Huskers Host 34th Annual Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska Track and Field Meet Day Information

 34th Annual Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational
 Friday, Feb. 6 - Saturday, Feb. 7 (Noon / 9:30 a.m.)
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Lincoln - The Devaney Center Indoor Track will be full of excitement on Friday, Feb. 6, and Saturday, Feb. 7, as six top-20 teams will be in Lincoln for the 34th Annual Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational. Annually, the meet brings in the top track and field teams in the nation because of its great facilities, competition, crowd, hospitality and a dedicated Nebraska track and field officials association. Track and Field News has recognized the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational as one of the top collegiate track and field meets in the United States. The meet attracts more than 7,300 spectators and athletes over two days.


The 34th annual invitational will include squads from Michigan, UTEP, Rice, Arizona, UCLA, Saint Louis, Colorado State, Iowa State, Drake, Barton County CC, Appalachian State, Oklahoma Baptist, Cloud County CC, Oklahoma City University, Neosho County CC, Nebraska-Kearney, Butler County CC, Southwest Baptist University, Colby CC, Wayne State College, Concordia University, South Dakota State, Ottawa University, Lincoln University and Pittsburg State.


The meet is set to start on Friday, Feb. 6, at Noon with the men’s heptathlon 60-meter dash and will continue on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. with the women’s pentathlon 60-meter hurdles. Live results will be available at, while a full schedule of events can be found on page five of the notes.


Looking Back at the 2008 Sevigne

The 2008 Sevigne saw several champions from 13 different schools, with Nebraska winning a meet best 11 events. In addition the competition garnered 38 NCAA provisional-qualifying marks and four NCAA automatic-qualifying marks. Meet record and Devaney Center Indoor Track record also fell in the men’s heptathlon. Darius Draudvila, formerly of Kansas State, competing unattached, scored 5,878 points in the heptathlon. Draudvila’s score was only two points higher than previous Devaney Center record holder Donovan Kilmartin of Texas, who set the record in 2006.


The first Frank Sevigne Husker Invite was held in 1974, as Nebraska hosted Colorado State and Brigham Young. The following year, the meet was officially named the Husker Invitational. The event included only four men’s teams that competed in the shot put, long jump, mile run, 60-yard dash, 600-yard dash, high jump, 440-yard dash, 60-yard high hurdles, triple jump, two-mile run, 1,000-yard run, 880-yard run, pole vault, 60-yard low hurdles and the mile relay. The 1979 Husker Invite was the first to include female participants.


NU Out of the Blocks (Men - No. 16 / Women - No. 20)

2009 NCAA Qualifiers -  13 (8-Men / 5-Women)

   Men - Scott Wims (200 Meters), Lukas Hulett (400 Meters),

            Lehann Fourie (60 Hurdles), Kirkland Thornton (60 Hurdles),

            Seth Burney (Pole Vault), Paul Hamilton (High Jump),

            Chris Phipps (Triple Jump), Nicholas Gordon (Triple Jump)

   Women - Arna Erega (60 Hurdles), Epley Bullock (High Jump),

            Chantae McMillan (Long Jump), Natalie Willer (Pole Vault),

            Kacie Sharp (Shot Put)

Big 12 Conference Leaders -  3 (1-Men / 2-Women)

      Men - Lehann Fourie (60 Hurdles)

      Women - Natalie Willer (Pole Vault), Natalja Callahan (1,000 Meters)

Division I Top 10 -  9 (6-Men / 3-Women)

      Men - Scott Wims (200 Meters - t-8th), Lukas Hulett (400 Meters - 3rd),

               Lehann Fourie (60 Hurdles - 4th), Kirkland Thornton (60 Hurdles - 6th),

               Paul Hamilton (High Jump - t-9th), Seth Burney (Pole Vault - 8th),

      Women - Natalie Willer (Pole Vault - 2nd), Epley Bullock (High Jump - 4th),

               Kacie Sharp (Shot Put - t-9th)

Big 12 Athlete of the Week -  1 (1-Women)

      Women - Natalie Willer (1/20/09)


Scouting the 2009 Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational

- Arizona (Men - No. 17 / Women - No. 14)

2009 NCAA Qualifiers

   Jr. Elizabeth Patterson: Women’s High Jump - 6-2 (automatic)

      NCAA Ranking - No. 2

   Jr. Jasmin Day: Women’s High Jump - 5-11 1/4 (provisional)

      NCAA Ranking - Tied for No. 7

   Jr. Gabriella Dudos: Women’s Pole Vault - 13-10 (automatic)

