Men Lead B1G Championships After Day One

Posted By: Sports

Story Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics

GENEVA, Ohio – After the first day of competition at the Big Ten Track and Field Indoor Championships, the Nebraska men are in first place with 39.5 points through five events. The Husker women are in seventh with 20 points through six events.

Sparked by two runner-up finishes and four other top-five finishes, the Husker men lead Penn State (33), Minnesota and Michigan State (17.5 each). Michigan is fifth with 17 points. The Husker men are aiming for their first Big Ten indoor team title and 36th all-time conference indoor team title.

Meanwhile, the Husker women are chasing leader Wisconsin (31 points). Michigan State and Ohio State are tied for second with 24 points, and Indiana and Penn State are tied for fourth with 23 points. Minnesota is sixth with 22, just two points ahead of NU in a very tight team race.

A total of 11 events went final on the first day of competition. Caleb Cowling placed second in the long jump, leading a triple-score day for the Huskers in the event. The Lincoln Pius X grad jumped 23-11 1/2 to match his season best and earn the runner-up spot on the podium. Nikita Pankins tied for third at 23-10 1/2, and Devandrew Johnson tied for seventh at 23-6.

Steven Cahoy finished second in the pole vault, clearing 17-7 1/4 but falling via a tiebreaker. Cahoy, a Grand Island native, cleared his first four heights with only one miss, but Michigan State’s Tim Ehrhardt did not miss until both vaulters couldn’t clear 17-11 1/4. The Huskers also got team points in the event from Craig Driver – who finished fourth with a PR 17-1 1/2 – and Christian Sanderfer – sixth at 16-11 1/2.

Will Lohman was fifth in the shot put with a throw of 59-3 1/2, while the men’s distance medley relay team put together their best performance of the season of 9:43.66 to finish fourth and capture five more team points.

For the women, Melissa-Maree Farrington placed third in the pentathlon with 4,026 points. Farrington was second in both the heptathlon 60m hurdles (8.45) and the long jump (19-4 1/4). The sophomore from Chester Hill, Australia improved four spots from last year’s seventh-place finish. Senior Carlie Pinkelman placed third in the shot put with a best throw of 51-8 1/2, improving on her sixth-place finish from last season.

Tierra Williams finished fourth in the women’s long jump, posting a leap of 19-10 1/4. Paula Andrie tied for fifth in the women’s pole vault, clearing 13-1 on her first try.

Bonnie Smith ran a PR of 10:01.16 to finish third in the unseeded 3,000 meters. Her time was good for 22nd overall when combined with the seeded section of the event.

Among events that will continue on Saturday, Guy Fenske is in seventh place in the heptathlon with 2,995 points with the 60m hurdles, pole vault and 1,000 meters remaining tomorrow. Fenske started the day with a PR in the 60m dash (7.23) and took third in the shot put with a throw of 43-3 1/4. Noah Gabel enters Saturday in ninth place with 2,950 points. Gabel took seventh in the long jump (22-6 1/2) and posted PRs in the shot put (35-8 3/4) and high jump (6-7 1/2).

The 200, 400 and 600 prelims were strong events for the Husker men on Friday, as expected. Ricco Hall and Cody Rush both advanced to the 200m finals. Hall posted the second-best prelim time of 21.05, while Rush ran a 21.32. In the 400 meters, Rush ran a 46.75 to take the second qualifying spot into tomorrow’s final. Jacob Bender ran a PR 46.90 to qualify fourth. Levi Gipson and Moujtaba Mohammed both won their 600m prelim heats to qualify for the finals. Gipson ran his best time this season of 1:17.43. Mohammed pulled away from his competition to post a 1:18.42. They finished third and fifth, respectively, in qualifying.

Hall will also represent the Huskers in the 60m after qualifying with a 6.83 in the prelims. Oladapo Akinmoladun posted a season-best 7.87 in the 60m hurdles to qualify second. He will look to defend his Big Ten indoor crown in tomorrow’s final. Sean Pille also reached the final, qualifying with the fifth-best time and a PR of 7.90.

For the Husker women, Brittany Johnson sprinted to a PR 7.46 in the 60-meter dash to earn a spot in Saturday’s final. She will also compete in the 200m final after posting a PR 23.73 in the prelims to finish as the third-best qualifier and cap a strong day for the Husker senior. Kadecia Baird will also be in the finals after running a 23.85 in the prelims.

Shawnice Williams (1:30.45) and Karolina Pahlitzsch (1:31.64) qualified for the women’s 600m final. Williams was second in her heat, but still earned a finals spot with the second-best overall time.

The meet resumes on Saturday at 9 a.m. (CT) with the final three heptathlon events. Field events begin at 10 a.m. (CT), while running finals begin at 11:30 a.m. (CT).