Elijah Lucy and the Huskers begin the 2017 season with the Holiday Inn Invitational this weekend.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Host Holiday Inn Invitational

By NU Athletic Communications

The Nebraska track and field team kicks off its 2017 season by hosting the Holiday Inn Invitational this weekend at the Bob Devaney Sports Center Indoor Track. Competition will begin on Friday at 4 p.m., and Saturday’s events will begin at Noon.

Nebraska will be joined by a handful of Division I opponents in Drake, Kansas City, Northern Colorado, Oklahoma State and Omaha. Other teams in the field include Nebraska-Kearney, Wayne State, Minnesota State, Northwest Missouri State, Oklahoma Christian, Nebraska Wesleyan, Barton County CC, Cloud County CC, Cowley County CC and Southwestern CC.

The Husker men are hunting for their third straight Big Ten indoor title and will do so with two returning Big Ten indoor champions in Landon Bartel and Kaiwan Culmer. Bartel won the high jump title last year with a mark of 7-2 1/4 (2.19m), while Culmer won the triple jump at 51-8 1/2 (15.76m). The duo helped the Huskers to 116 points and their second straight indoor team title. Bartel qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships, where he finished 14th. Nick Percy, who won the discus national title in the outdoor season, will look to improve on his best indoor event - the weight throw - where he currently sits fourth on the NU all-time chart at 65-9 (20.04m).

The Nebraska women are led by senior Tierra Williams, who was a four-time Big Ten champion and two-time All-American last year. Williams swept the indoor and outdoor long and triple jump titles at the conference meets last year. At the Big Ten Indoor Championships, she jumped 20-7 3/4 (6.29m) in the long jump and 43-2 1/2 (13.17m) in the triple jump. She was a first-team All-American in the triple jump, finishing fifth at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Reka Czuth will also be a leader for the Husker women after winning the Big Ten outdoor high jump title and finishing tied for 10th at indoor nationals and eighth at outdoor nationals last year.

Husker Men Eyeing Three-Peat
The Nebraska men are seeking their third straight Big Ten Indoor Championship in 2017, which would be their first conference three-peat since 2003 to 2005 - the end of a string of six straight Big 12 indoor titles. The last Big Ten men’s team to win three straight titles was Minnesota from 2009 to 2011. The Husker men swept the Big Ten indoor and outdoor titles in 2016 for their first conference sweep since 2004.

The Huskers return 94 points from their title-winning 116 total at last year’s conference meet. Junior Antoine Lloyd scored 14 points last year with a runner-up finish in the 60 meters (6.74) and a third-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles (7.78). Malcolm White also scored in two events, finishing second in the 200 meters (20.94) and seventh in the 60 meters (6.79). Landon Bartel (high jump) and Kaiwan Culmer (triple jump) were Big Ten indoor champions last year and will look to repeat in their junior seasons. Steven Cahoy, a three-time runner-up in the pole vault, is set for his senior season with the Huskers.

Husker Women Looking for Breakout Season
The Nebraska women featured a young squad last year and are ready to take the next step up in the Big Ten standings. The Husker women carry some momentum into the indoor season after finishing third at last year’s Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Tierra Williams is set for her senior season after securing the long jump and triple jump titles at both the Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor Championships last year, while Reka Czuth has a high jump and long jump title to her name at the midway point of her Husker career. The Huskers scored 48 points at last year’s Big Ten indoor meet to finish sixth, but they return 39 of those points.

Huskers Begin 2017 Season in USTFCCA Top 30
The Nebraska track and field teams will both begin the season in the top 30 of the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason rankings.

The Husker women came in 28th in the computer rankings with 38.84 points. The Husker men are ranked 29th with 30.14 points. The point totals are calculated based on returning athletes’ 2016 marks relative to the best in the nation.

The Husker women return first-team All-American Tierra Williams in the triple jump from last year’s NCAA Indoor Championships. Reka Czuth was a second-team All-American in the high jump. The Husker men return two second-team indoor All-Americans from 2016 in Landon Bartel (high jump) and the 4x400-meter relay.

Oregon, Arkansas, Georgia, USC and Texas took the top five spots in the women’s rankings. Florida, Oregon, LSU, Arkansas and Syracuse lead the men’s poll.

Husker Veterans, Newcomers Display Talent at Intrasquad Meet
The Nebraska track and field team held its annual Intrasquad meet on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center Indoor Track. The white team topped the red team with a final score of 142.5 to 133.5.

Tierra Williams tied the meet record in the triple jump, winning the event with a mark of 42-6 1/4 (12.96m). Freshman Isaiah Griffith, from Detroit, Michigan, won both the long jump and triple jump with personal bests. Griffith jumped 24-2 1/4 (7.37m) in the long jump and 49-9 1/4 (15.17m) in the triple jump in his Husker debut.

Antoine Lloyd earned a victory in the 60m hurdles race with a time of 7.81 for the white squad, just shy of the meet record. In field event action, Nick Coghill threw the shot put a personal-best 56-6 3/4 (17.24m) to win the event.

Percy Receives Votes for The Bowerman Award Preseason Watch List
Nebraska junior thrower Nick Percy received votes for The Bowerman Award Preseason Watch List released by the USTFCCCA in early January. The award is presented annually each summer to the top track and field student-athlete in the nation. Percy won the NCAA discus title last June and was also the Big Ten champion in the event.

Pepin Still Going Strong at the Helm for the Huskers
In his 37th season as head coach at Nebraska, Gary Pepin continues to lead the Huskers to individual and team success. Pepin was named both the Big Ten Men’s Indoor and Outdoor Coach of the Year in 2016. It marked Pepin’s 27th conference coach-of-the-year honor since 1997, when the Huskers started competing in the Big 12. The 2016 Big Ten men’s outdoor title was Pepin’s 72nd career conference title and 30th outdoors. The all-time winningest track and field coach in Big 12 and Big Eight history, Pepin is the longest tenured active coach in Cornhusker athletics and among Big Ten track and field programs. Since Nebraska joined the Big Ten Conference in 2011-12, Pepin’s teams have won five Big Ten championships. Individually, Huskers have captured 44 Big Ten event titles, including nine in 2016. Pepin has been honored as the USTFCCCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year 10 times in his career, including the men’s outdoor honor in 2016.

Huskers Hold Record Dual Meet Win Streak
The Husker men have won 15 consecutive dual/tri/quad meets dating back to 2001, the longest streak in the NCAA per DailyRelay.com. In that span, the Huskers have defeated 38 opponents.

Huskers Name Five Team Captains
The Nebraska track and field program has five captains for the 2017 season: seniors Jake Bender, Sarah Firestone and Tierra Williams, and juniors Kaiwan Culmer and Nick Percy.

MORE NEWS

More News Sponsor - First National Bank

TICKETS

Tickets Sponsor - StubHub