Husker T&F Team heads to Iowa for Nationals

Posted By: Sports

sports@klkntv.com

Meet: NCAA Outdoor Championships

Where: Des Moines, Iowa (Drake Stadium)

When: Wednesday, June 6 – Saturday, June 9

Time: Noon/11:30 a.m./2 p.m./10 a.m.

Live Results: www.flashresults.com

Free Web Stream: www.ncaa.com

TV: Thursday and Friday: ESPN3.com

       Saturday: ESPNU

 

The Nebraska track and field team will make a short trip to Des Moines, Iowa, for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which starts on Wednesday, June 6. The four-day meet will be held on the blue oval at Drake Stadium and will start at Noon (CT) on Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, 2 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday. Ncaa.com and will provide a live stream of the meet, while ESPN will have live coverage on ESPN3.com on Thursday and Friday and ESPNU will show the meet live on Saturday.

 

Head Coach Gary Pepin's squad will be well represented at the meet with 15 athletes making the trip. Junior Mara Griva will compete in both the long and triple jumps.

 

Bjorn Barrefors will open the meet for NU when the two-day men's decathlon starts on Wednesday at Noon. The Huskers will also compete in three field events on Wednesday as well as the 4×100 meter relay semifinals and the 400-meter hurdle semifinals. The Huskers are set to compete every day of the four-day meet.

 

Wright Out of the Gate

Sophomore Chad Wright enters the NCAA Outdoor Championships ready to secure his second All-America honors.

 

Wright made his presence known in his first outdoor meet of the season, the Arizona State Invitational, with a winning throw of 195-08 in the invitational division of the men's discus. At the Sun Angel Classic, Wright earned his second event title of the season with a throw of 198-05 (60.48) in the premier section of the men's discus. He went on to compete at the OTC Pre-Olympic Session at Chula Vista Track in San Diego where he finished with a throw of 204-0 (62.18), recording a personal-best mark. His throw ranks second all-time in the Husker records, behind two-time National Champion Carl Myerscough. Wright finished seventh overall in the competition and was the top collegiate finisher. He finished second in the discus at the 2012 Big Ten Outdoor Championships with a mark of 195-2.

 

Wright currently ranks fourth in the NCAA and his mark is tops among sophomores this season.

 

Hitchler Following Wright's Lead

Senior Tyler Hitchler is not far behind Wright as he ranks ninth nationally in the discus. He will look to earn his third All-America honors as he competes in his final NCAA Championship.

 

Hitchler finished second to Wright in the discus at the Arizona State Invitational with a mark of 194-0. He notched another second-place finish at the Sun Angel Classic with a throw of 193-02 (58.88). He also competed at the OTC Pre-Olympic Session, recording a throw of 191-8 (58.43), the second-best throw by a collegian in the competition. He finished ninth in the discus at the Big Ten Championships with a throw of 193-0.

 

Ukaoma Leads Hurdlers

A second-team All-American in 2011, Nebraska sophomore Miles Ukaoma started his sophomore season with an impressive performance in the 400-meter hurdles at the Arizona State Invitational. Ukaoma notched a time of 50.52 in the event to finish in first place.

 

Ukaoma followed that performance with another first-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles at the Arkansas Spring Invitational. He took home the event title at the Kansas Relays, with a time of 51.01. He finished second in the 400 meter hurdles at the Drake Relays, narrowly missing out on the event title with a time of 50.71. He finished with the 400 meter hurdles title at the 2012 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, posting a personal-best time of 49.23 and ranks No. 2 nationally.

 

Husker Throwers Lead NU

In addition to the dominance of Chad Wright and Tyler Hitchler in the men's discus, the other Husker throwers have made their presence known on the national stage.

 

Morgan Wilken will compete at her third NCAA Championships for the Huskers in Des Moines, Iowa, as she will aim for her second All-America accolades. She kicked-off her season with a stellar showing for the Huskers in the discus at the Sun Angel Classic, earning the event title with a throw of 172-09. She tabbed another victory in the discus at the K.T. Woodman Classic with a throw of 175-03 (53.42).

 

At the Drake Relays, Wilken led the Huskers as she notched the team's first event title of the weekend in the women's discus. She won the event with a personal-best throw of 183-7 (55.95), bettering her previous best of 175-3 (53.42). Wilken posted a fourth-place finish in the women's discus with a throw of 176-1 (53.67) at the Big Ten Championships. She currently ranks sixth nationally.

 

Luke Pinkelman, who was a 2012 indoor All-American in the shot put, won the event at the K.T. Woodman Classic with a throw of 63-4 (19.30. He finished in second at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, with a season-best throw of 65-8 1/4 (20.02). Pinkelman currently ranks third in the nation in the event.

 

Latvian Leaper

Mara Griva has continued her success from the indoor season to the outdoor season as she has recorded three jumps titles on the year.

