NEB T&F: Huskers Set for Pair of Meets This Weekend

Posted By: Sports

sports@klkntv.com

Courtesy: UNL Media Relations

The Nebraska track and field hosts its annual scored meet, the Mark Colligan Memorial, on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center Indoor Track. Some Huskers will also compete in the NWU Prairie Wolf Invitational on Friday at the Devaney Center. That meet begins at 11:30 a.m.

The Husker men and women have swept the team titles at the Mark Colligan Memorial in four straight seasons and will look to do so for a fifth straight time on Saturday. The Nebraska men have won 15 consecutive dual/tri/quad meets dating back to 2001, the longest streak in the NCAA per DailyRelay.com. In that span, the Huskers have defeated 38 opponents. This year, Nebraska will be joined by Houston, Oklahoma and Wichita State.

On the men’s side, a number of 2016 NCAA Indoor Championships qualifiers are scheduled to compete against the Huskers. Houston senior Cameron Burrell was the runner-up in the 60 meters at last year’s NCAA Indoor Championships. He is slated to compete in the 200 meters and long jump this Saturday. The Cougars tied for 16th as a team at last year’s championships. Oklahoma senior Jacob Burcham finished 10th in the mile at the NCAA Championships last year, while senior Hayden McClain was a triple jump qualifier. Thomas Cheval finished 12th in the heptathlon and will compete in the long jump for the Sooners.

In the women’s field, Oklahoma’s Daye Shon Roberson was fifth in the 200 meters last year and will run the 400 meters this weekend. Pole vaulter Mackenzie Shell took seventh place in the nation last year as a freshman and has cleared 14-5 1/2 (4.41m). Jessica Woodard is a junior who finished eighth in the shot put last year and will compete in both the shot put and weight throw. Wichita State’s Breanne Borman was a national qualifier in the pentathlon last year and is scheduled to compete in three events for the Shockers.

Husker News and Notes

• Nebraska opened its season with the Holiday Inn Invitational last weekend. Huskers combined to win 15 events.

• Steven Cahoy began his senior season on a strong note, winning the pole vault with a clearance of 17-5 (5.31m), which marks the best start to an indoor season in his Husker career and his best clearance since May of 2015. His jump currently ranks first in the Big Ten and 13th in the nation.

• Freshman Isaiah Griffith set a personal best in the triple jump of 51-8 1/2 (15.76m), which missed the all-time NU top 10 chart by just one centimeter. Griffith’s mark is the second-best mark in the Big Ten this young season and ranks seventh in Division I.

• Andy Neal and Jake Bender’s times of 1:18.61 and 1:18.73, respectively, in the 600 meters rank second and third in the Big Ten.

• Jazmin McCoy’s season-opening long jump of 19-4 (5.89m) puts her fourth in the Big Ten.

• Freshman Petra Luteran won the high jump at the Holiday Inn Invitational with a mark of 5-8 1/2 (1.74m), which puts her fourth in the Big Ten.

• Toni Tupper’s personal-best shot put of 50-6 3/4 (15.41m) ranks fifth in the conference.

2017 Season Preview

This season, the Husker men are hunting for their third straight Big Ten indoor title and will do so with two returning Big Ten indoor champions in Landon Bartel and Kaiwan Culmer. Bartel won the high jump title last year with a mark of 7-2 1/4 (2.19m), while Culmer won the triple jump at 51-8 1/2 (15.76m). The duo helped the Huskers to 116 points and their second straight indoor team title. Bartel qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships, where he finished 14th. Nick Percy, who won the discus national title in the outdoor season, will look to improve on his best indoor event – the weight throw – where he currently sits fourth on the NU all-time chart at 65-9 (20.04m).

The Nebraska women are led by senior Tierra Williams, who was a four-time Big Ten champion and two-time All-American last year. Williams swept the indoor and outdoor long and triple jump titles at the conference meets last year. At the Big Ten Indoor Championships, she jumped 20-7 3/4 (6.29m) in the long jump and 43-2 1/2 (13.17m) in the triple jump. She was a first-team All-American in the triple jump, finishing fifth at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Reka Czuth will also be a leader for the Husker women after winning the Big Ten outdoor high jump title and finishing tied for 10th at indoor nationals and eighth at outdoor nationals last year.

