Two Huskers Earn Big Ten Track and Field Titles

Posted By: Sports
Story Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics 

West Lafayette, Ind. – Day two at the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championships came to a close on Saturday at Rankin Track and Field with the Huskers earning two conference titles. Chad Wright claimed the discus title, while Maggie Malone earned the javelin crown. The Huskers also added a pair of runner-up finishes in the men’s long jump and pole vault.

With six of 21 events scored for both the men and the women, the NU men are in second with 28 points and the women are first with 42 points. Wisconsin leads the men with 55 points.

Wright captured the first discus conference title of his career on Saturday afternoon, adding to the list of accolades for the senior from Kingston, Jamaica. Wright cemented his spot atop the podium with a personal-best throw of 209-10 (63.96). His mark set a Big Ten, Big Ten Championships and Rankin Track and Field facility record. His throw also fortifies his standing at second all-time in the Husker record books.

“(It feels) phenomenal,” Wright said. “It’s my last year and I’ve been hunting this for the past two years now. I’ve got second the past two years now. I just feel great.”

Malone made her presence known in the women’s javelin, recording a personal-best throw of 181-8 (55.37) on her first attempt of the competition. The mark ranks her third in the nation entering this weekend and moves her to second in the Nebraska all-time standings.

“I honestly don’t even have any words to say,” Malone said. “I have so much support from my teammates this year and my coaches have been phenomenal. It’s a dream come true and it’s been a long time coming. Going into it I thought I’m going to do whatever I can do to help the team. My ultimate goal was to be on the top of that podium and get my team ten points. I hope that can get some fire to my team and hopefully we can come out on top.”

Sarah Firestone followed Malone’s lead with a fifth-place finish and a personal-best throw of 165-7 (50.49).

Annie Jackson earned a spot on the podium in the women’s shot put, finishing third overall. Jackson remained in the top three throughout most of the competition, but used a personal-best-tying throw of 55-0 (16.76) on her final attempt to earn the top-three finish. She led a contingent of Huskers as Carlie Pinkelman finished fourth with a personal-best throw of 52-11 ½ (16.14) and Veronica Grizzle was sixth with a season-best throw of 51-5 1/2 (15.68).

Patrick Raedler claimed a runner-up finish in the men’s long jump. He posted a leap of 24-8 ½ (7.53) on his first attempt of the competition as he led the field through the next four rounds. Trevor Yedoni of Minnesota posted a leap of 24-10 (7.57) on his final attempt and Raedler’s sixth jump of 23-11 ¾ (7.31) would not be enough to take the event title. Seth Wiedel finished fifth with a leap of 23-11 ¾ (7.31) and Devandrew Johnson came in sixth with a leap of 23-10 (7.26). In the men’s high jump, Travis Englund notched a sixth-place finish with a leap of 6-9 (2.06).

A personal-best vault of 17-4 ½ (5.30) propelled Christian Sanderfer to a runner-up finish in the men’s pole vault and moved him to seventh all-time at Nebraska. Beau Simmons tallied a fourth-place finish with a vault of 16-8 ¾ (5.10), while Craig Driver was eighth with a vault of 16-8 ¾ (5.10).

Jazmin McCoy leaped her way to a third-place finish in the women’s long jump. A season-best jump of 20-0 ½ (6.11) propelled her in the standings on her fourth jump of the competition and she held on for the podium finish. Mollie Gribbin finished sixth overall with a leap of 19-9 ¾ (6.04) on her first jump of the competition.

Anne Martin claimed a third-place finish in the heptathlon with 5,430 points. She tabbed the second-best leap in the heptathlon long jump competition to start her day, posting a jump of 19-0 ¾ (5.81). A personal-best throw of 137-6 (41.92) on her first attempt in the javelin followed, before she clocked a time of 2:22.11 in the 800 meters to close the two days of competition.

Guy Fenske closed his first conference decathlon in ninth-place with 6,568 points. He opened the day with a time of 19.80 in the 110-meter hurdles and followed with a throw of 116-8 (35.56) in the discus. He cleared 13-5 ¼ (4.10) in the pole vault and followed that with a personal-best throw of 168-4 (51.30) in the javelin. Fenske closed the competition with a personal-best time of 4:34.72 in the 1,500 meters.

The Huskers return to action tomorrow for the final day of competition, set to begin at 10 a.m. The final event is slated for 2:45 p.m.