Minnesota Begins Defense of Big Ten Title with Early Lead on Day One

Feb. 27, 2010

With six events in the books, Minnesota surged to an early lead after the first day of competition at the 2010 Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships in University Park, Pa. The Golden Gophers began their defense of the conference crown with four top-three finishes, including one individual title to compile 41 team points. Illinois collected 37 points on the strength of two individual top finishes to edge Purdue (36) for the runner-up spot after Day One. Wisconsin (34) and Indiana (22) currently occupy the remaining top-five positions with one individual conference crown apiece.  

Minnesota senior Alicia Rue captured her third consecutive indoor pole vault title on Saturday, setting a new meet record with a clearance of 4.35 meters (14-3.5). The Golden Gophers went one-two in the pole vault with junior Samantha Sonnenberg adding a second-place finish with a height of  4.20 meters (13-9.25).

Illinois seniors Aja Evans and Angela Bizzarri improved upon their second-place finishes from 2009, capturing top honors in the shot put (17.08m) and 3,000 meter-run (9.10.16), respectively.

Purdue raked in some quality points with a pair of medals in the long jump. Boilermaker senior Christina Madison marked a career best 6.21 meters (20-04.50) to take the gold, while sophomore Leah Eber claimed the bronze with a leap of 5.89 meters (19-04.00). Wisconsin senior Chavon Robinson also earned a trip to the podium, taking second place with a mark of 6.10 meters.

The Badgers nabbed their first Big Ten title of the event as Badger sophomore Dorcas Akinniyi posted 3,979 points to claim top honors in the pentathlon while improving upon her bronze finish from a year ago.

Michigan collected its first Big Ten title on the strength of a winning effort in the distance medley relay, clocking a time 11:21.55 to best the field by nearly two full seconds. Minnesota and Iowa rounded out the top three spots on the winner’s stand in Saturday’s lone relay event.

Championships host Penn State finished the opening day of competition in sixth with 21 points. With runners in every track final but one Sunday, the Nittany Lions have poised themselves to make a run at the program's second-ever Big Ten Indoor title.

Big Ten Championships action continues Sunday at the Horace Ashenfelter Indoor Track at the Multi-Sport Complex on Penn State's campus. The day begins with the high jump at 11 a.m. ET and wraps up with the highly anticipated mile relay at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Day One Results

Team Rankings – Day One | Six Events Scored
   1) Minnesota (41)       
    2) Illinois (37)  
    3) Purdue (36)      
    4) Wisconsin (34)   
    5) Indiana (22)      
    6) Penn State (21)  
    7) Michigan (14)       
    8) Ohio State (13)  
    9) Michigan State (10)      
   10) Iowa (6)