Meet: NCAA West Preliminary Round
Where: Austin, Texas (Mike A. Myers Track and Soccer Stadium)
When: Thursday, May 24- Saturday, May 26
Time: 11 a.m./11 a.m./11 a.m.
Live Results: TexasSports.com
The Nebraska track and field team will head to Austin, Texas, on Tuesday, May 22 for the NCAA West Preliminary Round at Mike A. Myers Track and Soccer Stadium. The Huskers will practice at the track on Wednesday and will then compete for bids to the NCAA Championships during the three-day meet starting Thursday. The national meet will be hosted in Des Moines, Iowa, at Drake Stadium on Wednesday, June 6 - Saturday, June 9.
The country is split into two regions, with the top-48 athletes in each event in the West Region competing in Austin and the top-48 athletes in the East Region competing in Jacksonville, Fla. To advance to the NCAA Championships, athletes and relay teams will need to secure a top-12 finish in their event.
The decathlon and heptathlon are the only events not competed at the regional meet. Nebraska's Bjorn Barrefors (decathlon) has already secured his spot at the national meet.
Including relay members, the Huskers will have 21 women and 17 men in competition. Of the 38 Huskers competing over the weekend, seven are scheduled to compete in two or more events.
The meet is scheduled for an 11 a.m. (CT) start each day, with the men's javelin opening the meet on Thursday, while the first track event will be the first round of the women's 400-meter hurdles at 4:30 p.m. On Friday, the women's discus starts the day and the first round of the women's 100-meter hurdles opens the track at 5 p.m. The final day will begin with the men's discus, while the women's 4x100-meter relay quarterfinal will be the first track event at 6 p.m. and the men's 4x400-meter relay will conclude the meet at 9:45 p.m.
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. He finished second in the discus at the 2012 Big Ten Outdoor Championships with a mark of 195-2.
Wright currently ranks fourth in the NCAA and his mark is tops among sophomores this season.
Hitchler Following Wright's Lead
Senior Tyler Hitchler is not far behind Wright as he ranks ninth nationally in the discus. 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. He finished ninth in the discus at the Big Ten Championships with a throw of 193-0.
Ukaoma Leads Hurdlers
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 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 finished second in the 400 meter hurdles at the Drake Relays, narrowly missing out on the event title with a time of 50.71. He recorded a time of 14.07 in the 110 meter hurdles at the Nebraska Invitational last weekend. He finished with the 400 meter hurdles title at the 2012 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, posting a personal-best time of 49.23 and ranks No. 2 nationally.
Husker Throwers Lead NU
At the Sun Angel Classic, 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, 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). Wilken posted a fourth-place finish in the women's discus with a throw of 176-1 (53.67) at the Big Ten Championships. She currently ranks sixth nationally.
Mara Griva has continued her success from the indoor season to the outdoor season as she has recorded three jumps titles on the year.
The reigning Big Ten indoor triple jump champion, Griva earned the triple jump title at the Arkansas Spring Invitational with a leap of 42-2 1/4. She went on to finish first in the triple jump at the Kansas Relays with a mark of 41-5 3/4. She ranks 23rd nationally in the event.
At the Nebraska Invitational, Griva produced a long jump of 20-8 to finish first. She currently ranks 24th nationally in the long jump.
At the 2012 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, Griva finished second in the triple jump with a leap of 42-5 1/4.
The Huskers were well-represented in the jumps at the Big Ten Championships as reigning indoor long jump champion Chris Phipps and teammate Patrick Raedler competed for conference crowns. Phipps walked away with a second-place finish in the triple jump, behind a leap of 52-4 3/4 (15.97). He also finished second in the long jump with a season-best leap of 25-5 1/4 (7.75). He claimed the men's long jump title (25-4 1/2) at the Arkansas Spring Invitational. He also finished second in the triple jump at the Sun Angel Classic with a mark of 53-1 1/2 and took first in the long jump (24-10 1/2) at the Kansas Relays. Phipps is currently 19th nationally in the long jump and is ninth in the triple jump.
