Men's track still in first at Big Tens

Three Badgers score in both the decathlon and the long jump

The University of Wisconsin men's track and field team remains at the top of the conference race after the second day of the Big Ten Championships in Columbus, Ohio, with 65 points, six ahead of second-place Minnesota's 59 points.

Although the Badgers did not win an event Saturday, they scored in several. In the decathlon, three Badger athletes earned points, including junior Ben Roland, who took third with 7,179 points, improving his NCAA qualifying mark. Redshirt freshman Peter Dykstra placed fifth of the nine-person race, with 6,742 points.

Junior Nathan Brown, who was in first place after Friday's competition, was disqualified from the decathlon 110-meter high hurdles after he stumbled on the last hurdle. Despite his disqualification, Brown still finished in sixth place with 6,705 points, after earning personal bests in the discus (138 feet, 6 inches), pole vault (14-7 ¼) and 1,500 meters (4:40.02). Minnesota's Travis Brandstatter won the event with 7,468 points. Had Brown scored at least 764 points in the 110 hurdles, he would have won the decathlon.

Wisconsin also got three scores from the long jump, as junior Joe Conway placed third at 24-7, junior Rick Bellford took fifth (24-0 ¼), and junior Alonzo Moore finished eighth at 23-10 ¾. Indiana's Aarik Wilson won the event with a best jump of 26-3.

In the high jump, junior Brent Boettcher took third at 6-10 ¾ and junior Zach McCollum finished sixth at 6-8 ¾.

Wisconsin also placed two athletes in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Junior Bobby Lockhart fared the best for Wisconsin, taking fifth in a personal-best time of 9:00.85. Sophomore Codie See also improved on his personal-best time to take seventh in 9:03.01.

In the discus, sophomore Joe Thomas placed fifth with a throw of 177-2, an improvement on his NCAA Regional qualifying mark. Teammate sophomore Mike Sracic placed ninth with a toss of 166-0, also an NCAA Regional qualifying mark.

Wisconsin qualified six athletes for eight finals Sunday: senior Matt Tegenkamp, 1,500 meters; sophomore Chris Solinsky, 1,500 meters; junior Ben Gregory, 1,500 meters; sophomore Demi Omole, 100 and 200 meters; senior Jvontai Hanserd, 100 and 200 meters; and junior Paul Check, 110-meter high hurdles.

"I think we were pretty close to what we wanted," Wisconsin head coach Ed Nuttycombe said on Sunday's qualifiers. "We had one or two instances where we would have liked to have had another qualifier or two but overall, we got the vast majority that we'd hope to get in and of course, now they have to do it when it counts in the finals.

Junior Scott Hogseth, who finished 13th in the 400-meter qualifying in 48.27, as well as senior Josh Spiker, who took 11th in the 800 qualifying in 1:52.42, and sophomore Dan Goesch, who took 13th in the 200 qualifying in 21.87, did not qualify for the finals.

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