May 16, 2010
[ONE // minnesota men capture big ten outdoor track and field title]
Congratulations to the Minnesota Golden Gophers on their second straight Big Ten Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship, following a 21-point victory over Wisconsin this past weekend at Indiana. Minnesota claimed 145 points in the win, followed by Wisconsin (124), Ohio State (115), Iowa (86) and Indiana (82). Illinois (70) was sixth, while Michigan State (52) and Penn State (52) tied for seventh. Rounding out the field was Purdue (49) and Michigan (44).
[TWO // nittany lion women take home conference track and field championship]
The Penn State women’s track and field team also repeated as Big Ten Champion this weekend, claiming a 10.5-point win over Minnesota on Sunday. The Nittany Lions totaled 133.5 points, followed by the Golden Gophers’ 123 points and Wisconsin’s 101.5. Indiana (92.5) and Illinois (87) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, while Ohio State (79), Michigan State (63), Michigan (56), Purdue (49.5) and Iowa (34) rounded out the field.
[THREE // michigan softball back to dynasty form?]
Speaking of Big Ten Champions, congratulations to the Michigan softball team on topping Iowa, 8-2, Friday for its third consecutive Big Ten title. The Wolverines, who captured the outright crown this season, claimed their 13th overall conference title which have all come over the last 19 seasons. While Michigan has previously repeated as the Big Ten champion six times, it has never before won three consecutive conference titles.
[FOUR // softball trio named to ncaa championship]
Three Big Ten schools, paced by No. 2 seed Michigan (46-6), were selected to the NCAA Division I Softball Championship Sunday when the NCAA Division I Softball Committee announced the 64-team field. The Wolverines and Ohio State (37-12) will host regionals, while Illinois (43-6) will compete in the Missouri Regional. The Fighting Illini will face DePaul (38-16) in first-round play, while Michigan will battle Wright State (30-28-1) and Ohio State will host Kentucky (31-25).
[FIVE // looking ahead to the future]
The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced Wednesday the 18 athletes who have been selected for the 2010 USA Softball Women's Futures National Team. Michigan's Jordan Taylor, a junior right-handed pitcher, earned an invitation while Northwestern’s Kate Drohan will serve as the head coach of the USA Futures National Team. Drohan is in her ninth season at the helm of the Wildcat program. The Futures Team will kick off the season with exhibition games against the 2010 USA Softball Women's National Team in Canton and Ashland, Ohio, June 16-17.
[SIX // two big ten squads advance in ncaa men’s tennis championships]
Ohio State and Wisconsin have earned a ticket into the Round of 16 in the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship after both teams knocked off a conference opponent in second-round action. The fourth-seeded Buckeyes took out Michigan 4-1 on Sunday, while the Badgers ousted No. 13 seed Illinois 4-1 on Saturday. Ohio State opened up NCAA play with a 4-0 shutout over Western Michigan on Saturday and the Badgers advanced to meet Illinois following a 4-2 win over Notre Dame on Friday. The Illini blank Xavier in the first round 4-0 and Michigan earned a 4-1 victory over Denver. Minnesota defeated Arizona 4-1 to advance to the second round, but fell 4-0 to Texas on Saturday.
[SEVEN // michigan and northwestern among final 16 in ncaa women’s tennis championships]
Congrats to the Michigan and Northwestern women’s tennis teams on advancing to the Round of 16 in the 2010 NCAA Championship. The Wolverines defeated Big Ten rival Ohio State 4-0 in second-round action Saturday, while the Wildcats blanked Nebraska 4-0. Both teams have yet to suffer a setback in the tournament as Michigan shut out Illinois-Chicago 4-0 in the first round and Northwestern stopped Miami (Ohio) 4-0 as well. Ohio State advanced to the second round after a 4-1 win over DePaul. Suffering defeats in the opening round were Illinois (4-2 to Nebraska), Indiana (4-0 to Vanderbilt) and Iowa (4-1 to Boise State).
[EIGHT // a challenge on the hardwood]
Coming off appearances in the 2010 Final Four, Duke and Michigan State highlight the field for the 12th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presented by Dick's Sporting Goods, Nov. 29-Dec. 1 on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com. The complete schedule was announced this past Wednesday and features 11 teams that played in the 2010 NCAA Tournament: Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin from the Big Ten and Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Wake Forest from the ACC. The Big Ten is the defending Challenge champion, defeating the ACC by a 6-5 margin a year ago.
[NINE // six men’s golf teams invited to ncaa regional play]
The NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee selected six Big Ten teams and three individuals to participate in the 2010 NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, the group announced on Monday night. In total, 81 teams and 45 individuals will head to one of six, 54-hole regional championships sites, scheduled for May 20-22. Big Ten Champion Illinois is the No. 3 seed in the Washington Regional, while four Big Ten squads and three individuals were selected to the Notre Dame Regional. Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern and Indiana earned berths in the regional, while Michigan State’s Jack Newman, Minnesota’s Ben Pisani and Purdue’s Erich Johnston will compete as individuals. Penn State will participate in the Yale Regional. In all, the top five teams and the lowest scoring individual not on an advancing team will advance out of the six regionals to the finals. The finals will be contested June 1-6 at The Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn., and will be hosted the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
[TEN // rowing into regional competition]
Speaking of regional competition, Wisconsin’s rowing squad won the Central Region title at the Aramark South/Central Region Sprints on Sunday afternoon. The Badgers, who won the Big Ten Championship earlier this month, finished with 405 points and was second overall in the team standings, behind Virginia’s 451 points. The Big Ten dominated the top of the Central Region standings, with Michigan State finishing second (387 points), barely edging third-place Michigan (386), with Ohio State (360) and Iowa (293) rounding out the top five. Minnesota finished seventh in the standings with 249 points and Indiana was eighth with 154. The Big Ten teams will now wait until Tuesday night when the NCAA Division Women’s Rowing Committee announces the sixteen teams that will compete at the NCAA Championships May 28-30 at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, Calif.
[ELEVEN // a performance unlike any other]
Finally this week, after opening up by highlighting the best in the 2010 men’s track and field season, we end by saluting the sport’s all-time great. History was made 75 years ago in what was called the finest hour in Big Ten Championships history. An Ohio State sophomore by the name of Jesse Owens was the talk of the record-setting crowd of more than 10,000 spectators who came out to see the 1935 championship meet. For more on his amazing day at the Big Ten Championship, click here. It is an extraordinary feat.