Wisconsin Wins Fifth Straight Big Ten Men's Indoor Track & Field Championship

Feb. 27, 2005

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Led by strong team performances in the 5000-meter run, the triple jump, and the 3000-meter run, the University of Wisconsin claimed the 2005 Big Ten Men's Indoor Track & Field Championship. The championship was the fifth straight for the Badgers and eighth in the past 11 years. While Wisconsin winning total was 144.5 points, Indiana finished second with 105.5 points. Illinois (96), Michigan (88), and Minnesota (80) rounded out the top five in the team standings.

The meet was highlighted by new Big Ten records in four events - the 3000, the 5000, the triple jump, and the distance medley relay. Lambert Fieldhouse records were also set in the 600 meters, the 5000 meters, and the heptathlon.

Sunday's action began with the heptathlon 60-meter hurdles. Minnesota's Travis Brandstatter posted the best time by three-tenths of a second with a 8.17 in the event, good enough for 939 points. Wisconsin's Nathan Brown took second with an 8.47 in his heat followed by Illinois' Steve Weatherford with an 8.50. Minnesota's Matt Engbretson (8.59) and Michigan State's Kyle Sweeney (8.60). The win allowed Brandstatter to retake the overall lead in the heptathlon and give him nearly a 100-point edge over second place Ben Roland (3,928) from Wisconsin.

In the heptathlon pole vault, Indiana's Jake Wiseman and Brandstatter tied for the best mark, clearing 4.85 m each, and earning 865 points apiece. Michigan State's Christopher Hohn had the third-best mark with a 4.65 m vault. Three heptathletes tied for fourth with marks of 4.45 m.

Illinois' Clint Cherco won the heptathlon's final event - the 1000 meter run - with a time of 2:39.90. He was followed by teammate Ed Mastny (2:46.19), Brown (2:47.25), Weatherford (2:47.30) and Brandstatter (2:48.48). Despite his fifth place finish, Brandstatter clinched the overall heptathlon championship with a final score of 5660 points, with Roland taking second in the event with 5414 points. Weatherford took third overall at 5365 points, edging Brown (5343).



Minnesota's Bryant Howe won the high jump with a best leap of 2.17 m, edging teammate Josh Paulson, who finished with a 2.12 m jump. Ohio State's Marios Iacovou took third in the event with a 2.12 m mark, followed by Purdue's Derek Watkins and Illinois' Charles Kurlinkus with identical marks.

The mile had as exciting a finish as it possibly could have had, with Indiana's Sean Jefferson outleaning Michigan's Nick Willis at the finish line to win by one-hundredth of a second. Jefferson's final time was 4:26.70, while Willis posted a 4:26.71 final mark. Jefferson's twin brother and teammate Sean finished third at 4:27.88 and was followed by the Wisconsin duo of Josh Spiker (4:28.05) and Ben Gregory (4:29.49).

Illinois' Abe Jones prevailed in the 400 meter finals, winning the second of two final heats and the event with his time of 47.42. Indiana's David Neville just slipped past Illinois' Nathan Vadeboncoueur who finished with identical times of 47.69. Purdue's Zach Logan won the other final heat, but finished fourth on time with a time of 47.75.

Ohio State's Anthony Cole took top honors in the 60-meter dash with a winning time of 6.76. Minnesota's Robb Merritt took second with a 6.79 finish ahead of the pack of Indiana's Marcus Thigpen (6.82), Michigan State's Jeremy Orr (6.82), and Illinois' Pierre Bush (6.83). Wisconsin's Demi Omole, who had the fastest time of the year in the event in the Big Ten and the best semifinal time of any qualifiers in the meet, pulled up short and did not finish the race.

In a near repeat of the mile, Michigan's Nathan Brannen suffered nearly the same fate as teammate Willis, when Illinois' Trammel Smith edged him at the line to pick up the win by one-hundredth of a second. Smith (1:49.92) had led however for most of the final lap with Brannen's (1:49.93) sprint falling just short of the win. Wisconsin's Dan Murray took third with a 1:50.52, while Michigan's Rondell Ruff (1:51.01) took fourth from Indiana's Rodney Hollis (1:51.14).

Purdue's Ralph Pinkney gave the home crowd something to cheer about in the 60-meter hurdles final, winning the race with a time of 7.89 seconds, edging Indiana's Stephanos Ioannou (7.90) and Michigan's Jeff Porter (7.91). All three times were NCAA provisionally qualifying times.

The deep field of weight throwers posted a total of nine NCAA provisionally qualifying scores. Ohio State's Bryan Duby won the event with a toss of 19.83 m, just outdistancing Penn State's Scott Vernon (19.81 m). Iowa's Adam Hamilton took third at 19.79 m while Purdue's J.P. Smolenski (19.71 m) and Minnesota's Curt Schoenfelder (19.31) rounded out the top five.

Illinois had nearly half the field in the 600 meter finals, and the Illini's Zachery Glavash won the race with a time of 1:16.96. Minnesota's Aaron Buzard finished second overall at 1:17.13, ahead of Wisconsin's Joe Detmer (1:18.35), Michigan's John D'Arcy (1:18.74), and Illinois' Aaron King (1:18.76).

Indiana's David Neville prevailed in the 200 meters with an NCAA provisional time of 21.46. Wisconsin's Jvontai Hanserd also won his final heat, but finished second overall on time with a 21.50. Minnesota's Robb Merritt took third at 21.53 seconds. Michigan's Stann Waithe finished fourth at 21.65 and Ohio State's Todd Dutch (21.75) finished fifth.

In the triple jump, Indiana's Aarik Wilson easily outdistanced the field with an NCAA automatic qualifying jump of 16.83 m, setting a Big Ten record. Wilson finished over a meter ahead of second place Alonzo Moore of Wisconsin (15.86 m). Other top five finishers included Wisconsin's Rick Bellford (15.38 m), Michigan's Michael Whitehead (15.37 m), and Indiana's Kyle Jenkins (15.20 m).

In the 5000 meter run, Wisconsin's Matt Tegenkamp cruised to a win in the event with a time of 13:56.02, setting a new Big Ten record. Tegenkamp was followed by his teammate Chris Solinsky (13:56.91), helping clinch the overall meet for the Badgers with their one-two finish. Minnesota's Andrew Carlson finished third (14:08.82) in the meet's longest race.

In the meet's final event, Illinois won the 4 x 400 meter relay with a final time of 3:11.95. Penn State took second at 3:13.26, while Michigan edged Wisconsin at the line with identical times of 3:13.55.