Meet: Nebraska Invitational
Where: Lincoln, Neb. (Ed Weir Stadium)
When: Saturday, May 5
Live Results: Huskers.com
The Nebraska track and field team will finish out the 2012 regular season this weekend at home when they host the Nebraska Invitational at Ed Weir Stadium. The meet is schedule to start at noon with the women's hammer throw and men's shot put, while the first action on the track will start at 3 p.m. with the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Wright Out of the Gate
Sophomore Chad Wright made his presence known in his first outdoor meet of the season, the Arizona State Invitational, with a winning throw of 195-08 in the invitational division of the men's discus. At the Sun Angel Classic, Wright earned his second event title of the season with a throw of 198-05 (60.48) in the premier section of the men's discus. He went on to compete at the OTC Pre-Olympic Session at Chula Vista Track in San Diego where he finished with a throw of 204-0 (62.18), recording a personal-best mark. His throw ranks second all-time in the Husker records, behind two-time National Champion Carl Myerscough. Wright finished seventh overall in the competition and was the top collegiate finisher.
Wright currently ranks third in the NCAA and his mark is tops among sophomores this season. On the Big Ten list, Wright sits in the No. 1 spot.
Hitchler Following Wright's Lead
Senior Tyler Hitchler is not far behind Wright as he ranks seventh nationally in the discus and is second in the Big Ten Conference. Hitchler finished second to Wright in the discus at the Arizona State Invitational with a mark of 194-0. He notched another second-place finish at the Sun Angel Classic with a throw of 193-02 (58.88). He also competed at the OTC Pre-Olympic Session, recording a throw of 191-8 (58.43), the second-best throw by a collegian in the competition.
Ukaoma Produces Strong Start
Nebraska sophomore Miles Ukaoma used an impressive performance in the 400-meter hurdles at the Arizona State Invitational to jump-start his outdoor season. Ukaoma notched a personal-best time of 50.52 in the event to finish in first place.
Ukaoma followed that performance with another first-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles at the Arkansas Spring Invitational. He took home the event title at the Kansas Relays, with a time of 51.01. He currently ranks seventh nationally in the event. Ukaoma holds the top time in the Big Ten for the event. He finished second in the 400 meter hurdles at the Drake Relays, narrowly missing out on the event title with a time of 50.71.
Husker Throwers Lead NU
The Huskers pulled in three event titles at the Sun Angel Classic, all of which came in the throws events.
Morgan Wilken shined for the Huskers in the discus, earning the event title with a throw of 172-09. Chad Wright earned his second event title of the season with a personal-best throw of 198-05 (60.48) in the men's discus premier. In the women's shot put, Veronica Grizzle finished with the event crown, recording a personal-best throw of 53-5 3/4 (16.30).
Luke Pinkelman won the shot put at the K.T. Woodman Classic with a throw of 63-4 (19.30) and currently ranks eighth in the nation. Wilken tabbed another victory in the discus at the meet with a throw of 175-03 (53.42).
At the Drake Relays last weekend, Wilken led the Huskers as she notched the team's first event title of the weekend in the women's discus. She won the event with a personal-best throw of 183-7 (55.95), bettering her previous best of 175-3 (53.42).
Husker Jumpers Make a Splash
Nebraska notched two event titles in the jumps at the Arkansas Spring Invitational as Mara Griva earned the women's triple jump title (42-2 1/4) and Chris Phipps claimed the men's long jump crown (25-4 1/2). Phipps finished second in the triple jump at the Sun Angel Classic with a mark of 53-1 1/2. Griva also finished first in the triple jump at the Kansas Relays (41-5 3/4), while Phipps took first in the long jump (24-10 1/2).
Phipps is currently ninth nationally in the long jump and is eighth in the triple jump, while Griva is 17th in the triple jump.
Anna Weigandt and Patrick Raedler also made their presence known at the Arkansas Spring Invitational. Weigandt finished fourth in the long jump (18-2 1/4) and second in the triple jump (41-3 1/4). Raedler took home a second-place finish in the men's triple jump with a leap of 50-4 3/4. He finished second in the long jump at the Sun Angel Classic with a leap of 25-2 (7.67) and finished first in the triple jump (51-10) at the Kansas Relays. Raedler is currently ranked 14th in the long jump. Weigandt finished second with a personal-best leap of 42-9 1/2 (13.04) in the triple jump at the Drake Relays.
Marusa Cernjul tabbed her first event title of the outdoor season at the K.T. Woodman Classic, recording a leap of 5-8 (1.73) in the high jump.
Pole Vaulters Hit PRs
The Huskers swept the pole vault titles at the K.T. Woodman Classic as Breanna Bussel won the women's division and Nate Polacek captured the men's crown. Bussel finished first with a personal-best vault of 13-7 1/4 (4.15), while Polacek came in first on the men's side with a personal-best vault of 17-7 3/4 (5.38).
Polacek ranks 18th nationally in the event and is first in the Big Ten, as Bussel is ranked 22nd nationally and is third in the Big Ten.
Hurdling the Competition
Greta Kerekes also took home an event title at the Arkansas Spring Invitational, earning the 100 meter hurdles crown. She notched a time of 13.93 to take top honors and earn her first event title of the season.
Miller leads Distance Runners
Ashley Miller opened the first outdoor meet of her senior season with a personal-best time of 2:03.33 in the 800 meters at the Sun Angel Classic, finishing as the top collegiate runner in fourth-place. Her time was third all-time in the Nebraska record books. She currently ranks third nationally and first in the conference in the event.
At the Mt. SAC Relays last weekend, Miller finished fourth in the women's elite 1,500 meters. She posted a time of 4:14.53, setting a personal best time. Her mark ranks third all-time in the Husker record books and puts her at seventh in the NCAA. She broke the Drake Relays 1,500 meter record as she went on to win the event with a time of 4:15.61.
Trevor Vidlak finished first in the men's open 5,000 meters at the Mt. SAC Relays, notching a time of 14:07.90. His time is the fifth-best time in Husker history.
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. The NU women earned the second Big Ten title in school history and the first team title for the track and field program. Nebraska now 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 an honor.