Posted By: Sports
Courtesy: UNL Media Relations
The Nebraska track and field team will head to Bloomington, Indiana for the 2018 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday, May 11 through Sunday, May 13. The three-day meet will take place at the Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex on the Indiana campus and will feature the top athletes from the 13 Big Ten schools participating in track and field.
The Nebraska men finished third last year with 97 points, while the Husker women were sixth with 76 points. The Penn State men and Purdue women are the defending champions. The Husker men have won 29 all-time outdoor conference titles, including two in the Big Ten (2013 and 2016). The NU women own 18 outdoor conference titles and are looking for their first in the Big Ten.
Live results for the meet will be available at PTTiming.com. Portions of the meet will be streamed at BTN2GO.com with a BTN Plus subscription, or at FloTrack.org with a subscription to FloSports.
Big Ten Championships Preview
The Huskers head to the Big Ten Outdoor Championships with two objectives: finish in the top eight to secure team points and complete the season with a top-32 time or mark in the NCAA West Region, which would earn them a spot at the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Sacramento, California on May 24-26.
Currently, Kaiwan Culmer enters the meet with the top triple jump mark in the Big Ten this season at 53-1 3/4 (16.20m). The Big Ten indoor champion in the event will look for his third-career Big Ten title but first outdoors. Nick Percy is second in the Big Ten (and the nation) in the discus at 205-1 (62.50m). He is the two-time defending Big Ten champion in the event and won the 2016 NCAA title. Cody Walton has the second-best javelin mark in the Big Ten at 226-6 (69.03m). Antoine Lloyd, the Big Ten Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, is seeded third in the 110-meter hurdles at 13.69.
On the women’s side, Angela Mercurio has the No. 2 triple jump mark of 43-3 3/4 (13.20m) heading into the conference meet, and Shylia Riley is No. 2 in the long jump with her PR of 20-10 (6.35m). Brittni Wolczyk is the defending champion in the javelin and has a mark of 170-2 (51.86m), third-best in the Big Ten this season.
Last Time On the Track
The Nebraska track and field team finished up the regular season with the Nebraska Invitational last Saturday in front of 1,003 fans at Ed Weir Stadium. The Huskers won 19 of the 34 events heading into next week’s Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Senior Nick Percy captured the discus title in his last home meet as a Husker with a throw of 204-5 (62.32m) on his last attempt. The women’s discus title went to Alex Meyer, who threw a season-best 179-7 (54.75m). Landon Bartel won the high jump title in his last home meet. He cleared 7-0 1/4 (2.14m) on his first attempt to win, while fellow senior Mike McCann cleared the same height on his third attempt to finish third. Shylia Riley won the women’s long jump with a mark of 20-2 1/2 (6.16m), while Angela Mercurio claimed the women’s triple jump crown with a leap of 42-7 1/2 (12.99m). Nick Coghill was the winner in the shot put with a throw of 58-11 1/4 (17.96m), and Toni Tupper made it a Husker sweep by setting a new season best of 53-10 1/2 (16.42m) to win the event. Maddie Holland set a new outdoor personal best of 13-2 1/2 (4.03m) to win the pole vault title, and Tyler Loontjer was the top collegian in the men’s pole vault with a bar of 16-1 3/4 (4.92m). Brittni Wolczyk captured the women’s javelin throw with a mark of 168-6 (51.35m). Edward Jeans won the men’s hammer throw with a mark of 200-9 (61.19m). Lakayla Harris highlighted the action on the track for the Huskers. Harris won the 200 meters with a wind-aided personal-best time of 23.15, which ranks sixth all-time at NU in any conditions. Sam Bransby was the men’s winner in 21.55. Quashira McIntosh won the 100 meters with a time of 11.74. Chanel Freeman took the title in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.96. Antoine Lloyd won the men’s race in 13.73. Ashleigh Carr was the top finisher in the 400-meter hurdles after a personal-best time of 1:00.02. The Husker women claimed the top four spots in the 800 meters, led by champion Emma Bresser with her outdoor personal best of 2:14.67. Elsa Forsberg set a personal best of 4:30.50 to win the 1,500 meters.