      NCAA Ranking - No. 4

   So. Jacquelyn Perrymann: Women’s Pole Vault - 12-11 1/2 (provisional)

      NCAA Ranking - Tied for No. 20

   Sr. Megan Howard: Women’s Shot Put - 51-4 1/2 (provisional)

      NCAA Ranking - No. 13

   Sr. Shevell Quinley: Women’s Pentathlon - 3,864 (provisional)

      NCAA Ranking - No. 9

   Sr. Bobby McCoy: Men’s 400 Meters - 47.06 (provisional)

      NCAA Ranking - No. 7

   Sr. Nick Mossberg: Men’s Pole Vault - 17-7 1/4 (provisional)

      NCAA Ranking - No. 4

   Sr. Luis Rivera-Morales: Men’s Triple Jump - 51-8 1/2 (provisional)

      NCAA Ranking - No. 13

   Sr. Zack Lloyd: Men’s Shot Put - 68-1 3/4 (automatic)

      NCAA Ranking - No. 1

   So. Korion Morris: Men’s Shot Put - 58-4 (provisional)

      NCAA Ranking - No. 18

- Rice (Men - NR / Women - NR)

2009 NCAA Qualifiers

   Jr. - Jason Colwick: Men’s Pole Vault - 17-8 1/2 (provisional) 

      NCAA Ranking - No. 3 | C-USA Ranking - No. 1

- Iowa State (Men - NR / Women - NR)

2009 NCAA Qualifiers

   Jr. - Lisa Koll: Women’s 3,000 Meters (automatic)

      NCAA Ranking - No. 3 | Big 12 Ranking - No. 2

   Sr. - Zac Brouillette: Men’s Weight Throw - 65-4 1/4 (provisional)

      NCAA Ranking - No. 17 | Big 12 Ranking - No. 3

- Michigan Men (No.  18)

2009 NCAA Qualifiers

   Sr. - Adam Harris: Men’s 60 Meters - 6.71 (provisional)

       NCAA Ranking - Tied for No. 11 | Big 10 Ranking - No. 2

   Sr. - Justin Switzer: Men’s Mile - 4:01.77 (provisional)

      NCAA Ranking - No. 9 | Big 10 Ranking - No. 1

   Jr. - Sean McNamara: Men’s Mile - 4:03.25 (provisional)

      NCAA Ranking - No. 13 | Big 10 Ranking - No. 2

   Jr. - Sean Pruitt: Men’s Weight Throw - 69-4 (provisional)

      NCAA Ranking - Big 10 Ranking - No. 1

- Colorado State (Men - NR / Women - NR)

2009 NCAA Qualifiers

   Sr. - Alex Godell: Men’s Weight Throw - 65-5 (provisional) 

      NCAA Ranking - No. 15 | Mountain West Ranking - No. 3

- Appalachian State (Men - NR / Women - NR)

2009 NCAA Qualifiers

   Sr. - Mark Sturgis: Men’s Triple Jump - 50-11 (provisional) 

      NCAA Ranking - Tied for No. 24 | SoCoN Ranking - No. 1

- UCLA (Men - NR / Women - NR)

2009 NCAA Qualifiers

   So. - Cory Primm: Men’s 800 Meters - 1:50.17 (provisional) 

      NCAA Ranking - No. 11

   Men’s DMR - 9:37.95 (provisional) 

      NCAA Ranking - No. 4

   So. - Johnny Quinn: Men’s Pole Vault - 17-7 (provisional) 

      NCAA Ranking - No. 6

   Sr. - Dustin DeLeo: Men’s Pole Vault - 17-1 (provisional) 

      NCAA Ranking - Tied for No. 13

   So. - Bo Taylor: Men’s Shot Put - 59-9 1/2 (provisional) 

      NCAA Ranking - No. 9

   So. - Nick Robinson: Men’s Shot Put - 59-4 3/4 (provisional) 

      NCAA Ranking - No. 13

   Sr. - Boldizsar Kocsor: Men’s Weight Throw - 68-5 (provisional) 

      NCAA Ranking - No. 7

- UTEP (Men - NR / Women - No. 21)

2009 NCAA Qualifiers

   So. - Dimitrios Fylladitakis: Men’s Weight Throw - 66-61/2 (provisional) 

      NCAA Ranking - No. 10 | C-USA Ranking - No. 2

- Saint Louis (Men - NR / Women - NR)

      No 2009 NCAA Qualifiers

- Drake (Men - NR / Women - NR)

      No 2009 NCAA Qualifiers


High-Flyin’ Husker

Two-time NCAA indoor All-American Epley Bullock has been dominant as ever in 2009, posting wins at all three meets she has competed in during the 2009 indoor season. The Allen, Texas, native cleared NCAA provisional-qualifying heights of 5-10 and 5-10 3/4 at the first two meets of the year, before busting out with a lifetime-best jump of 6-0 3/4 at the adidas Classic on Jan. 31, automatically qualifying her for the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships in College State, Texas.


