Men's track dominates in Big Ten opening day
The men's track team has 69 points after the first day of competition, leaving second-place Michigan in the dust with 25 points.
Thanks to solid performances across the board Saturday, the Badgers are in position to claim their fourth straight Big Ten Championship.
Freshman Paul Hubbard picked up a first-place finish in the long jump early in the day. He and teammate sophomore Joe Conway each had a jump of 24-4 ¼ but Hubbard's second-best jump was longer than Conway's, giving him the tie-breaker. Freshman Joe Thomas earned a personal-best in the shot put with a throw of 57-3 ¾, good for eighth place.
Although Wisconsin did not take first place in the 3,000-meter run, it had the next four finishers. Michigan sophomore Nick Willis set a new conference championship record of 7:57.10, but Badgers junior Matt Tegenkamp, sophomore Bobby Lockhart, sophomore Simon Bairu and freshman Chris Solinsky took second through fifth. Tegenkamp led the four Badgers, who finished within four seconds of each other.
Wisconsin also took its first Big Ten indoor title in the pole vault in 36 years with a top finish from junior Darren Niedermeyer, who had a personal best jump of 16-10 ¾.
In the distance medley relay, sophomore Ben Gregory, sophomore Scott Hogseth, junior Dustin Rabine and junior Josh Spiker took fourth with a time of 9:57.27, a season best for the team. Host Michigan won the event in 9:48.28.
Women's track second after first day of conference championships
The women's track team had a strong finish in the first day of the Big Ten Championship, partly due to sophomore Melissa Talbot's top performance in the pentathlon. The Badgers have 35 points and trail Penn State by only two.
Talbot, who had 3,751 points, won the long jump at 18-0 ¼, along with sophomore Erica Schoeller, who also finished first with the same jump. Schoeller took third overall with a personal best of 3,571 but also won the 800 meters in 2:17.87. Talbot took second place in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.84.
Senior Hilary Edmondson had an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 9:31.75 in the 3,000 and took first in the event. Teammate senior Michelle Lilienthal finished eighth in the same event with a time of 9:50.73. Junior Christina Taylor also gave Wisconsin points by finishing fourth in the long jump at 19-1 ¼.