Just a couple of random notes from last weekend's Big Ten Outdoor Championships that didn't make it into my stories from the meet:
- Junior Ryan Gasper joined some elite company in repeating as the Big Ten 3,000-meter steeplechase champion. He is the first Badger to earn back-to-back league titles since Demi Omole won four straight crowns in both the 100 meters and 4x100-meter relay from 2004 to 2007. He is also the fifth UW athlete to win consecutive steeplechase titles, a feat previously accomplished by Randy Jackson (1978-80), Donovan Bergstrom (1992-93), Pascal Dobert (1995-96) and Isaia Festa (2002-03). He can join Jackson as the Badgers' only three-time champion if he wins again in 2010.
- Craig Miller became the sixth UW runner to win the 1,500 meters at the Big Ten meet, joining Steve Lacy (1978), Tim Hacker (1983-84), Isaiah Festa (2001), Matt Tegenkamp (2005) and Chris Solinsky (2006). Only Hacker won the event more than once.
The Big Ten also released its final list of award winners from the outdoor championships on Wednesday, officially naming several Badgers to its All-Big Ten list.
Gasper and Miller each earned first-team All-Big Ten nods for their respective championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and 1,500 meters, while juniors Nate Larkin (110-meter hurdles) and Jack Bolas (1,500 meters) were recognized as second-team all-conference for their runner-up performances.
Larkin also earned the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award from the league on Wednesday.
Don't forget that Big Ten Network's replay of the championships will air at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Looking ahead to next weekend and the NCAA Mideast Regional, here's the list of competitors for UW:
- Zach Beth, 800 meters
- Steve Ludwig, 800 meters
- Jack Bolas, 1,500 meters
- Craig Miller, 1,500 meters
- Ryan Gasper, 3,000-meter steeplechase
- Christian Wagner, 5,000 meters
- Adam Hexum, 110-meter hurdles
- Nate Larkin, 110-meter hurdles
- Mickey DeFilippo, pole vault
- Jake Fritz, shot put
- Rory Linder, discus
- Robert Dehn, javelin
Bolas (3:37.64) and Miller (3:37.81) enter the meet ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the Mideast Region in the 1,500 meters and are the only competitors to break the 3:40 mark. The Arkansas duo of Dorian Ulrey (3:41.39) and Andy McClary (3:41.96) are just behind. That should be a fun race, as there is history between the pair of Badgers and Ulrey, who was running for Northern Iowa last season and out-leaned Bolas to narrowly take runner-up honors at the NCAA championships. Bolas ended up third and Miller fourth.
Nationally, Bolas ranks fourth, while Miller is No. 5. Oregon's Matthew Centrowitz is the NCAA leader at 1,500 meters with his winning time of 3:36.92 from the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational on May 2. Both Bolas and Miller recorded their season-best times in that same race, which produced the nation's five fastest collegiate times of the year.
Also for the Badgers, Gasper ranks second regionally in the steeplechase at 8:43.42. In the 110 hurdles, Larkin owns the fourth-fastest time of any Mideast Regional competitor at 13.89, while Hexum's 14.18 ranks 18th. Wagner is No. 10 in the 5,000 meters at 13:57.87, while Beth is ranked 20th regionally in the 800 meters at 1:49.82.
In the field events, DeFilippo is ranked fifth after his personal-best clearance of 17-1 3/4 last weekend and Dehn stands seventh entering the regional meet in the javelin, at 217-6.