Bullock, who won the 2008 Big 12 Indoor Championship in the high jump, is ranked No. 4 in Division I and No. 2 in the Big 12 Conference, trailing Division I leader Destinee Hooker, who has cleared 6-3 1/4 on the season.


Down the Stretch, Hulett Pulls Away

Nebraska junior Lukas Hulett showed why he is one of the top 400-meter runners in the county at the adidas Classic with a personal-best time of 46.75. Hulett trailed second-place sprinter Gakologelwang Masheto of Illinois until the final curve, where Hulett turned it on and sprinted to a seventh-tenths of a second victory.


The Bellevue, Neb., native had already provisionally qualified at the Conference Challenge with a time of 47.17, moved to No. 3 in Division I and No. 2 in the Big 12, trailing Gil Roberts of Texas Tech (46.59).


Last season, Hulett became the first Husker on the men’s side to earn NCAA All-America honors in the 400 meters indoors and outdoors in the same season and was the first Husker to achieve the feat since 1993 when Shanelle Porter won the indoor national title and finished fourth at the outdoor championships.


In just two seasons, Hulett has won 10 medals at the Big 12 Championships, including third-place finishes in the 400 meters at the indoor and outdoor championships in 2008.


Wims Back on Track

After a sophomore season that was riddled with injury, Scott Wims is returning to his 2007 NCAA All-American form. Wims put his name on the NCAA provisional-qualifying list in the 200 meters at the adidas Classic with a personal-best matching time of 21.20 (oversized best – 21.06). Wims’ time ties him for No. 8 spot in Division I and the No. 4 spot in the Big 12.


Hurdling the Competition

Nebraska sophomore Lehann Fourie continues to cut time in the 60-meter hurdles as the South African native makes a push to the NCAA Indoor Championships. Fourie provisionally qualified at the Holiday Inn Invitational with a time of 7.89, then ran a personal best of 7.79 at the Conference Challenge, followed by a PR of 7.78 in the prelims of the adidas Classic.


Fourie, who ranks No. 3 in Division I and No. 1 in the Big 12 Conference, wants to make sure he reaches the NCAA Indoor Championships in 2009, after he was the first athlete left out of the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships field, with a time of 7.80.


Fourie is joined on the national list by senior teammate Kirkland Thornton, who ran a personal best of 7.80 at the adidas Classic, ranking him No. 6 in Division I.


Danish Dynamo

NCAA All-American and Nebraska junior Dan Christensen briefly held the Danish under-23 indoor record in the 400 meters with his time of 47.55 at the adidas Classic on Saturday, Jan. 31. Christensen, who is half Danish, broke Jacob Riis’ mark, before Riis came back to tie the record in Torino, Italy on Tuesday, Feb. 3.


Christensen and Riis are now only .17 seconds away from the Danish all-time indoor mark of 47.38, held by Christian Birk (2001). Christensen’s time qualifies him for the European Indoor Championships in Torino in March.


The Home of High Jumping

Jumps Coach Gary Pepin is once again on top of his game as he has four men and three women in the top 10 on the Big 12 performance list.


On the men’s side, the Big Red is led by NCAA provisional-qualifier Paul Hamilton (7-1 1/2), who ranks third in the Big 12. Hamilton is joined by No. 6 John Ottun (6-10 3/4), No. 7 Sam Haase (6-10 1/4) and No. 9 Brandon Sheppard (6-9 1/4).


The Husker women are led by two-time All-American Epley Bullock, who is ranked second in the conference with a leap of 6-0 3/4. Bullock is joined by fellow Texan Audrey Svane, who has cleared 5-9 1/4 and is ranked No. 3. Newcomer Lorena Menghia rounds out the list tied for No. 7, with a leap of 5-7 1/4.


Huskers Sign Top 800-Meter Prep

Otsego High School product Tommy Brinn joins the Huskers as an accomplished 800-meter runner, posting a personal best of 1:51.07 at the 2008 Midwest Distance Gala in Lisle, Ill. As a junior in 2008, Brinn’s time was the top prep time in Michigan, while ranking No. 22 among prep runners nationally and ranking him No. 7 in the country among returning 2009 preps.