Patrick Raedler also made his presence known at the Arkansas Spring Invitational, taking second 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 jump of 25-2 and finished first in the triple jump (51-10) at the Kansas Relays. He won the men's triple jump at the Nebraska Invitational with a personal-best leap of 52-4 1/2, a mark which puts him at No. 16 nationally in the event. He also ranks 30th in the long jump. Raedler finished fifth in the long jump at the Big Ten Championships with a mark of 24-11 3/4. He also posted a third-place finish in the triple jump with a personal-best jump of 51-3 (15.62).
Anna Weigandt has hit her stride, earning her first conference championship title in the triple jump last weekend. Weigandt posted a mark of 42-6 1/4 (12.96) on her first attempt to secure the conference crown. Prior to the conference meet, she finished second in the triple jump at the Drake Relays with a personal-best mark of 42-9 1/2. She won the women's triple jump at the Nebraska Invitational with a jump of 42-4. Weigandt finished fourth in the long jump (18-2 1/4) and second in the triple jump (41-3 1/4) at the Arkansas Spring Invitational. She is ranked 17th in the triple jump nationally.
Marusa Cernjul finished first in the women's high jump at the conference championships, with a personal-best mark of 6-0 (1.83). She recorded the jump on her second to last attempt, sealing the victory for Nebraska. She is the first Husker outdoor high jump champion since 2008.
Miller leads Distance Runners
Ashley Miller led the Huskers at the Big Ten Outdoor championships with two event titles and a top-10 finish over the three days of competition. She finished first in the 800 meters with a time of 2:06.67 and took first in the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:16.53. She also competed in the women's 5,000 meters, finishing sixth with a time of 16:39.07. With her event crowns over the weekend, she is now a four-time conference champion at Nebraska.
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, 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.
A native of Tipton, Iowa and the Big Ten indoor mile champion, she broke the Drake Relays 1,500 meter record on April 28. She won the event with a time of 4:15.61.
Katie White finished the first day of competition at the Big Ten Championships with a monstrous effort in the women's 10,000 meters. The senior from Broken Bow, Neb., surged ahead in the race to finish in fifth and record a time of 35:02.75.
Trevor Vidlak has produced a successful sophomore campaign as he 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. Jarren Heng 10th-place finish in the men's 3,000 meter steeplechase at the Big Ten Championships, as he recorded a personal-best time of 8:53.41.
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).
Bussel finished fourth in the pole vault at the Big Ten Championships with a mark of 13-4 1/2 (4.08). Maggie Maher finished sixth with a vault of 13-0 3/4 (3.98), while Cami Jiskra recorded a seventh-place finish with a mark of 13-0 3/4.
Polacek ranks 21st nationally in the event and is first in the Big Ten, as Bussel is ranked 25th nationally and is third in the Big Ten.
Barrefors Leading NU
Nebraska's senior heptathlete Bjorn Barrefors won the 2012 Big Ten men's decathlon title with a record-breaking 7,897 points, earning the first decathlon title of his career. With his point total, he broke the Nebraska school record of 7,707 points set by Rick Schwieger in 1992. He is the first Husker to win the decathlon since Aaron Henrichs claimed the Big 12 decathlon crown in 1998. Barrefors also broke the Big Ten Outdoor meet record and the McClimon Complex facility record.
Barrefors completed the indoor season with a fourth-place finish in the men's heptathlon. He opened his 2012 decathlon campaign at the Kansas Relays on April 19-21 where he became the second consecutive Husker to win the decathlon at the meet. He scored 7,308 points over the two days of competition, sealing his decathlon victory.
Teran Walford finished second in the men's decathlon at the Kansas Relays with a personal-best 7,048 points. He finished sixth in the decathlon with a personal-best total of 7,272 points at the Big Ten Championships.
Anne Martin and Jordan Stiens represented the Huskers in the women's heptathlon at the Mt. SAC Relays as Stiens produced a personal-best point total over the two days of competition. Martin finished with 5,040 points, while Stiens had 4,997 points.
Stiens posted a sixth-place finish at the conference championships, with a personal-best 5,216 points. Anne Martin finished 13th with 4,801 points.
The NU men and women have combined to win one national title in the combined events with Ashley Selig's 2005 victory in the pentathlon.
Make It 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.