Big Ten Track and Field Final Release
July 1, 2009
The 2009 collegiate track and field season ended on Saturday, June 13 when Texas A&M took home the team title on both the men’s and women’s side at the NCAA Championships. The Big Ten touts three individual national champions in Michigan’s Geena Gall and Tiffany Ofili and Illinois’ Angela Bizzarri. Behind two first-place performances, the Wolverines garnered seventh-place team honors with 28 total points, the highest among conference programs.
Along with three NCAA winners, the women also claimed four runner-up medals. Michigan State’s Nicole Bush crossed the finish line second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of 9:40.49. Bush lost out to Colorado’s Jenny Barringer who set an American record in the event last season and who also set a new NCAA meet record in 2009. Indiana’s Vera Neuenswander cleared 14-1.25 (4.30 m.) in the pole vault for silver as Minnesota’s Alicia Rue picked up bronze by hitting the same height but acquired more misses. Purdue’s Kara Patterson earned second-place honors in the javelin with a throw of 190-02 (57.96 m.). Two weeks after the NCAA Championships, Patterson would go on to win the USA Championships with a personal-best toss of 209-10 (63.95 m.), securing a trip to the World Championships in Berlin, Germany. Minnesota’s Liz Roehrig claimed national runner up in the heptathlon as she tallied 5,892 over the two-day event. Michigan’s Bettie Wade trailed slightly by 16 points to garner third place.
Illinois had the second-highest team finish in the conference behind Michigan, tying for 12th with 18 points. Penn State was in 14th with 17 points while placed 18th with 14.5 points. MIchigan State and Purdue tied for the 20th position with 13 overall team points.
On the men’s side, Illinois and Minnesota tied for the highest team finish, placing 37th overall with seven points a piece. Top individual performances included a trio of fifth-place medals from Illinois, Minnesota and Purdue student-athletes. Fighting Illini freshman Andrew Riley blazed the 110-meter hurdle straightaway in a 5th-place time of 13.83. Minnesota strongman Aaron Studt owned the fifth-best throw at the NCAA Championships with a measurement of 63-02 (19.27 m.). Purdue’s Adetayo Adesanya cleared 7-2.50 (2.20 m.) in the high jump, taking home fifth-place honors.