Wisconsin Leads After Day One of Big Ten Men's Indoor Track & Field Championships
Feb. 26, 2005
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Wisconsin leads the field with 53.5 points after day one action at the Big Ten Men's Indoor Track & Field Championships. Among individual highlights in the meet was Michigan's Nick Willis breaking the record for the 3000-meter run with a winning time of 7:55.94.
In the first event of the championships, Indiana's Jake Wiseman won the heptathlon 60 meter race with a best time of 7.11 seconds from three heats of competition, earning him 844 points. Minnesota's Travis Brandstatter, who has the best point total of any Big Ten heptathlete this season, finished second in the race with a time of 7.22 (806 points). Rounding out the top five were Wisconsin's Nathan Brown (7.25), Michigan State's Kyle Sweeney (7.26), and Ohio State's Scott Hudepohl (7.26).
Hudepohl and Wisconsin's Ben Roland tied for the longest leap in the heptathlon long jump at 6.91 m, but Brandstatter took over the heptathlon lead with a jump of 6.90 m, giving him 1,596 points after two events, a 12-point lead over Hudepohl. Illinois' Steve Weatherford (6.75m) and Brown (6.70 m) also placed in the top five of the heptathlon long jump.
Brown won the heptathlon shot put with a best mark of 14.59 m, almost four-tenths of a meter better than second-place Roland (14.22 m). Weatherford finished third in the event with a throw of 13.83 m, followed by Indiana's Jake Wiseman (13.65 m) and Minnesota's Matt Engebretson (12.42 m). Wiseman overtook the overall heptathlon lead with 2,329 points, slightly edging Roland at 2,313 points.
Brandstatter took the heptathlon high jump with a leap of 2.08 m, besting Roland's 2.05 m mark. Niver and Michigan State's Anthony Thomas each posted heights of 1.99 m, while four other heptathletes tied for fifth with bests of 1.93 m. After the first day of heptathlon action, Roland held down first place overall with 3,135 points. Brandstatter is second with 3,074 points and Weatherford is third with 2,995.
In the preliminary heats of the 60-meter dash, Ohio State's Anthony Cole posted the top time of the three heats at 6.82 in heat one. Wisconsin's Demi Omole won the third heat with a 6.85 mark, while Iowa's Derrick Burks took first place in heat two with a 6.90. In total, 16 of the 18 competing in the preliminary heats advanced to the semifinals. In the semifinals, Omole posted a 6.71 to win his heat, while Cole won his heat with a 6.75. Second place finishers Pierre Bush from Illinois (6.81) and Robb Merritt from Minnesota (6.78) each qualified for tomorrow's finals on basis of their finish. Indiana's Marcus Thigpen (6.79), Ohio State's Todd Dutch (6.82), Michigan State's Jeremy Orr (6.83), and Michigan's Nathan Taylor (6.83) each advanced as well on the basis of their semifinal times.
Purdue's Ricky Pinkney led all competitors in the 60-meter hurdles preliminaries on his home track with a time of 7.93. Other heat winners included Indiana's Stephanos Iannaou and Michigan's Jeff Porter (7.99). The three led a group of 16 to qualify for the afternoon semifinals. Pinkney led again in the semifinals, posting a 7.82 to win his heat and the best time of the day. Porter won his heat with a 7.91, barely edging Wisconsin's Paul Check (7.93) and Iannaou (7.94). All are part of the field of eight for tomorrow's event final.
In the mile run, twin brothers John (4:07.39) and Sean (4:07.84) Jefferson of Indiana won their respective heats to advance to Sunday's final race. Wisconsin's Josh Spiker took the third heat with a time of 4:12.48. Six others advanced to Sunday's race including Michigan's Nick Willis. Willis joins the Jeffersons as athletes who have all finished under four minutes in the mile this year.
Illinois' Nathan Vadeboncouer led all runners in the 400 preliminaries with a time of 48.21. His teammate Abe Jones (48.78), Michigan's Stann Waithe (48.42), Indiana's David Neville (48.50), and Penn State's Jared Campisi (49.52) won the other four heats to each advance to the event finals along with 11 other qualifiers.
In the first scoring event of the afternoon, host Purdue took home the top spot when Purdue's Nedzad Mulabegovic threw 19.63 m to win the shot put. That mark was his best of the season, and an NCAA automatic qualifying score. Wisconsin's Joe Thomas took second in the event with a throw of 18.90 m, ahead of Indiana's Ryan Ketchum (18.35 m) and Iowa's Ken Kemeny (17.97 m). The marks of Thomas, Ketchum and Kemeny were all NCAA provisional qualifying scores.
Michigan's Rondell Ruff (1:52.28) and Wisconsin's Dan Murray (1:52.71) won their respective heats in the 800 preliminaries. Murray just edged Indiana's Rodney Hollis (1:52.75), while Ruff had a bit more comfortable margin over teammate Nathan Brannen (1:52.43), the two-time defending champion of the event. In all, nine qualified for Sunday's event final.
Illinois' four entrants into the 600 meters each won their respective heats, with only Minnesota's Aaron Buzard (1:18.05) the non-Illini runner to earn a heat victory. Illinois' winners were Adrian Walker (1:20.10), Zachery Glavash (1:20.13), Aaron King (1:20.39), and Kenneth Johnson (1:20.50).
Minnesota's Rob Merritt (21.62) and Michigan's Stann Waithe (21.63) led a field of 10 qualifiers in the 200 meter preliminaries. Wisconsin's Jvontai Hanserd finished third (21.70), while Iowa's Zach Digney (21.73) and Indiana's David Neville (21.77) rounded out the top five.
Indiana's Aarik Wilson won the second scored event of the day with a 7.47 m leap in the long jump. Wilson edged Wisconsin's Paul Hubbard who had a best jump of 7.43 m on the day. Indiana's Kiwan Lawson took third with a 7.31 m mark and Wisconsin's Joe Conway jumped 7.25 m for fourth.
Brad Gebauer topped the pole vault standings with a mark of 5.20 m. Penn State's David Bollinger and Michigan State's Mark Langlois tied for second with 5.10 m efforts. Illinois' Eric DiSilvestro took fourth, also with 5.10 m.
In the 3000 meter run, defending champion Nick Willis ran third for most of the race, but put on a big sprint on the final lap to win the event again with a time of 7:55.94. Wisconsin's Matt Tegenkamp and Chris Solinsky took the other two spots on the medal stand with finishes of 7:56.62 and 7:56.71 respectively. All three marks were NCAA automatic qualifiers.
The day's final event saw an exciting finish at the line. In the distance medley relay, Michigan's anchor Nathan Brannen made up a huge deficit in the final lap to clip Wisconsin's Chad Melotte at the end. The Michigan team finished with a time of 9:40.05, while the Badgers came in second with a 9:40.53. Illinois took third in the race with a 9:42.68, outlasting Indiana (9:44.83) and Michigan State (9:46.35).
Action resumes at 10:20 a.m. on Sunday with 13 event finals on tap.