons when they became the first men's team in Big 12 history to win back-to-back team titles at the outdoor conference meet. Nebraska recorded its 103rd conference title in 2011, as the women's team upset four-time defending champion Texas A&M at the indoor championships.
Nebraska has been a staple at the NCAA Indoor Championships as the men's team alone has produced 118 All-America awards. The men's squad has been on quite a roll as they have had at least one athlete earn All-American honors at the past 22 national meets. Since the indoor championships began in 1965, the Huskers have failed to leave with at least one All-America award on just five occasions, including 1975, 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1990.
The women's team has been just as good indoors since the national meet started in 1980. Along with three straight national titles from 1982 to 1984, the Huskers have two or more All-Americans at every meet except for 2002 when they failed to earn a honor.
Fans of track and field in the state of Nebraska will see a lot of familiar faces this season as 64 of the Huskers' 127 athletes are Nebraska natives. Overall, the team is represented by 17 states and 11 countries.
The Husker women have been arguably one of the top programs when it comes to the high, long and triple jumps. The Huskers have won at least one title in one of the events at 11 of the previous 16 indoor conference championships and have won the triple jump crown eight times, including five straight wins from 2000 to 2004.
Mara Griva led the Huskers in 2012, earning her first Big Ten Indoor title on Feb. 26. Griva used a season-best jump of 42-9 1/2 (13.04) to take top honors and earn her second indoor conference triple jump title.
Huskers Name 2013 Captains
The Nebraska track and field team named its 2013 captains earlier this year. Leading the team this season will be Tommy Brinn, Jessica Furlan, Mara Griva, Tim Thompson, Bjorn Barrefors, Morgan Wilken, Chad Wright, Anne Martin, Seith Wiedel and Ellie Grooters.
Among the group of captains the Huskers boast one NCAA Champion, seven All-Americans indoors and outdoors (first-team, second-team and honorable mention) and numerous All-Conference competitors.
Huskers Ranked in Pre-Season Dual-Meet Standings
The Nebraska track and field men's and women's squads both received national recognition this week as they earned a spot in Track and Field News' Pre-Season Dual Meet Rankings. Both squads were ranked fourth, as LSU led the charge on the women's side and Arkansas was ranked first on the men's side.
Wright Under Consideration for Bowerman Award
Nebraska junior Chad Wright was listed among the names released on the initial Bowerman Watch List by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Wednesday. Wright is one of six who received votes on the initial ballot from the selection committee.
The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation. It is named after legendary coach Bill Bowerman. The award takes into consideration the performances during the indoor and outdoor NCAA track and field seasons.
Wright, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, was the 2012 NCAA Discus Champion and is a two-time All-American and All-Big Ten performer. He holds the second-best discus throw in Husker history with a throw of 206-3 (62.88). Wright finished second in the discus at the 2012 Big Ten Outdoor Championships and was named the Big Ten Male Field Athlete of the Week twice in 2012.
The Nebraska track and field team wrapped up its annual intrasquad meet on Dec. 7 at the Devaney Center Indoor Track. The Red team earned the victory over the White team by a score of 143-129. During competition, both teams saw eight athletes break eight meet-records.
Junior Mara Weekes started Friday's competiton off by breaking the women's 60-meter dash record, running a time of 7.53. The previous record was held by Priscilla Lopes (7.58) in 2003. Weekes later broke the 200-meter record she previously held, running a time of 24.13.
On the men's side junior Dexter McKenzie produced an excellent performance Friday night winning the 60-meter dash running a time 6.83. McKenzie then notched one of the highlights of the night in the 200-meter race coming from behind on the last turn to win the race, with a winning time of 21.25.
Senior Tommy Brinn had a nice start to his season by winning the 1,000-meter race. Brinn ran a time of 2:27.27 breaking the previous record of 2:28.45 ran by Aaron Nasers in 2004.
Junior Ellie Grooters broke the women's 600-meter run with a time of 1:35.35. The previous record was held by Jelena Andjelkovic (1:35.39) in 2011. In the men's 600-meter run both Cody Rush and London Hawk beat the previous record held by Hawk of 1:21.91. Rush ran a time of 1:19.69, with Hawk running a time of 1:19.68.
Freshman Dapo Akinmoladun made a great debut as a Husker winning the men's 60-meter hurdles final with a winning time of 7.80.
Both the men's and women's teams ran the 3,200-meter race for the first time in intrasquad meet history. On the women's side senior Jessica Furlan won with a time of 10:23.62, and on the men's side junior Trevor Vidlak won the race with a time of 8:53.15
In mixed weight throw, junior Veronica Grizzle beat the previous meet record of 62-5 3/4 held by Victoria Zimmerman with a throw of 63-2.
The meet also offered the opportunity for young Husker fans to get out onto the same track that the Huskers run on, as they were able to run in both the Little Husker 100-meter and 60-meter dashes.