Husker Men Eyeing Three-Peat

The Nebraska men are seeking their third straight Big Ten Indoor Championship in 2017, which would be their first conference three-peat since 2003 to 2005 – the end of a string of six straight Big 12 indoor titles. The last Big Ten men’s team to win three straight titles was Minnesota from 2009 to 2011. The Husker men swept the Big Ten indoor and outdoor titles in 2016 for their first conference sweep since 2004.

The Huskers return 94 points from their title-winning 116 total at last year’s conference meet. Junior Antoine Lloyd scored 14 points last year with a runner-up finish in the 60 meters (6.74) and a third-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles (7.78). Malcolm White also scored in two events, finishing second in the 200 meters (20.94) and seventh in the 60 meters (6.79). Landon Bartel (high jump) and Kaiwan Culmer (triple jump) were Big Ten indoor champions last year and will look to repeat in their junior seasons. Steven Cahoy, a three-time runner-up in the pole vault, is set for his senior season with the Huskers.

Husker Women Looking for Breakout Season

The Nebraska women featured a young squad last year and are ready to take the next step up in the Big Ten standings. The Husker women carry some momentum into the indoor season after finishing third at last year’s Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Tierra Williams is set for her senior season after securing the long jump and triple jump titles at both the Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor Championships last year, while Reka Czuth has a high jump and long jump title to her name at the midway point of her Husker career. The Huskers scored 48 points at last year’s Big Ten indoor meet to finish sixth, but they return 39 of those points.

Huskers Begin 2017 Season in USTFCCA Top 30

The Nebraska track and field teams will both begin the season in the top 30 of the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason rankings.

The Husker women came in 28th in the computer rankings with 38.84 points. The Husker men are ranked 29th with 30.14 points. The point totals are calculated based on returning athletes’ 2016 marks relative to the best in the nation.

The Husker women return first-team All-American Tierra Williams in the triple jump from last year’s NCAA Indoor Championships. Reka Czuth was a second-team All-American in the high jump. The Husker men return two second-team indoor All-Americans from 2016 in Landon Bartel (high jump) and the 4×400-meter relay.

Oregon, Arkansas, Georgia, USC and Texas took the top five spots in the women’s rankings. Florida, Oregon, LSU, Arkansas and Syracuse lead the men’s poll.

Percy Receives Votes for The Bowerman Award Preseason Watch List

Nebraska junior thrower Nick Percy received votes for The Bowerman Award Preseason Watch List released by the USTFCCCA in early January. The award is presented annually each summer to the top track and field student-athlete in the nation. Percy won the NCAA discus title last June and was also the Big Ten champion in the event.

Pepin Still Going Strong at the Helm for the Huskers

In his 37th season as head coach at Nebraska, Gary Pepin continues to lead the Huskers to individual and team success. Pepin was named both the Big Ten Men’s Indoor and Outdoor Coach of the Year in 2016. It marked Pepin’s 27th conference coach-of-the-year honor since 1997, when the Huskers started competing in the Big 12. The 2016 Big Ten men’s outdoor title was Pepin’s 72nd career conference title and 30th outdoors. The all-time winningest track and field coach in Big 12 and Big Eight history, Pepin is the longest tenured active coach in Cornhusker athletics and among Big Ten track and field programs. Since Nebraska joined the Big Ten Conference in 2011-12, Pepin’s teams have won five Big Ten championships. Individually, Huskers have captured 44 Big Ten event titles, including nine in 2016. Pepin has been honored as the USTFCCCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year 10 times in his career, including the men’s outdoor honor in 2016.

Huskers Hold Record Dual Meet Win Streak

The Husker men have won 15 consecutive dual/tri/quad meets dating back to 2001, the longest streak in the NCAA per DailyRelay.com. In that span, the Huskers have defeated 38 opponents.

Huskers Name Five Team Captains

The Nebraska track and field program has five captains for the 2017 season: seniors Jake Bender, Sarah Firestone and Tierra Williams, and juniors Kaiwan Culmer and Nick Percy.