UW Health Sports Medicine 

Badgers meet on eve of meet

Competition in the 2010 Big Ten Indoor Championships doesn't get underway until 10 a.m. Saturday morning, but the Wisconsin men's track and field team had plenty on its schedule for Friday.

The Badgers pulled into Minneapolis just before 1 p.m. after departing from Camp Randall Stadium just after 8 a.m. and, after a couple hours to themselves, got to work preparing for the weekend of competition.

The athletes worked out inside the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse in the afternoon before heading out to dinner on their own.

The coaching staff, meanwhile, made the short trip to TCF Bank Stadium for the pre-meet coaches' meeting.

The attendant stationed in the stadium lobby seemed surprised that members of the coaching staffs from Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa would take the elevator ride to the stadium's club level together.

What he didn't know, however, was that UW head coach Ed Nuttycombe offered seats on the Badgers' Meister Coaches bus to the Wolverines 'and Hawkeyes' coaches, as well as Purdue's coaching staff. So, yes, we can all get along.

That held true during the meeting, too, as coaches debated a variety of topics for the weekend. Besides the seeding of some events and check-in procedures for the athletes, the biggest discussion of the night centered around Sunday's events in the heptathlon.

With 22 athletes entered into the multi-event competition, there was legitimate concern that the heptathlon pole vault would drag on long enough that it hold up the conclusion of the meet.

Big Ten rules state that the 4x400-meter relay -- the meet's final event -- can't begin until all other events have been completed and scored. With a hepathlon pole vault competition that will take at least three hours to complete, there was a good chance that the heptathlon 1,000 meters wouldn't begin until after the scheduled start time for the 4x400 relay.

The coaches eventually settled on bumping up the start time of the first heptathlon event on Sunday -- the 60-meter hurdles -- by 20 minutes. That means Sunday's competition schedule now begins at 10 a.m.

Once the coaches' meeting concluded and the staff returned to the hotel, it was time for the Badgers' scheduled team meeting. Procedural and logistical issues took up most of the time, before Nuttycombe and senior captains Ryan Gasper and Nate Larkin offered up some last-minute words for the team.

Larkin gets credit for the quote of the night, but I'll leave his exact words within the walls of the meeting room.

Things get underway Saturday at the UM Fieldhouse at 10 a.m. with the heptathlon 60 meters. Follow along with live results and frequent updates on the UWBadgers.com Men's Track & Field Blog.