Wisconsin Wins Seventh Straight Men's Track & Field Championships Title
Feb. 25, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Led by gold medal performances from senior captains Demi Omole and Joe Detmer, the University of Wisconsin won its seventh straight Big Ten Men's Indoor Track & Field Championship on Sunday afternoon at Indiana's Gladstein Fieldhouse. Winners of 10 of the past 13 Indoor Championships, the Badgers racked up 120 points, distancing themselves by 27 from second-place Minnesota.
The title marked the 22 career conference crown for Wisconsin head coach Ed Nuttycombe, tying him with Illinois' Harry Gill (1904-29) as the winningest track and field mentor in Big Ten history. He is one title shy of former Indiana men's swimming coach James Counsilman's record (195-90) for all conference coaches.
The Badgers jump-started day two of their historic title run with their heptathletes. Kicking off day two of heptathlon competition, Wisconsin's Seth Pelock took first in the 60m hurdles competition with a time of 8.46 seconds to move him into the top of the standings. Penn State's Chris Morrisey cruised to first in the 1000m race, while Purdue's Andrew Rademacher clinched his overall bronze medal effort in the seven-tier event with a first-place pole vault of 5.00m. But it was Wisconsin's Joe Detmer, the heptathlon favorite entering the meet, who used a third-place finish in the pole vault to claim gold overall with 5360 points. The Badger leapfrogged day one leader Scott Hudepohl of Ohio State, who finished second overall with 5338 points.
Iowa swept the top two spots in shot put with Shane Maier and John Hickey claiming first and second, respectively. After finishing third in last year's championships, Maier bettered his performance by more than two inches to take home the gold with a 18.57m throw. Hickey secured second with a distance of 18.35m, while Minnesota's Aaron Studt claimed bronze with a 17.89m effort. Along with the top three finishers, Ohio State's Patrick Whalen earned NCAA provisional qualification with a 17.89m-showing.
The high jump final was an exciting dual between Penn State's Ryan Fritz and Minnesota's Derek Gearman. The Nittany Lion sailed over the bar on his third and final attempt at 2.24m, but his leg clipped the bar, leaving his 2.21m jump as his best effort. It was enough for first after Gearman also failed to clear 2.24m and holding 2.18m as his best showing.
Indiana's Kyle Jenkins gave the home crowd something to cheer for with a first-place finish in the triple jump. Jenkins notched a 15.66m jump for gold, followed by Michigan's Michael Whitehead (15.57m) and Penn State's Clarence Smith (15.51m).
Wisconsin fleet-footed freshman four dominated the mile final, with Craig Miller (4:04.16) and John Bolas (4:06.25) taking second and third respectively. But it was Ohio State's Jeff See who edged Miller for the gold medal, clocking in at 4:04.16.
Minnesota's Aaron Buzard proved why he was tagged as favorite in the 400m dash, sprinting to a provisional qualifying time of 46.64 seconds for first. Buzzard already holds the fourth-fastest time in the country this year, and his Big Ten meet performance ranks fifth. Michigan State's Jeremy Orr clocked in next at 47.01 for second, scoring another NCAA qualifying time, while Michigan's Stann Waithe was third at 47.48.
Wisconsin's Omole already holds the fastest time in the nation this season in the 60m dash, but the Badger senior erased the Big Ten record Ohio State's Anthony Cole set in Saturday's preliminary to defend his title in the event. Omole's time of 6.63 seconds was 0.07 seconds faster than his title-winning performance from a year ago which set the then-Big Ten record. Cole crossed the line second at 6.66 seconds, followed by Minnesota's Kabia Ibrahim (6.70) and Michigan's Adam Harris (6.72). All qualified for the NCAA meet provisionally.
After leading the Wolverines to a title in the distance medley relay on Saturday, Michigan's Andrew Ellerton claimed the 800m title with a time of 1:50.91. Minnesota's Hans Storvick was not far behind him, earning second place at 1:51.07. Penn State's Mark Miller claimed bronze honors with a finish of 1:51.24.
In the 60m hurdles, it was a thrilling photo-finish as Purdue's Rickey Pinkney edged Michigan's Jeff Porter by less than 0.01 second for the gold. Pinkney (7.7514 seconds) and Porter (7.7533) both scored provisional NCAA qualifications. Penn State's Ron Jules clocked in third at 7.95.
Illinois' Lesiba Masheto was not far off from a Big Ten record in the 600m run, but the Illini had to settle for a gold medal with a time of 1:16.28. Minnesota's Walter Langkau scored silver with a time of 1:17.58. Detmer added a bronze medal to his heptathlon gold with a 1:18.06-finish in the event.
After a runner-up finish in the 60m dash, Cole came out on top in the 200m event with a time of 21.18 seconds. Michigan State's Jeremy Orr was next at 21.46, while Indiana's Kiwan Lawson - the long jump-winner from Saturday - earned bronze at 21.50.
Michigan jumped into third place with a strong showing in the 5000m run. The Wolverines' Lex Williams cruised to first with an NCAA provisional time of 14:04.43, while his teammate Brandon Fellows followed at 14:19.16 for third. Iowa's Micah VanDenend scored silver-medal honors with a 14:09.35 finish. The Badgers did not need defending champion Chris Solinsky in the event lineup to keep their team points in check, but Matt Withrow and Christian Wagner still scored big for Wisconsin in fourth and fifth place respectively.
The 4x400 relay closed out the day in thrilling fashion. Purdue claimed a slight lead in the third leg, but 400m dash champion Buzard blew past the field in the final leg to secure gold for Minnesota. Indiana's Doug Dayhoff edged Purdue's Jh'Rome Tuggle in the final stretch to secure silver for the Hoosiers at 3:12.10. Purdue finished at 3:12.13 for bronze.