Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Announce 10 Talented Newcomers

By NU Athletic Communications

LINCOLN, Neb. - The Nebraska track and field program announced the signing of 10 student-athletes during the fall National Letter of Intent signing period on Thursday, Nov. 17. 

Five men and five women comprise the Husker class. Nine of the 10 will join the Huskers for the 2017-18 season, while one will enroll this January and compete in the upcoming season.

The Huskers searched far and wide for talent and the result was four different countries and five different states represented in the class. Cody Mroczek, a Columbus Scotus product, will join the Husker program next year. Mroczek is a two-time Class B 400-meter state champion and also won the long jump title in 2016.

Three international prospects will also look to make a big impact on the program. Burger Lambrechts Jr., a thrower from South Africa, is the son of two-time Olympic shot putter and three-time African champion Burger Lambrechts Sr. On the women's side, Lara Omerzu is a talented high jumper from Slovenia with the potential to do combined events for the Huskers. And Michaela Peskova, from Slovakia, is the lone signee set to join the Huskers for the upcoming season. She took fifth in the 400-meter hurdles at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Poland this summer. 

They join Travis Anderson (hurdles, Edwardsville, Illinois), Bryce Barrett (sprints, Church Hill, Tennessee), Makiyah Smallwood (combined events, Michigan City, Indiana), Anavia Battle (sprints, Inkster, Michigan), Erika Freyhof (distance, Hamilton, Michigan) and Maddie Holland (pole vault, Madison, Indiana). 

"We're very pleased with this class of student-athletes," recruiting coordinator Matt Martin said. "We were able to fill a variety of events with people whom we feel have great potential to score at both the Big Ten Championships and NCAA Championships. We're excited to have them on board."

Men
Travis Anderson, Hurdles, Edwardsville, Ill.
Attends Edwardsville High School in Edwardsville, Illinois...was the 2016 Illinois state champion in the 110m hurdles...set personal bests of 13.59 in the 110m hurdles and 38.01 in the 300m hurdles.

Bryce Barrett, Sprints, Church Hill, Tenn.
Attends Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, Tennessee...won the 2016 Tennessee state title in the 400m...set a 200m personal best of 21.99 and 400m personal best of 47.83...was an all-state selection in both football and track. 

Burger Lambrechts Jr., Throws, Republic of South Africa
Placed eighth in the shot put at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships in Poland...in 2015, finished fourth in the shot put at the IAAF World Youth Championships...set a 5 kilo shot put best of 68-9 3/4 (20.97m), the fourth-best throw in the world for his age group...also ranked fourth in the world in the 1.5 kilo discus with a mark of 208-5 (63.52m)...set a 6 kilo shot put PR of 64-10 1/2 (19.77m) and a 1.75 kilo discus PR of 187-8 (57.20m)...comes from strong bloodlines as his father, Burger Sr., was a two-time Olympic shot putter and three-time African champion.

Cody Mroczek, Sprints/Jumps/Combined Events, Columbus, Neb.
Attends Scotus Central Catholic High School in Columbus, Nebraska...won the 2016 Class B state 400m and long jump titles and was second in the 200m...also won the 400m state title as a sophomore...set personal bests of 48.9 in the 400m and 22-7 (6.88m) in the long jump.

Makiyah Smallwood, Combined Events, Michigan City, Ind.
Attends Michigan City High School in Michigan City, Indiana...won the 110m hurdles title at the Indiana state championships...set a personal best of 14.11 in the 110m hurdles and 6-4 (1.93m) in the high jump.

Women
Anavia Battle, Sprints, Inkster, Mich.
Attends Wayne Memorial High School in Wayne, Michigan...was an all-conference selection in the 100m and the regional champion in the 100m and 200m...finished second at the Michigan Division 1 state meet in the 200m...set personal bests of 11.90 in the 100m and 23.93 in the 200m.

Erika Freyhof, Distance, Hamilton, Mich.
Attends Hamilton High School in Hamilton, Michigan...won the Michigan Division 2 cross country title as a junior and finished third as a senior...ran the cross country 5K in a personal-best 17:29.0...set PRs in the 1,600m (5:06.64) and 3,200m (10:53.88)...was an all-state and all-conference selection...also named to the academic all-state team...brother, Mark, is a member of the Husker track and field and cross country teams.

Maddie Holland, Pole Vault, Madison, Ind.
Attends Madison Consolidated High School in Madison, Indiana...was the Indiana state runner-up in the pole vault as a sophomore and junior...set a personal best of 13-1 (3.98m). 

Lara Omerzu, High Jump/Combined Events, Slovenia
A talented high jumper from Slovenia, recorded a personal best of 6-0 3/4 (1.85m)...also holds PRs of 18-6 1/2 (5.65m) in the long jump and 5,250 in the heptathlon...finished 12th in the high jump at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships.

Michaela Peskova, Sprints/Hurdles, Slovakia
A native of Slovakia, will enroll at Nebraska in January and compete in the 2017 season...finished fifth in the 400m hurdles at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships...set personal bests of 54.89 in the 400m, 58.02 in the 400m hurdles and 2:11.19 in the 800m.

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