At the MHSAA LP Division 2 Championships, Brinn set the finals meet record in the 800 with a winning time of 1:51.76 in 2008. Brinn, who chose Nebraska over Tennessee, Michigan and Indiana, went on to finish 16th at the 2008 Nike Outdoor Championships in the 800 with a time of 1:54.25.


Vaulting Through the Record Books

Sophomore Natalie Willer has now broken four pole vaulting records in the last three meets she has competed in. The Elkhorn, Neb., native started the 2009 season on a high note as she broke the NU indoor record in the pole vault with a leap of 13-9 3/4 at the Holiday Inn Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 17, breaking Jenny Green’s 2004 record of 13-9 1/4. However, Willer did not let the mark stand long, as she raised the bar with a vault of 14-0 at the Big 12 vs. Mountain West - Conference Challenge just one week later.


An NCAA automatic qualifier, Willer’s new mark moved her from No. 3 to No. 2 in the Division I, trailing Minnesota’s Alicia Rue, who has vaulted 14-4. Willer also extended her lead on the Big 12 performance list to over a foot, as she is the only vaulter on the women’s side to clear 13 feet. Willer is trailed in the Big 12 by sophomore Laura Asimakis of Texas A&M, who has vaulted 12-8 3/4.


Going back to last season, breaking records is nothing new for Willer. She ended the 2008 season at the USATF National Junior Olympics, where she shattered the national youth and meet records with a vault of 13-9 3/4. Along with breaking Kira Costa’s 2003 national youth record of 13-5 1/4 by four and one-half inches, Willer demolished the meet record by over a foot, with the previous mark being set by Melissa Gergel, who vaulted 12-9 1/2 in 2007.


World Class Athletes

The 2009 season has started well for the Nebraska track and field team, with its early success partially due to the team’s young talent. The Huskers boast four athletes that rank in the top 35 in their respective event on the under-20 world indoor list, including the world’s No. 1 under-20 pole vaulter, sophomore Natalie Willer, who has vaulted 14-0 in 2009. Willer is joined in the pole vault by sophomore Rachel Birtles, who ranks No. 31 with a vault of 12-5 1/2. The Husker women are rounded out by the world’s No. 7 60-meter hurdler, Humble, Texas, native Karyn LaCour (8.44). The Husker men have welcomed Lodi, N.J., native Chris Phipps, who in just his third collegiate meet jumped an NCAA provisional-qualifying mark of 50-11 in the triple jump, ranking the freshman No. 11 on the under-20 list.


Big 12 Leaders

The Nebraska track and field team currently holds to the top spot in the three events on the Big 12 performance list. Lehann Fourie (7.78) holds the top time in the men’s 60-meter hurdles, while Natalie Willer (14-0) has the women’s pole vault locked down and Natalja Callahan (2:49.52) is the conference’s top 1,000-meter runner.


Overall, the Huskers have at least one athlete in the top 10 in 27 of the 38 combined men’s and women’s events. However, the Huskers are yet to compete in the men’s and women’s distance-medley relay, men’s heptathlon and women’s pentathlon.


Conference Challenge = No Challenge for Big Red

For the third straight year the Big 12 Conference showed its dominance over the Mountain West Conference with a 249-118 win at the Big 12 vs. Mountain West – Conference Challenge. The Huskers ran well on their home track, winning 19 of the 34 events, contributing a meet-high 146 points to the Big 12 squad of Nebraska, Kansas State and Missouri. The Mountain West team of Air Force, Colorado State and Wyoming was unable to stop the Big 12 from winning its third straight meeting between the two conferences. The Big 12 has won all three meetings between the two conferences, with scores of 223-144 in 2007 and 224-145 in 2008.


Big Red Aims to Hit Century Mark at College Station

With a conference title in 2009 at the Big 12 Indoor Championships on Feb. 28 at College Station, Texas, the Nebraska track and field team will hit the century mark in conference team titles. The Huskers have been the most dominant team in conference history over the past 111 years, totaling 99 team titles and 827 individual titles. In the Big 12 alone, the Huskers have won 143 individual titles and a league-best 20 team titles in the 12-year history of the conference.


Pepin Primed for 2009

Nebraska Head Coach Gary Pepin returns in 2009 for his 29th season as the head coach of the women’s team and his 26th season as the head coach of both the men’s and women’s programs. In 2008, Pepin tied Frank Sevigne as the longest tenured head coach in the history of the Nebraska program, and Pepin is still at the top of his game for coaching athletes to the highest levels of competition.


