Huskers Hit the Road for First Time in 2013
After competing at home during the first two weeks of the 2013 season, the men's and women's Nebraska track and field teams will head south to the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. Hosted by the University of Arkansas, the two day meet starts at 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25 and continues on Saturday at 11 a.m.
The Huskers will be up against some of the top programs in the country, as Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Florida State, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Georgia and Baylor will all be in attendance.
On the men's side, six of the 11 teams are ranked in the USTFCCCA top-25, including No. 1 Arkansas. The other five teams include No. 3 Florida, No. 6 LSU, No. 11 Texas, No. 13 Arizona and No. 21 Arizona State.
On the women's side, eight of the 11 teams are ranked in the USTFCCCA top-25, led by No. 5 Arkansas. Joining the Razorbacks, will be No. 6 LSU, No. 7 Florida, No. 12 Arizona, No. 13 Texas, No. 16 Georgia, No. 17 Baylor and No. 21 Nebraska.
Action starts on Friday at 1 p.m. with the women's pentathlon 60-meter hurdles, while the men's pole vault opens the field events at 4 p.m. and the track events start at 6 p.m. with the women's 60-meter preliminaries.
On Saturday, the men's weight throw starts at 11 a.m., with the heptathlon 60-meter hurdles starting at 12 p.m. and the women's 3,000 meters at 12:15 p.m.
Huskers Sweep adidas Classic Team Titles
The Nebraska track and field team swept the meet titles at the adidas Classic for the fifth straight year on Saturday at the Devaney Center Indoor Track. Both Husker squads dominated the field, as the women finished with 207 points, while Wichita State finished second with 100 points. The men posted with 205.33 total points; Iowa was second with 111 points. The afternoon was highlighted by numerous personal best performances and 19 event titles for Nebraska, including Jessica Furlan, Janis Leitis and Mara Weekes all winning more than one individual event crown on the day.
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.
White Leads Huskers, Earns Big Ten Honor
Junior James White made a quick name for himself at the Holiday Inn Invitational during the first weekend of competition, stealing the show and winning the men's high jump with a leap of 7-5 1/4 (2.27), a personal best for him. His jump is the leading jump in the Big Ten and is fifth all-time in the Nebraska record books. He is the reigning junior college high jump champion after completing the last two years at Central Iowa Community College.
White was named the Big Ten Co-Field Athlete of the Week on Jan. 14.
Leitis Honored by Big Ten
Senior Janis Leitis Nebraska was honored by the Big Ten Conference on Monday, Jan. 21 as he was named the league's male field athlete of the week.
Leitis produced a successful weekend where finished first in the 60 meters at the NWU Invite on Friday and also won the 200 meters and the long jump at the adidas Classic last Saturday. He posted times of 6.92 in the 60 meters and 21.45 in the 200 meters, along with a mark of 24-8 ¼ (7.52) in the long jump. He ranks first in the conference and is fifth in the nation in the long jump. The award marks the first indoor track and field weekly award of his career.
Akinmoladun's Stellar Start
Oladapo Akinmoladun opened his 2013 season by recording the best time in the Big Ten this season, the 11th-best time in the nation and the ninth-best performance in Husker history with a personal-best-tying time of 7.83, giving him his first event title as a Husker.
Weekes Takes Home Two More Titles
After winning two event titles at the Holiday Inn Invitational, Mara Weekes won the women's 60 meters with a time of 7.54 and took the 200 meters with a time of 24.24. She ranks ninth in the Big Ten in the 60 meters and is sixth in the 200 meters.
Brinn Continues to Excel
Senior Tommy Brinn recorded the third-best time in Husker history in the 600 meters, finishing first in the event with a time of 1:18.06 at the adidas Classic. His personal-best in the event is 1:17.63. He holds the top spot in the event in the Big Ten Conference.
Husker Throwers Set PR's
Chad Wright took home the men's shot put title at the adidas Classic with a personal-best throw of 61-6 ¼ (18.75), he now leads the Big Ten in the event and is fourth in the nation. Taylor Shapland followed his lead with a second-place finish and a personal-best throw of 57-5 (17.50), the 11th-best throw in the Big Ten.
On the women's side, the Huskers swept the top four spots in the shot put at the adidas Classic, as Annie Jackson led the way with a huge personal-best throw of 52-5 ½ (15.99) that ranks fifth in the Big Ten. Carlie Pinkelman was second with a throw of 50-3 ½ (15.33), which ranks sixth in the Big Ten.
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.
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 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. In the latest set of rankings, the women remined in the No. 4 spot nationally and the men moved up to No. 3.
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. 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.