NCAA Round-Up: Big Ten student-athletes earned 15 top-eight finishes at the 2014 Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., from March 14-15, en route to All-America honors. The Big Ten took home eight top-8 finishes on Day 1 of the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships highlighted by four student-athletes earning All-America honors in the weight throw, including a first-place finish. Wisconsin's Michael Lihrman took home the weight throw crown with a toss of 23.25 meters, while Purdue's Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, Michigan State's Antonio James and Penn State's Will Barr in third (22.49m), fourth (22.42m) and eighth (21.26m), respectively. Northwestern's Emmanuel Williams placed fourth in the long jump (7.80m), while Nebraska's Patrick Raedler followed in fifth (7.77m). Wisconsin's Reed Connor took eighth in the 5,000-meter run (14:09.20), while Indiana's distance medley relay team of Jordan Gornall, Derrick Morgan, Tre'tez Kinnaird and Rorey Hunter placed third (9:41.23). The Big Ten recorded seven top eight finishes on the final day of the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. Nebraska's 4x400-meter relay squad of Ricco Hall, Cody Rush, Drew Wiseman and Levi Gipson ran to a second-place finish in 3:05.25, while Wisconsin's Zach Ziemek placed fifth in the heptathlon (5913). Minnesota's John Simons and Penn State's Steve Waite took sixth in the 3000-meter run (8:14.40) and triple jump (15.81 meters), respectively. Three student-athletes took home seventh-place finishes, including Ohio State's Donovan Robertson in the 60-meter hurdles (7.69), Penn State's Za'Von Watkins in the 800-meter run (1:50.25) and Wisconsin's Danny Block in the shot put (19.40 meters). For more on the NCAA Championships, click HERE.
Regional Recognition: Five schools collected regional awards from the USTFCCCA, it was announced on March 10. Student-athletes and coaches from Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin earned recognition in three different regions: Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. The Big Ten Champion Wisconsin men's team swept the Great Lakes region awards, as Reed Connor and Michael Lihrman took home Track and Field Athletes of the Year honors, respectively. Mick Byrne was tabbed Coach of the Year and David Astrauskas was named Assistant Coach of the Year. Penn State's Brannon Kidder took home Track Athlete of the Year honors in the Mid-Atlantic region, while Nittany assistant coach John Gondak was tabbed men's Assistant Coache of the Year. In the Midwest Region, Minnesota's Jon Lehman earned Field Athlete of the Year accolades and Nebraska men's assistant coach Billy Maxwell won his respective award. For more on the USTFCCCA awards, click HERE.
And The Awards Go To: The Big Ten Conference office announced the 2014 Big Ten men's indoor track & field individual award winners on March 4. Wisconsin's Reed Connor was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year, while fellow Badger Michael Lihrman was tabbed Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year and Field Athlete of the Championships. Purdue's Raheem Mostert collected Track Athlete of the Championships laurels, while Ohio State's Donovan Robertson was named Freshman of the Year and Wisconsin head coach Mick Bryne was tabbed Coach of the Year. Click HERE for more on the conference's end of the year awards.
Big Ten Champion Badgers: Wisconsin took home the 2014 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships on March 1 at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. The Badgers posted four individual crowns en route to their second-straight title and 25th overall. Wisconsin totaled 122.50 points to claim the championship, while Nebraska (118 points) and Penn State (72 points) came in second and third, respectively. Illinois finished in fourth place with 71.50 points, while Purdue rounded out the top five with 61 points. The Badgers picked up first-place finishes from Mohammed Ahmed (5,000-meter run), Reed Connor (3,000-meter run), Japheth Cato (heptathlon) and Michael Lihrman (weight throw). Lihrman's mark in the weight throw of 23.78 meters is a Big Ten Championships record, while Cato became the first student-athlete to win the heptathlon four times. Wisconsin took home the top three spots in the 5,000-meter run, as Connor and Malachy Schrobilgen followed Ahmed. For more on the Big Ten Championships, click HERE and HERE.