June 6, 2006
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A total of 88 Big Ten student-athletes are gearing up to compete at the 2006 NCAA Men's & Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which are set to take place June 7-10 at the Hornet Stadium in the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex in Sacramento, Calif. Sacramento State and the Sacramento Sports Commission will serve as co-hosts of the event.
All 10 conference men's teams and a total of 41 entries will be represented at the meet. Wisconsin's Demi Omole and Chris Solinsky enter the four-day event with the fastest 100-meter dash (9.96) and 5,000-meter run (13:27.94) times in the country, respectively. Indiana senior and Big Ten Athlete of the Year David Neville, is ranked third in the 400-meter dash, a title he won at the 2006 Big Ten Outdoor meet and placed second at NCAA Indoor Championships, and will run on the Hoosier 4x400-meter relay that heads to Sacramento at the No. 5 spot. Senior Alonzo Moore is another Wisconsin Badger boasting top-three marks as he is ranked second in the triple jump with a distance of 16.31 meters.
On the women's side, each of the 10 Big Ten squads and a total of 47 participants will be represented. Three Big Ten female student-athletes earned No. 1 seeds and enter the 2006 NCAA Championships boasting the nation's fastest times in their respective events. Michigan sophomore Nicole Edwards advanced to the national meet after finishing her 1,500-meter race in 4:17.73 at the Mideast Regional. Minnesota's Emily Brown, who placed first in the 3,000-meter Steeplechase at the Big Ten Championships less than a month ago, enters this weekend with a top, Midwest Regional time of 10.00.98. Shana Cox of Penn State will run on the Nittany Lion 4x400-meter relay as well as compete in the 400-meter dash in which she is ranked first with a time of 51.30. Illinois' Yvonne Mensah will compete in three events this weekend, the most of any Big Ten student-athlete, which includes the 100-meter dash, the triple jump and she will run the second leg of the 4x400-meter relay
Minnesota recorded the highest finish among conference women's squads in NCAA Regional competition as the Gophers took the No. 3 spot in the Midwest Regional with 51 points. Michigan (5th), Illinois (7th) and Purdue (8th) all finished in the top 10 of the Midwest Regional. Penn State, the lone Big Ten squad in competing in the East Regional, notched a seventh-place finish after scoring 36 points. Recording top 10 finishes on the men's side were Minnesota (4th), which competed at the Mideast Regional, while Indiana placed sixth at the Midwest site.