Harris, Percy Collect Weekly Big Ten Honors
The Nebraska track and field team collected two weekly awards from the Big Ten Conference on Mary 9, as Lakayla Harris was named the Big Ten Women’s Track Athlete of the Week, and Nick Percy was voted the Big Ten Men’s Field Athlete of the Week. Harris won the Nebraska Invitational 200 meters with a wind-aided personal-best time of 23.15 on Saturday at Ed Weir Stadium. Harris’ mark ranks tied for sixth in NU history in any conditions. The Big Ten weekly honor is the first of her career. Percy was the champion of the discus with a mark of 204-5 (62.32m), his second-best throw this season. Percy remains second in the nation in the discus with his season-best mark of 205-1 (62.50m). The honor was the fifth-career weekly honor for the senior from Ventnor, England and the second this season. He also received the honor on March 28 after his season-best throw.
Huskers Earn Highest Preseason Ranking in Last 10 Years
The Nebraska track and field teams began the outdoor season ranked in the top 20 of the USTFCCCA Rankings. The Nebraska men began the season at No. 9, as the Big Red were the highest-ranked Big Ten team in the preseason poll. The Husker women came in at No. 16. Both rankings matched the best preseason outdoor ranking by either Husker team in the last 10 years.
2018 Nebraska Men’s Outdoor Season Preview
The Nebraska men finished third at last year’s Big Ten Outdoor Championships with 97 points, and 80 of those 97 points return on this year’s team. Leading the way is two-time defending Big Ten discus champion and 2016 NCAA discus champion Nick Percy. The senior from Ventnor, England owns a personal best of 207-11 (63.38m), which is third in NU history. He is also the school record holder in the hammer throw at 222-7 (67.85m) and finished third in the Big Ten last year. Landon Bartel is coming off a Big Ten indoor high jump title and leads a strong unit for the Husker men, as he and Grant Anderson were both second-team indoor All-Americans this year. Mike McCann, who didn’t have indoor eligibility this season, is able to compete again outdoors after a breakout outdoor season last year that saw him earn second-team All-America honors. Kaiwan Culmer won the Big Ten indoor triple jump title this season for the second time in his career, and he is a two-time first-team All-American in the event. Antoine Lloyd is coming off an exceptional indoor season that saw him earn Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year. Lloyd was the NCAA runner-up and the Big Ten champion in the 60-meter hurdles. Outdoors, Lloyd will contend in the 110-meter hurdles, in which he was a second-team All-American in last year and was the Big Ten runner-up in 2016. Cody Walton will aim for first-team All-America honors in both the javelin and the decathlon. Walton was the Huskers’ only first-team All-American outdoors last year with a seventh-place finish in the decathlon. He is the school record holder in the event with 7,937 points. Isaiah Griffith was a second-team All-American last year in the long jump as a freshman, and he also competed in the triple jump at nationals.
2018 Nebraska Women’s Outdoor Season Preview
The Nebraska women were sixth at last year’s Big Ten Outdoor Championships with 76 points and returns 60 of those points this season, although high jumper Petra Luteran, who finished fourth last year and was the Big Ten indoor runner-up this season, will likely miss the entire season with an injury. Brittni Wolczyk was the javelin champion with a personal-best throw of 178-9 (54.48m), and Sarah Firestone was the 2015 Big Ten javelin champion and owns the school record of 184-3 (56.15m). She missed last season with an injury. The Huskers hope to get pole vaulter Andy Jacobs back from an injury that kept her out of the indoor season. Jacobs was the Big Ten runner-up as a freshman last year. Jasmine Barge scored in both the 100-meter and 400-meter hurdles last year and will be a top contender in both events. The women’s 4x400-meter relay earned the bronze medal at last year’s outdoor championships, and Angela Mercurio was the Big Ten indoor triple jump runner-up this season. Toni Tupper is a two-time bronze medalist in the shot put.
Lloyd Named Big Ten Indoor Track Athlete of the Year; Finishes Second at NCAAs
Senior Antoine Lloyd was named the 2018 Big Ten Indoor Track Athlete of the Year after finishing second in the 60-meter hurdles at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a school-record time of 7.60. A native of Kentwood, Michigan, Lloyd is the first Husker male to be named a Big Ten track or field athlete of the year since the Huskers joined the conference in 2011-12. He achieved first-team All-America honors in the event for the first time and was one of just three Big Ten male athletes to finish in the top three in an event.
