Note: This page, and links contained within, were part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Big Ten women's athletics in 2006 and are not updated. For more recent historical information, please see the Big Ten Records Book.
In the past 25 years, the Big Ten Conference has produced a total of 96 NCAA individual champions in seven different sports. Outdoor track and field is responsible for 32, while 29 national titles have been won during the indoor season. Eighteen titles have been won in swimming and diving, followed by gymnastics (8), cross country (6), tennis (2) and rowing (1).
The Big Ten captured an impressive conference-best 12 NCAA individual titles during the 1993 season, while nine crowns were won in 1995. Six NCAA championships have been won by Big Ten student-athletes on three occasions in 1987, 1990 and 1997. Only once (2000) in the past 25 years as the conference gone an entire season without an NCAA individual champion in women's athletics.
Individually, five Wisconsin runners have each won five or more NCAA Championships in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field, led by nine-time winner Suzy Favor.
Below are summaries on the five Badgers, followed by a list of eight Big Ten student-athletes who have each won three NCAA championships during their careers.
For a complete breakdown of the Big Ten's national champions by sport, click HERE.
For a complete breakdown of the Big Ten's national champions by year, click HERE.
Suzy Favor, Wisconsin Track & Field, 9-Time NCAA Champion
Amy Wickus, Wisconsin Track & Field, 6-Time NCAA Champion
Favor, the winningest female in NCAA history, earned her first two national championships during the 1987 season with wins in the indoor mile (4:41.69) and outdoor 1,500 meters (4:09.85*). In 1988, she repeated as the 1,500-meter outdoor champion (4:13.91) and went on to claim the 1989 indoor mile (4:30.63*) and her third-straight 1,500-meter (4:15.83) outdoor title during her junior season. In her senior campaign, Favor took home her final four NCAA Championships, which included indoor titles in the mile (4:38.19) and 3,000-meters (9:02.30) and outdoor wins in the 800 (1:59.11*) and 1,500 meters (4:08.26*). During her four-year span of winning an unprecedented nine national championships, Favor posted NCAA meet record times* in four events.
Wickus proved a constant winner during the indoor seasons, winning five of her six NCAA titles under the roof in Indianapolis. She claimed her first two national championships as a member of the 1992 (8:28.41) and 1993 (8:26.77) 3,200-meter relay indoor squads. She earned her first of three 800-meter titles in 1993 as well, finishing in a time of 2:04.80. She repeated in 1994 (2:02.55) and 1995 (2:04.86) and claimed her final NCAA crown during the 1995 outdoor season with a win in the 1,500 meters (4:14.53).
Cathy Branta, Wisconsin Cross Country/Track & Field, 5-Time NCAA Champion
Branta is one of only two Badgers and Big Ten runners to claim NCAA titles in cross country, as well as both the indoor and outdoor track seasons. She posted the impressive streak in 1984 by claiming the NCAA cross country (16:15.6), 3,000-meter indoor (9:04.81) and 3,000 outdoor (8:59.57) championships, with both of her 3,000-meter times being NCAA meet records. In 1985, Branta earned her fourth and fifth NCAA title during the outdoor season, winning both the 1,500-meter (4:12.54) and 3,000-meter (9:08.32) events.
Kathy Butler, Wisconsin Cross Country/Track & Field, 5-Time NCAA Champion
Butler joins Branta as the only Badgers and conference standouts to win a national championship during the cross country, indoor and outdoor track seasons. She first captured the 3,000-meter title (9:09.02) at the outdoor championships in the spring of 1995, and followed it up with a cross country first-place finish (16:51) in the fall. Butler was a two-time national champion in 1996 when she was a member of the indoor Distance Medley Relay (11:08.91) team and an individual winner in the 3,000-meters (9:16.19) outdoor event. Her final NCAA title came in 1997, as she improved nearly 15 seconds (9:01.23) on her winning time a year prior in the 3,000.
Clare Eichner, Wisconsin Track & Field, 4-Time NCAA Champion
Eichner was a four-time NCAA champion during the 1993 calendar year. The Badger runner captured two national titles during the indoor season with first-place finishes in the mile (4:38.64) and the 3,000-meter (9:09.66) events. She would successfully defend her championship in the 3,000 meters during the outdoor season with a time of 9:03.06. Eichner also earned the 1,500-meter outdoor championship when she crossed the line first in 4:20.21.
3-Time NCAA Champions
(I - Indoor; O- Outdoor)
Perdita Felicien, Illinois, Indoor/Outdoor Track & Field
2002 - 60-meter High Hurdles (I), 2002 - 100-meter High Hurdles (O), 2003 - 100-meter High Hurdles (O)
Sevatheda Fynes, Michigan State, Indoor/Outdoor Track & Field
1997 - 55-meter Dash (1), 1997 - 100-meter Dash (O), 1997 - 200-meter Dash (O)
Stephanie Herbst, Wisconsin, Indoor/Outdoor Track & Field
1986 - 3,000-meter Run (I), 1986 - 5,000-meter Run (O), 1986 - 10,000-meter Run (O)
Alecia Humphrey, Michigan, Swimming
1995 - 100-yard Backstroke, 1995 - 200-yard Backstroke, 1995 - 400-yard Medley Relay
Katie McGregor, Michigan, Cross Country, Indoor/Outdoor Track & Field
1998 - Cross Country, 1998 - 3,000-meter Run (I), 1998 - Distance Medley Relay (I)
Elise Ray, Michigan, Gymnastics
2001 - All-Around (t), 2002 - Balance Beam, 2004 - Uneven Bars
Kim Sherman, Wisconsin, Indoor/Outdoor Track & Field
1992 - 3,200-meter Relay (I), 1993 - 3,200-meter Relay (I), 1993 - 800-meter Run (O)
Beth Wymer, Michigan, Gymnastics
1993 - Uneven Bars (t), 1994 - Uneven Bars (t), 1995 - Uneven Bars (t)