 

The reigning  Big Ten indoor triple jump champion, Griva earned the triple jump title at the Arkansas Spring Invitational with a leap of 42-2 1/4. She went on to finish first in the triple jump at the Kansas Relays with a mark of 41-5 3/4. She ranks 23rd nationally in the event.

 

At the Nebraska Invitational, Griva produced a long jump of 20-8 to finish first. She currently ranks 24th nationally in the long jump.

 

At the 2012 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, Griva finished second in the triple jump with a leap of 42-5 1/4. 

 

Runway Battle

Chris Phipps will be competing in his final NCAA Championships. The 2011 Big Ten Indoor long jump champion and a six-time All-American, he has continued to be a leader among the Husker jumpers.

 

At the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, Phipps walked away with a second-place finish in the triple jump, behind a leap of 52-4 3/4 (15.97). He also finished second in the long jump with a season-best leap of 25-5 1/4 (7.75). He claimed the men's long jump title (25-4 1/2) at the Arkansas Spring Invitational and also finished second in the triple jump at the Sun Angel Classic with a mark of 53-1 1/2. He also took first in the long jump (24-10 1/2) at the Kansas Relays. Phipps is currently 19th nationally in the long jump and is ninth in the triple jump.

 

Anna Weigandt has hit her stride, earning her first conference championship title in the triple jump at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Weigandt posted a mark of 42-6 1/4 (12.96) on her first attempt to secure the conference crown. Prior to the conference meet, she finished second in the triple jump at the Drake Relays with a personal-best mark of 42-9 1/2. She won the women's triple jump at the Nebraska Invitational with a jump of 42-4. Weigandt finished fourth in the long jump (18-2 1/4) and second in the triple jump (41-3 1/4) at the Arkansas Spring Invitational. She is ranked 17th in the triple jump nationally.

 

Marusa Cernjul finished first in the women's high jump at the conference championships, with a personal-best mark of 6-0 (1.83). She recorded the jump on her second to last attempt, sealing the victory for Nebraska. She is the first Husker outdoor high jump champion since 2008.

 

Mid-Distance Miller

Ashley Miller led the Huskers at the Big Ten Outdoor championships with two event titles and a top-10 finish over the three days of competition. She finished first in the 800 meters with a time of 2:06.67 and took first in the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:16.53. She also competed in the women's 5,000 meters, finishing sixth with a time of 16:39.07. With her event crowns over the weekend, she is now a four-time conference champion at Nebraska.

 

Miller opened the first outdoor meet of her senior season with a personal-best time of 2:03.33 in the 800 meters at the Sun Angel Classic, finishing as the top collegiate runner in fourth-place. Her time was third all-time in the Nebraska record books.

 

At the Mt. SAC Relays, Miller finished fourth in the women's elite 1,500 meters. She posted a time of 4:14.53, setting a personal best time. Her mark ranks third all-time in the Husker record books and puts her at 12th in the NCAA.

 

A native of Tipton, Iowa and the Big Ten indoor mile champion, she broke the Drake Relays 1,500 meter record on April 28. She won the event with a time of 4:15.61.

 

Barrefors Leading NU

Nebraska's senior decathlete Bjorn Barrefors won the 2012 Big Ten men's decathlon title with a record-breaking 7,897 points, earning the first decathlon conference title of his career. With his point total, he broke the Nebraska school record of 7,707 points set by Rick Schwieger in 1992. He is the first Husker to win the decathlon since Aaron Henrichs claimed the Big 12 decathlon crown in 1998. Barrefors also broke the Big Ten Outdoor meet record and the McClimon Complex facility record.

 

Barrefors completed the indoor season with a fourth-place finish in the men's heptathlon. He opened his 2012 decathlon campaign at the Kansas Relays on April 19-21 where he became the second consecutive Husker to win the decathlon at the meet. He scored 7,308 points over the two days of competition, sealing his decathlon victory.

 

Make It 104

The Nebraska women's track and field team capped its first Big Ten Indoor Championships in style with a 114.50-106 win over defending champion Ohio State. The NU women earned the second Big Ten title in school history and the first team title for the track and field program. Nebraska now has a total of 104 conference titles as a program.

 

As an overall program, the Huskers won 51 Big Eight titles during the conference's history from 1974-1996 and Nebraska continued to dominate the conference since moving to the Big 12 in 1997. NU had won a league-high 23 team titles, including the program's historic 100th conference team title in 2007.

 

The Huskers added their 101st and 102nd titles during the 2009 and 2010 outdoor seasons when they became the first men's team in Big 12 history to win back-to-back team titles at the outdoor conference meet. Nebraska recorded its 103rd conference title in 2011, as the women's team upset four-time defending champion Texas A&M at the indoor championships.