Huskers Finish Second, Third at Big Ten Championships
Geneva, Ohio- The 2014 Big Ten Indoor Championships came to a close on Saturday afternoon at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. The Huskers completed the two days of competition with four individual champions and a new school record.
Nebraska was in a battle from the very beginning as the team competition came down to the final event. The men finished in second with 118 points, while the women were third with 92 points. Penn State won the women’s title with 114.50 points, while Michigan was second with 104 points. Wisconsin took home the men’s title with 122.50 points, while Penn State was third with 72 points.
Oladapo Akinmoladun provided the early highlights on the track for the Huskers. The sophomore from Grandview, Mo., won the men’s 60-meter hurdles with a personal-best time of 7.61. His time broke the Nebraska record of 7.67 set by Lehann Fourie in 2010. It also set a SPIRE Institute and Big Ten Championships meet record. His time is first in the NCAA entering this weekend and gave him his first conference title at Nebraska. Tibor Koroknai also finished eighth in the event, crossing the finish line in 7.96.
Levi Gipson earned the victory in the men’s 600 meters, with a stellar performance and a season-best time of 1:17.07. The win marked the first individual conference title for the native from Lincoln. London Hawk also earned a spot on the podium with a personal-best time of 1:17.41.
Nebraska continued to excel in the jumps on Saturday as Travis Englund took home the conference title in the men’s high jump. He earned his first conference crown with a personal-best leap of 7-0 ½ (2.15). Gus Gehlen followed Englund’s lead as he finished sixth with a mark of 6-8 ¾ (2.05). In the women’s high jump, Marusa Cernjul tallied a third-place finish as she posted a leap 5-8 ½ (1.74). Jillanna Scanlan followed her lead with a fourth-place finish on the same height, tying her season-best mark.
Ellie Ewere notched a runner-up finish in the women’s triple jump. She posted a leap of 42-0 ½ (12.81) to lead NU on the day, while Anna Weigandt finished fourth overall with a season-best mark of 41-2 ½ (12.56) and Mollie Gribbin was seventh with a personal-best jump of 41-0 ½ (12.51). Devandrew Johnson came in seventh in the men’s triple jump as he recorded a leap of 49-11 ¼ (15.22). In the women’s weight throw, Veronica Grizzle tallied a fifth-place finish with a throw of 63-3 ¼ (19.28).
The Huskers showed early fight on the track as Chantal Duncan came in second in the women’s 200 meters with a personal-best time of 54.06. On the men’s side, Ricco Hall came in fifth with a season-best time of 47.05, Cody Rush was sixth with a time of 47.06 and Jake Bender was seventh with a personal-best time of 47.33. Trevor Vidlak notched a top-five finish in the men’s mile with a fourth-place standing a time of 4:16.51. Jacob Holtmeier scored for NU in the men’s 800 meters as he finished eighth with a time of 1:51.64.
The Husker women finished second and third in the 600 meters, highlighting another solid performance by NU in the event. Shawnice Williams finished as runner-up with a personal-best time of 1:26.98, while Ellie Grooters was third with a personal-best time of 1:27.89. Both Williams’ and Grooters’ times were SPIRE facility records, while Williams also recorded a Big Ten meet record.
In the men’s 200 meters, Ricco Hall and Dexter McKenzie again showed the Huskers’ strength on the track as Hall finished third with a season-best time of 21.06 that also set a Big Ten meet record. McKenzie finished fourth with a season-best time of 21.17. Tim Thompson and Mara Weekes both competed in the men’s and women’s 60 meters finals, respectively. Thompson came in eighth with a time of 6.88, while Weekes was ninth with a time of 7.56.
The women’s 4x400-meter relay team of Mara Weekes, Ellie Grooters, Shawnice Williams and Chantal Duncan tallied a runner-up finish with a time of 3:35.80. The men’s team of Jake Bender, Levi Gipson, Drew Wiseman and Cody Rush also finished second, posting a time of 3:07.72.
The Big Ten Network will air tape-delay coverage of the Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships at 9:30 a.m. CT on Saturday, March 8.
Final Team Standings
Men- 2nd (118 points)
Women- 3rd (92 points)
Big Ten Champions
Oladapo Akinmoladun- 60-Meter Hurdles
Travis Englund- High Jump
Levi Gipson- 600 meters
Patrick Raedler- Long Jump