Feb. 21, 2013
The SPIRE Institute will play host to the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships, scheduled to begin Friday and run through Saturday. Indiana won its first conference title since 1992 after totaling 104 points at last year’s championships to earn the win. Minnesota was second with 100 points, and Wisconsin was third with 99. Ohio State (94.33 points) and Wisconsin (75) rounded out the top five.
In the sprints and middle distances, Minnesota’s Sean King holds the top conference time in the 60-meter dash, while Nebraska’s Dexter McKenzie holds the advantage in the 200-meter dash. Minnesota’s Harun Abda looks to defend his titles in the 400- and 600-meter events, while Brannon Kidder holds the top time in the 800-meter run heading into the championships. Andrew Bayer returns to defend his crowns in the mile and 3,000-meter run, but Penn State’s Robby Creese holds top billing in the mile, while Hoosier teammate Zachary Mayhew leads the way in the 3,000-meters. Illinois’ Paul Zeman leads the field by over seven seconds in the 5,000-meters, while two student-athletes enter the 60-meter hurdles with the top time, as Iowa’s Jordan Mullen and Ohio State’s Demoye Bogle look to take top honors at the championships.
In the field events, two conference champions return to defend their respective titles. Minnesota’s Micah Hegerle (weight throw) and Wisconsin’s Japheth Cato (heptathlon) won titles at last year’s championships. A pair of Nebraska standouts hold the top marks this season in the long jump and triple jump as Janis Leitis and Patrick Raedler rank first and second, respectively, in both events. Wisconsin’s Danny Block looks to improve on last year’s second-place finish in the shot put and holds the top throw heading into the event, while Olympic bronze medalist Derek Drouin will attempt to bring home a high jump title for Indiana.
Five squads appear in the latest USTFCCCA national rankings heading into the championships, including a conference-leading four top-10 squads. Nebraska sits at No. 5, followed by Penn State at No. 7, Indiana at No. 9 and Wisconsin at No. 10. Minnesota checks in at No. 15.
BTN will air tape-delay coverage of the Big Ten Men’s & Women’s Indoor Track & Field Championships at Noon ET on Saturday, March 2.