NEB T&F: Huskers Welcome Talented Teams to Adidas Classic

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Courtesy: UNL Media Relations

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Huskers Welcome Talented Teams to Adidas Classic

The Nebraska track and field team hosts its second straight quad meet with the Adidas Classic on Saturday at the Bob Devaney Sports Center Indoor Track. The field events will begin at 11:30 a.m., while running events begin at 12:45 p.m.

This weekend’s meet features North Dakota State, Texas State and Texas Tech competing against the Huskers.

Husker News and Notes

• The Nebraska men won the Mark Colligan Memorial team title, while the women finished second last Saturday at the Bob Devaney Sports Center Indoor Track. The Huskers won nine events.

• Kaiwan Culmer won the men’s triple jump with the best jump of his career, 52-8 3/4 (16.07m). His mark ranks seventh in NU indoor history and puts him fifth in the nation and first in the Big Ten.

• In addition to Culmer, two other Huskers cracked the all-time top 10 charts in school history last weekend. Wyatt McGuire ran the 5,000 meters in 14:26.07 and ranks 16th nationally with the eighth-fastest time in NU history. Toni Tupper posted a throw of 51-8 1/4 (15.75m) in the shot put to move to 10th in NU indoor history and No. 29 in the nation this season.

• On opening weekend, 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 13th in Division I.

• Steven Cahoy’s pole vault clearance of 17-5 (5.31m) at the Holiday Inn Invitational ranks 15th in the nation and first in the Big Ten.

• Tierra Williams’ season-opening triple jump of 41-9 1/4 (12.73m) ranks 21st nationally.

About the Opponents

North Dakota State – The North Dakota State women have won nine straight Summit League indoor titles, while the men have won five consecutive Summit League indoor titles. Payton Otterdahl ranks 12th in the nation in the men’s weight throw and 16th in the shot put. On the women’s side, Courtney Pasiowitz ranks 24th in the weight throw and 28th in the shot put. Alex Renner is the highest ranked Bison athlete at No. 4 in the country in the shot put.

Texas State – The Texas State men won the Sun Belt indoor title in 2016, while the women fell just two points short of repeating as conference champions. The Bobcat women have three athletes in the top 50 nationally, including Julie Lange at 26th in the shot put and 31st in the weight throw, and Chelsie Decoud at 39th in the high jump.

Texas Tech – The Red Raider men are loaded with 13 individuals ranking in the national top 50, as well as the fourth-fastest 4×400-meter relay in the nation (3:07.70). Trey Culver is the defending indoor national champion in the high jump and has cleared 7-3 (2.21m) this year. Charles Brown ranks fourth in the triple jump at 25-7 1/2 (7.81m). Kyle Collins’ 46.87 time in the 400 meters ranks eighth nationally. Texas Tech has two women in the top 15 nationally, Viershanie Latham at No. 10 in the triple jump and Zarriea Willis at 14th in the high jump.

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.

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 16 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 41 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.