The Nebraska track and field team continues its outdoor season at the Tom Botts Invitational in Columbia, Missouri on Friday and Saturday at Audrey J. Walton Stadium. Friday’s events will begin at 4:30 p.m., and Saturday’s action begins at 11:30 a.m. Live results will be available at PTTiming.com. The men will be competing against Missouri, Northern Iowa and Saint Louis. The women will be competing against those three schools in addition to Missouri State.
Meanwhile, Nebraska’s long jumpers will head to Wichita, Kansas for the KT Woodman Classic. They will compete on Saturday at Noon.
The Husker men are ranked 16th in this week’s USTFCCCA Rankings, while the women are 22nd. The Nebraska men remain at No. 1 in the Track and Field News Dual Meet Rankings, and the women are No. 5.
About the Huskers
• Nick Percy is the reigning national champion in the discus. This year, Percy’s best throw is 196-3 (59.82m). He ranks No. 3 in NU history in the event and is the school-record holder in the hammer throw.
• Cody Walton broke Nebraska’s decathlon school record with 7,937 points at the Spec Towns Invitational on April 8-9. Walton was the Big Ten heptathlon champion in the indoor season.
• Mike McCann cleared 7-2 1/2 (2.20m) in the high jump at the Husker Spring Invite. It was a personal best for the junior by three inches and ranks tied for eighth in school history.
• Kaiwan Culmer was the Huskers’ only indoor All-American this year, finishing sixth in the triple jump. Culmer was an outdoor All-American in the event last year after finishing eighth.
• Tierra Williams ranks in the top 15 nationally in both the triple jump and long jump. Williams was a four-time All-American in the horizontal jumps in 2016 and was the runner-up in both events at the Big Ten Indoor Championships this year.
• Brittni Wolczyk and Sarah Firestone both rank in the top 25 nationally in the javelin. They were second-team All-Americans last year and lead a strong event for the Husker women.
Walton, Williams Win Big Ten Weekly Awards
Cody Walton and Tierra Williams received Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week honors on April 12. Walton broke Nebraska’s decathlon school record with a personal-best 7,937 points to finish third at the Spec Towns Invitational in Athens, Georgia on April 8-9. He topped his previous personal best by more than 300 points. Williams won the triple jump and long jump at the Husker Spring Invitational. She posted a triple jump of 43-7 1/4 (13.29m), then the No. 1 mark in the Big Ten and No. 7 mark nationally. Her long jump of 20-7 1/4 (6.28m) was the second-best mark in the Big Ten and the 13th-best mark nationally. Williams collected her third-career Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week accolade.
Outdoor Season Preview: Nebraska Men
The Husker men will look to build off a stellar 2016 outdoor season, which saw them win the Big Ten Outdoor Championship and finish 10th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, their best finish since 2003. Junior thrower Nick Percy will lead the way after capturing the NCAA and Big Ten titles in the discus last year while also breaking the school record in the hammer throw. Junior Kaiwan Culmer was a first-team All-American in the triple jump last year and was the Huskers’ only All-American this indoor season. The men’s 4x400-meter relay has earned first-team All-America finishes at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at two of the last three meets. After winning the Big Ten outdoor title last year, the Huskers will look for their first back-to-back outdoor conference titles since 2009 and 2010 in the Big 12. Nebraska has finished in the top three at all five Big Ten Outdoor Championships its competed in since joining the conference in 2012.
Outdoor Season Preview: Nebraska Women
The Husker women finished third at last year’s Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Senior Tierra Williams won both the long and triple jump titles at last year’s Big Ten meet and was a first-team All-American in the triple jump. Junior Reka Czuth was the outdoor high jump champion at the Big Ten meet, and the Husker women will be strong in the javelin where second-team All-Americans Brittni Wolczyk and Sarah Firestone return. The duo finished second and third, respectively, at last year’s Big Ten Outdoor Championships, and Danie Plank was fourth, giving the Huskers 19 team points in the event. The NU women have finished in the top three at the outdoor conference meet in 34 of Gary Pepin’s 36 years as head coach of the women’s program.
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 45 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 18 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 47 opponents. The Big Red is ranked No. 1 in the latest Track and Field News dual-meet rankings with a perfect 9-0 record this season. The NU women are ranked fifth with an 8-1 record.
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.