Solinsky won the 5,000 with a time of 14 minutes, 11.71 seconds, after placing eighth in the event a year ago. A tightly packed group of 16 runners covered the first 3,000 meters of the race in a very slow 9:01.19. With four laps remaining, Solinsky broke to the front of the pack, with six runners in close pursuit. He continued to lead and with only two laps left just four runners were still with him.
Solinsky covered the last 400 meters of the race in an impressive 58 seconds, pulling away from Iona's Richard Kiplagat and Arkansas's Josphat Boit, the winner of Thursday's 10,000 meters. Kiplagat looked like he might overtake the Badger star with 110 meters remaining, but Solinsky hammered to the win by nearly 10 meters. Boit edged Kiplagat at the line for second place, crossing in 14:13.81 while the Iona runner finished in 14:13.84.
Solinsky's win allowed the Badgers to move into third in the team standings. Through 10 of 21 events, Arizona leads with 28 points while Tennessee is second with 26 points. Wisconsin totaled 24 points and Virginia Tech is fourth with 23 points.
The Badgers have only one more athlete competing in the NCAA Outdoor Championships, though junior sprinter Demi Omole is one of the favorites to win the 100, which will be televised on CBS this afternoon (coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. The 100 is scheduled for 2:42.).
"It's great to be in that league with three of the four days of competition done," UW coach Ed Nuttycombe said in a press release. "We only have eight (athletes) here but we're competing very well. Hopefully, Demi (Omole) can finish up well for us."
With his championship in the 5,000 Solinsky earned his eighth All-American honor in track and field (six indoors, two outdoors) to break the school record set by Matt Tegenkamp a year ago. Solinsky now has 11 All-American honors between cross country and track and field, which is also a new UW record, one ahead of the 10 Tegenkamp finished his career with. Solinsky became one of four UW athletes to win three national titles in indoor or outdoor track and field, joining Ray Arrington (three indoor titles in the 1,000 yards, 1967-69), Don Gehrmann (three outdoors – 1,500 in 1948 and the mile in 1949 and 1950) and Mark Winzenried (three in the 880 yards – indoor in 1970 and 1971 and outdoor in 1971).
Wisconsin had one other athlete compete Friday, but it was a tough day for senior Alonzo Moore, who entered the triple jump as the No. 2 ranked qualifier. Moore, though, had suffered a leg injury during the NCAA Mideast Regional two weeks ago and was not at full strength. He fouled on his first two jumps, then recorded a 49-7 ¼ on his last attempt, finishing 24th of 26 athletes in the preliminaries. He did not qualify for today's finals.
"It's sad that he was injured and wasn't able to finish up his career on a good note," Nuttycombe said. "Four of the top 10 jumpers are from the Big Ten and Alonzo has beaten all of them. It's too bad because the field is really wide open."