Huskers Head to Big Ten Outdoor Championships
Where: Madison, Wis. (McClimon Complex)
When: Friday, May 11- Sunday, May 13
Time: Noon/9:30 a.m./11 a.m.
Live Results: UWBadgers.com
BTN Tape Delay: Sunday, May 20 at 11 a.m. CT
The Nebraska track and field team will travel to Madison, Wis., on Wednesday to compete at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. The Huskers will practice in Madison on Thursday at the McClimon Complex and will then start the three-day meet on Friday, May 11.
Head Coach Gary Pepin's men's squad enters the meet ranked in the latest USTFCCCA poll, sitting at 17th. Out of the 22 teams competing this weekend, six are ranked in the top 25. The Ohio State women are ranked No. 24, while on the men's side Indiana leads the teams with an eighth-place ranking. Wisconsin sits at No. 15, while Nebraska is No. 17, Iowa ranks 21st and Minnesota is 25th.
The men's decathlon will open the meet on Friday and women's heptathlon will soon follow at 12:15 p.m. The men's hammer throw will get underway at 1:30 p.m., while the men's pole vault will start at 1:30 p.m., and the women's hammer throw will begin at 3:30 p.m. The only track even scheduled for Friday is the 10,000 meters, with the men running at 8:30 p.m. and the women hitting the track at 9:15 p.m. Saturday's full day of action is set for a 9:30 a.m. start with the men's decathlon 110 hurdles. The men's long jump will start the field action at 1:20 p.m. and the women's 4x100 meter relay trials will open the track at 2:10 p.m. Sunday will begin at 11 a.m. with the women's triple jump, while the track events are set to start at 12:45 p.m. with the women's 4x100-meter relay finals. The men's 4x400-meter relay is set to end the meet at 3:45 p.m.
Check out Huskers.com at the conclusion of each day for a full recap and results, while live results during the meet will be provided at uwbadgers.com.
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 third 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 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 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 10th 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. He recorded a personal-best time of 14.07 in the 110 meter hurdles at the Nebraska Invitational last weekend.
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, 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). She currently ranks fifth 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 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 17th nationally in the event and is second in the Big Ten.
At the Nebraska Invitational last weekend, Griva produced a long jump of 20-8 to finish first. She currently ranks 19th nationally in the long jump and is second in the Big Ten.
The Huskers will be well-represented in the jumps at the Big Ten Championships as reigning indoor long jump champion Chris Phipps and teammate Patrick Raedler will compete for conference crowns. Phipps 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 13th 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. 13 nationally in the event. He also ranks 19th in the long jump.
Anna Weigandt has hit her stride recently after finishing second in the triple jump at the Drake Relays with a personal-best mark of 42-9 1/2. She most recently 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 12th in the triple jump nationally and is first in the Big Ten.
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, 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.
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.
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 23rd nationally and is third in the Big Ten.
Barrefors Leading NU
Nebraska's senior heptathlete Bjorn 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.
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.
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 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.