UW Health Sports Medicine 

Badgers position themselves for NCAAs

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With just this weekend's Wisconsin Twilight standing between the Badgers and college track and field's version of the postseason, a number of UW athletes have positioned themselves to compete at the NCAA championships.

Last weekend's Musco Twilight in Iowa City, Iowa, and Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., had a major impact on the postseason hopes of a number of Badgers because of changes to the qualifying format for the NCAA championships.

Gone is the four-region format the NCAA has used since 2003 to determine who advances to the national championship meet. In its place is a two-region system that utilizes a preliminary round in which the top 96 performers in each event will compete for the right to advance to the NCAA championships.

For the 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays, the top 24 teams in each region will be invited to the preliminary round.

The allocation of qualifiers breaks down into 48 competitors per event (24 per relay event) for the East Region and 48 per event (24 per relay event) for the West Region, to which the Badgers belong. The preliminary round is set for May 27-29, with Greensboro, N.C., serving as the East Region host site and Austin, Texas, hosting the West Region's competitors.

Those preliminary-round meets will serve to reduce the field sizes in each event down to the 12 per event that will compete at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., from June 9-12.

Beyond the meet structure itself, the biggest change to the college landscape is the elimination of specific qualifying marks in each event. Instead of chasing a standard for qualification, athletes' focus now rests on placing themselves among the top 48 regionally in their event. Got it? With those changes in mind, here's a look at where the Badgers stand among West Region competitors with just two weekends remaining before the NCAA qualification window closes on May 16.


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NCAA West Region Rankings - Men

400 Meters
30. Kyle Jefferson (46.93)

800 Meters
16. Luke Rucks (1:49.27)
45. Zach Beth (1:50.15)

1500 Meters
6. Craig Miller (3:41.42)
35. Rob Finnerty (3:45.45)
46. Jack Bolas (3:46.25)

5000 Meters
21. Maverick Darling (13:49.95)
23. Craig Miller (13:50.40)
34. Landon Peacock (13:54.73)
35. Ryan Gasper (13:55.18)

110-Meter Hurdles
24. Nate Larkin (14.06)

3,000-Meter Steeplechase
4. Ryan Gasper (8:42.88)
23. Drew Shields (8:55.71)
43. Phil Thomas (9:04.65)

4x100-Meter Relay*
24. Larkin, Robertson, Groce, Jefferson (40.33)

4x400-Meter Relay*
41. Jefferson, Robertson, Groce, Bughman (3:10.05)

High Jump
17. Collin Taylor (6-11 3/4)

Long Jump
34. Rayme Mackinson (24-3 1/2)

Shot Put
28. Jake Fritz (56-6 1/2)
44. Casey Dehn (55-1 1/2)

Discus
47. Rory Linder (170-6)

Javelin
17. Robert Dehn (225-3)

Decathlon
20. David Grzesiak (7,163 pts.)
28. Derek Steinbach (6,940 pts.)
43. Ian Jansen (6,627 pts.)

* Relay rankings do not discount multiple performances by same team


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NCAA West Region Rankings - Women

5000 Meters
35. Caitlin Comfort (16:22.28)

100-Meter Hurdles
33. Egle Staisiunaite (13.75)

400-Meter Hurdles
18. Egle Staisiunaite (59.89)
37. Jenna Severson (1:00.65)

High Jump
6. Megan Seidl (5-10 3/4)
22. Dorcas Akinniyi (5-8 3/4)
22. Monika Jakutyte (5-8 3/4)

Pole Vault
14. Jenny Soceka (13-9 3/4)

Long Jump
27. Chavon Robinson (20-0 1/4)

Triple Jump
9. Chavon Robinson (42-6)
22. Jordan Helgren (41-4 1/2)
31. LaQuita Brazil (40-7 3/4)

Shot Put
20. Amanda Hoeppner (49-9 1/4)
27. Jasmine Boyer (49-3 3/4)
30. Taylor Smith (49-1)

Discus
38. Taylor Smith (159-6)
46. Sunni Massop (158-1)

Hammer Throw
36. Amanda Hoeppner (182-3)

Javelin
48. Megan Rennhack (142-8)

Heptathlon
8. Dorcas Akinniyi (5,245 pts.)
12. Jessica Flax (5,155 pts.)
18. Jenny Soceka (4,971 pts.)

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