Three Huskers Win B1G Titles; Men Finish Second
GENEVA, Ohio - Nebraska track and field seniors Landon Bartel, Kaiwan Culmer and Antoine Lloyd all won individual Big Ten indoor titles, and the Nebraska men's track and field team came within half a second of capturing the team title at the Big Ten Indoor Championships on Saturday at the SPIRE Institute.
Heading into the final event of the day, the 4x400-meter relay, Ohio State had 91.5 points and Nebraska had 89.5 points. Needing to outscore the Buckeyes by two points to at least share the team title, the Huskers' relay of Sam Bransby, Moujtaba Mohammed, Elijah Lucy and Andy Neal ran the second-fastest time in NU indoor history, 3:05.53. But Ohio State finished in 3:05.09 to hold off the Huskers. Nebraska finished second with 93.5 points, while Ohio State won with 101.5 points. The Husker women finished ninth overall with 47.5 points.
Despite the narrow defeat, the Huskers had a number of highlight performances on Saturday to put them within striking distance of the Buckeyes, who had a 17-point lead on NU coming into Saturday.
Lloyd produced the best race of his career with a personal record of 7.68 to win the 60-meter hurdles title for the first time in his career. Lloyd, whose best finish in the event at the Big Ten meet was third in 2016, ran the third-fastest time in NU history and the No. 4 time in the NCAA this season, which will earn him a spot at the NCAA Indoor Championships for the first time.
"I've been trying to run fast at this Big Ten indoor meet forever, and this is my fourth time coming here and the first time I've really felt like I've done what I'm supposed to," Lloyd said. "I'm ecstatic that I crossed the finish line first and got my team some points. This year is the first year where I've felt like I needed to come out on the track and set an example for the rest of my team so we can be in good contention for the team title."
Culmer returned to the top of the podium in the triple jump with an indoor personal-best winning mark of 52-9 1/4 (16.08m). The Nassau, Bahamas native was the 2016 indoor champion in the event before finishing fourth last year. Culmer collected his third career Big Ten triple jump medal with his mark, which came on his first attempt and moved him to No. 9 in the nation. The top 16 in the nation will qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships in March.
Bartel continued his outstanding indoor season with his second career Big Ten high jump title by clearing 7-2 1/4 (2.19m). Like Culmer, Bartel was the 2016 indoor champion but didn't reach the medal stand at last year's indoor meet. Bartel, whose personal best of 7-3 3/4 (2.23m) this season will qualify him for the NCAA Indoor Championships, was the only jumper to clear 7-2 1/4 (2.19m) on Saturday and did so on his second attempt.
Isaiah Griffith was the runner-up in the triple jump with an indoor personal-best jump of 51-11 1/4 (15.83m) on his last attempt. Griffith added to his fifth-place finish in the long jump on Friday by picking up his first career Big Ten medal to total 12 team points for the Huskers on the weekend.
Ty Moss earned the silver medal in the 600 meters with a career-best time of 1:16.63, which is the third-fastest time in NU indoor history. Moss was seeded outside the top-eight runners in the field entering the meet but came away with runner-up accolades. Grant Anderson earned his first career Big Ten medal by finishing third in the high jump with a best bar of 7-1 (2.16m) on his third attempt. He and Bartel combined for 16 team points for the Husker men to pull them within two points of Ohio State heading into the 4x400-meter relay.
For the Husker women, Angela Mercurio was the runner-up in the triple jump with a mark of 42-2 3/4 (12.87m). Petra Luteran finished second in the high jump with a clearance of 5-11 1/4 (1.81m) on her third attempt. Lakayla Harris was the runner-up in the 60 meters as she matched her personal best of 7.38 that she set in prelims on Friday. Harris also picked up two team points in the 200 meters by finishing seventh in 23.71, a new personal best that ranks eighth in NU indoor history. Jasmine Barge was fifth in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.43.
Two Husker freshmen made a big impact for the women's team. Ieva Turke was fourth in the triple jump with a personal-best 41-6 1/2 (12.66m). Lara Omerzu tied for fourth in the high jump by clearing 5-8 3/4 (1.75m) on her first attempt. All 47.5 of the women's team points were scored by freshmen, sophomores and juniors.
Among other Husker men who scored team points, Nick Percy ended up in sixth place in the weight throw with a mark of 69-1 1/2 (21.07m). Luke Siedhoff grabbed four team points for the Husker men with a fifth-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles in 7.94. Mohammed finished eighth in the 800 meters in 1:52.08.
Jared Seay placed fifth in the heptathlon to lead the Huskers with a personal-best 5,634 points, which ranks fourth in NU history and is currently the No. 12 mark in the nation. Cody Walton, the reigning champion, couldn't overcome an injury to defend his title, finishing in seventh place with 5,451 points. Cale Wagner was eighth with 5,449 points, a new personal best.
The Huskers will find out early in the week who officially qualifies for the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas on March 8-9.
Nebraska's Big Ten Indoor Champions
Landon Bartel, High Jump
Kaiwan Culmer, Triple Jump
Antoine Lloyd, 60-Meter Hurdles
Men's Team Standings
1. Ohio State 101.5
2. Nebraska 93.5
3. Indiana 86
4. Penn State 84
5. Wisconsin 70
6. Michigan 57
7. Iowa 51
8. Illinois 48
9. Minnesota 37
10. Purdue 32
T11. Michigan State 21
T11. Rutgers 21
Women's Team Standings
1. Minnesota 91.5
2. Purdue 80
T3. Ohio State 75
T3. Indiana 75
5. Iowa 74
6. Penn State 70
7. Wisconsin 61
8. Michigan 60
9. Nebraska 47.5
10. Illinois 26
11. Maryland 18
12. Michigan State 17
13. Rutgers 5