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Soceka's title highlights big day in field for Badgers

Soceka_Jenny_BT_Blog.jpgComplete Results

Check back to UWBadgers.com for a complete recap Sunday evening.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The road had a few more dips than she'd anticipated, but Jenny Soceka completed her path to the top of the Big Ten Conference on Sunday.

Soceka took her spot atop the podium on the final day of the 2010 Big Ten Outdoor Championships after winning her first conference title in the pole vault.

The performance verified Soceka's place atop the conference standings in the event, as she cleared 13 feet, 5 1/4 inches to easily out-pace runner-up Kelsie Ahbe of Indiana and third-place finisher Alicia Rue of Minnesota, who both cleared at 13-1 1/2.

It also led the way for the Badgers' outstanding final day in the field events, as Wisconsin racked up 101.5 points to claim a third-place team finish.

The performance, which trailed only champion Penn State's total of 133.5 and runner-up Minnesota's 123 points, marked the Badgers' best Big Ten finish since finishing third in 2000.

The pole vault championship came two years after Soceka earned runner-up honors in the event in 2008. She redshirted the 2009 season to continue her development and then struggled down the stretch of this year's indoor season, ultimately failing to clear a bar at the Big Ten indoor championships.

She bounced back in a big way outdoors, however, and came up big for the Badgers this weekend. In addition to her pole vault title -- just the second in UW history, joining Tara Clack's 2003 crown -- she also posted a fourth-place finish in the heptathlon.

The Badgers also scored big in the triple jump with senior Chavon Robinson taking runner-up honors, sophomore Jordan Helgren finishing third and senior LaQuita Brazil grabbing a fifth-place finish.

Robinson leapt 41 feet, 10 3/4 inches on her final attempt to hold down second place, while Helgren's penultimate jump was her best at 41-6 1/2. Brazil boasted a lifetime-best leap of 40-9 3/4 to take fifth.

In the high jump, sophomore Monika Jakutyte tied for third at 5-9 3/4, while senior Megan Seidl took fifth with same clearance on the criteria of misses.