Of the seven NCAA All-America honors brought home by Huskers in 2008, three were personally trained by Pepin in the jumps area, including eight-time All-American Dusty Jonas, who won the 2008 indoor high jump national championship and went on to earn a spot on Team USA at the 2008 Beijing Games. Overall, Pepin sent seven jumpers to the NCAA Championships, including two true freshmen in Nicholas Gordon (long jump) and Paul Hamilton (high jump).


Multi-Event ‘U’

Husker women Megan Wheatley (junior/sophomore), Chantae McMillan (sophomore/junior) and Rachel Butler (sophomore) make up one of the toughest multi-event groups in not just the Big 12 Conference, but in the nation. All three scored at both the indoor and outdoor Big 12 Championships, Wheatley won the 2008 outdoor conference heptathlon title and both Wheatley and McMillan competed at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the heptathlon.


The trio will have high expectations in 2009 as Wheatley was recovering from injury during the 2008 indoor season, but still managed to post an NCAA-automatic qualifying score and finish second at the indoor conference meet in the pentathlon. Butler, just a freshman, was adjusting to college competition and McMillan was in her first year as a multi-eventer after qualifying for 2007 NCAA Outdoor Championship in the long jump.


In 2009 the Big Red will look to continue its dominance at the conference meets, where it has won four straight outdoor heptathlon titles and two of the past four indoor pentathlon crowns, adding an indoor national title in the pentathlon by Ashley Selig in 2005.


The group will get its first shot at the pentathlon at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational on Friday, Feb. 6 - Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Devaney Center Indoor Track.


Huskers Add Three at Semester

The Nebraska track and field team added three athletes to the 2009 squad prior to the spring semester with the additions of Nandi Meyer (middle distance), Björn Barrefors (multis) and Lorena Mengia (high jump).


Lorena Menghia - Fr./So., Isai, Romania (Athletic High School / Jacksonville State)

A native of Iasi, Romania, Lorena Menghia (pronounced laur-AA-nah Men-GEE-uh) transferred to Nebraska after one season at Jacksonville State in Jacksonville, Ala., where she was the 2008 Ohio Valley Conference champion in the outdoor high jump with a clearance of 5-6. Menghia set the outdoor school record earlier in the 2008 season with a personal-best outdoor leap of 5-8 3/4 at the Coach O Invitational in Troy, Ala. She placed third in the triple jump at the outdoor conference meet with a school-record and personal-best leap of 40-3 1/4. Menghia cleared a lifetime best in the high jump at the 2006 Romanian indoor championships in Bucuresti, Romania, with a jump of 6-0 1/2 to finish runner-up, ranking her No. 12 on the under-20 world indoor list. She cleared an outdoor personal best of 5-10 3/4 four times between 2005 and 2007, ranking her No. 22 in the world on the outdoor under-18 list in 2005, while ranking No. 48 in 2006 and No. 54 in 2007 on the under-20 world outdoor list.


Björn Barrefors - Fr., Skara, Västergötland, Sweden (Teknikum)

Björn Barrefors (pronounced Ba-YUHORN BAR-eh-FORSH) joined Nebraska after winning the 2008 Swedish senior championship in the indoor heptathlon (personal-best score of 5,577) and outdoor decathlon after finishing third in both events the previous year. Barrefors posted a personal-best decathlon score of 7,405 at the 2008 European Cup in Jyväskylä, Finland, to finish seventh. He ranked No. 14 on the under-20 world list in 2006 with a decathlon score of 7,012, while also finishing 11th in the junior decathlon at the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships in Beijing, China, with a score of 7,332.


Nandi Meyer - Fr., Kempton Park, Guateng, South Africa (Kempton Park)

Nandi (pronounced NAHN-dee) Meyer joins Nebraska as a middle distance runner from Kempton Park, Guateng, South Africa, South Africa, where she broke onto the track and field scene in 2005 with the top South African under-16 times in the 800 (2:10.16) and 1,500 (4:28.78) meters, also ranking No. 10 on the under-16 world list in the 800 meters and No. 11 in the 1,500 meters in 2005. Meyer posted a personal-best 800-meter time of 2:08.10 in 2006, ranking No. 1 on the South African under-18 list and No. 34 in the world, while running a personal-best 400 meters in Sasolburg, Free State, South Africa, to rank No. 3 on the South African under-18 list in 2006. She recorded 2007 season bests of 56.39 in the 400 meters and 2:08.9 in the 800 meters in Germiston, Gauteng, South Africa, ranking No. 3 in both events on the 2007 South African under-18 list and No. 41 on the 800-meter under-18 world list. Meyer competed in the 800 meters at the 2005 IAAF World Youth Championships in Marrakech, Morocco, and the 2007 championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic.


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