Lloyd was the Big Ten indoor champion in the 60-meter hurdles this season for the first time in his career as well. He won that race with a then-personal-best time of 7.68. Lloyd’s PR of 7.60 at the NCAA Championships topped Oladapo Akinmoladun’s 7.61 set in 2014. He finished second only to Florida’s Grant Holloway, the NCAA record holder in the 60-meter hurdles who won the event for the second straight year with a time of 7.47. Lloyd competed in seven 60-meter hurdles finals in 2018 and was the top collegiate finisher in all seven races.
Three Huskers Win B1G Indoor Titles; Men Finish Second
Nebraska track and field seniors Landon Bartel, Kaiwan Culmer and Antoine Lloyd all won individual Big Ten indoor titles, and the Nebraska men’s track and field team came within half a second of capturing the team title at the Big Ten Indoor Championships at the SPIRE Institute.
Heading into the final event of the day, the 4x400-meter relay, Ohio State had 91.5 points and Nebraska had 89.5 points. Needing to outscore the Buckeyes by two points to at least share the team title, the Huskers’ relay of Sam Bransby, Moujtaba Mohammed, Elijah Lucy and Andy Neal ran the second-fastest time in NU indoor history, 3:05.53. But Ohio State finished in 3:05.09 to hold off the Huskers. Nebraska finished second with 93.5 points, while Ohio State won with 101.5 points. The Husker women finished ninth overall with 47.5 points.
Lloyd produced the best race of his career with a personal record of 7.68 to win the 60-meter hurdles title for the first time in his career. Lloyd, whose best finish in the event at the Big Ten meet was third in 2016, ran the third-fastest time in NU history and the No. 4 time in the NCAA this season, which will earn him a spot at the NCAA Indoor Championships for the first time.
Culmer returned to the top of the podium in the triple jump with an indoor personal-best winning mark of 52-9 1/4 (16.08m). The Nassau, Bahamas native was the 2016 indoor champion in the event before finishing fourth last year. Culmer collected his third career Big Ten triple jump medal with his mark, which came on his first attempt and moved him to No. 9 in the nation.
Bartel continued his outstanding indoor season with his second career Big Ten high jump title by clearing 7-2 1/4 (2.19m). Like Culmer, Bartel was the 2016 indoor champion but didn’t reach the medal stand at last year’s indoor meet. Bartel, whose personal best of 7-3 3/4 (2.23m) qualified him for the NCAA Indoor Championships, was the only jumper to clear 7-2 1/4 (2.19m) at the conference meet and did so on his second attempt.
For the Husker women, Angela Mercurio was the runner-up in the triple jump with a mark of 42-2 3/4 (12.87m). Petra Luteran finished second in the high jump with a clearance of 5-11 1/4 (1.81m) on her third attempt. Lakayla Harris was the runner-up in the 60 meters as she matched her personal best of 7.38 that she set in prelims on Friday. Harris also picked up two team points in the 200 meters by finishing seventh in 23.71, a new personal best that ranks eighth in NU indoor history. Jasmine Barge was fifth in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.43.
Nebraska’s Big Ten Indoor Champions
Landon Bartel, High Jump
Kaiwan Culmer, Triple Jump
Antoine Lloyd, 60-Meter Hurdles
Pepin Still Going Strong at the Helm for the Huskers
The all-time winningest track and field coach in the history of the Big 12 and the former Big Eight Conference, Nebraska Head Coach Gary Pepin will enter his 38th season as the head coach of the Nebraska men’s and women’s track and field teams in 2018, making him the longest tenured active coach in Cornhusker athletics and among Big Ten track and field programs.
Pepin is a USTFCCCA Hall of Fame member and has led the Husker programs to a combined three national team titles, 72 conference team titles, 59 individual national champions and 561 individual conference champions. Additionally, 515 first-team All-America honors have been achieved under Pepin, and 58 CoSIDA Academic All-America honors have been earned under Pepin’s guidance, which dates back to 1981 for the women’s program and 1984 for the men’s team.
Since Nebraska joined the Big Ten Conference in 2011-12, Pepin’s teams have won five Big Ten championships, including a men’s sweep of the indoor and outdoor titles in 2016. The Husker men claimed the Track & Field News Dual-Meet National Championship in 2017, as they finished an unbeaten season in dual, tri and quad meets. Individually, Huskers have captured 51 Big Ten event titles, including four in 2017 and three so far in 2018.