UW Health Sports Medicine 

Badgers up to No. 1 in regional ranks

The Wisconsin men's track and field team may have settled for a third-place finish at last weekend's Big Ten indoor championships, but the Badgers can take solace in the fact that they've vaulted to the No. 1 spot in the latest regional rankings.

UW moved to the top of the order in the Great Lakes Region, according to the latest version of the USTFCCCA Regional Team Index released Tuesday.

Interestingly enough, the Badgers swapped spots with last week's leader, Ohio State, despite finishing a rung below the Buckeyes at the Big Ten meet.

Wisconsin still has not cracked the USTFCCCA national rankings since opening at No. 24 in the preseason rundown, however. The Badgers actually slipped back two spots to No. 32 nationally.

(You can access all of the regional and national rankings on the USTFCCCA official site)

Big Ten teams hold six of the top seven spots in the Great Lakes Regional Index, with Ohio State second, Indiana third, Purdue fourth and Michigan at No. 5. Michigan State is ranked seventh.

As for the rest of the league, Penn State leads the Mid-Atlantic Region rankings, while Minnesota stands No. 3 and Iowa checks in at No. 4 in the Midwest Region.

Since these rankings are all based on performances to date, expect a big shakeup after everyone goes out chasing fast times in last-chance meets this weekend.

The Badgers will compete in last-chance affairs at Notre Dame and UW-Whitewater, as well as, possibly, at Iowa State.

It could be another wild weekend. At last year's Alex Wilson Invitational -- held annually on Notre Dame's oversized track -- a whopping 15 schools posted automatic NCAA qualifying marks in the distance medley relay.