UW Health Sports Medicine 

Titles on track propel Badgers to second at Big Tens


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

Day 3 Results

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Championship performances in the 1,500 meters and 4x100-meter relay to start the day set the stage for the Wisconsin men's track and field team to score a runner-up finish at the 2010 Big Ten Conference Outdoor Championships.

In all, the Badgers totaled seven All-Big Ten performances and placed nine different athletes on the awards stand. It was good enough for second place in the team standings, as UW's total of 124 points stood second to Minnesota's championship-winning score of 145.

It was the Badgers' ninth top-two finish in the last 11 years at the Big Ten outdoor meet and represented their best team score since tallying 145.5 points to win the title in 2007.

Seniors Jack Bolas and Craig Miller reversed the finishing order from last year's Big Ten meet, as Bolas scored his first individual conference title by winning the 1,500 meters in 3:43.79, with Miller second in 3:44. 00.

Redshirt freshman Rob Finnerty set up the race for his teammates by taking the race out at a fast pace. He ended up eighth in 3:47.47 to add another all-important point to the Badgers' team total.

Finnerty's lead set the stage for a fantastic finish, with Miller countering a move to the front by Minnesota's Ben Blankenship made with about 200 meters to go as the duo hit the homestretch. By that time, Bolas and Ohio State's Jeff See were into their finishing kicks, and they sprinted the final 50 meters four wide down the straightaway.

With strong closes over the final 20 meters, the Badgers duo hit the line first and second.

That performance came on the heels of the outstanding run by the 4x100-meter relay team of senior Nate Larkin, freshman Gavin Robertson, senior James Groce and sophomore Kyle Jefferson to open the day.

The Badgers clocked a season-best mark of 40.15 seconds to open a busy day for all four athletes. Interestingly, the Badgers claimed the 4x100 title despite having no entries in the open 100 meters.

From there, Larkin grabbed a runner-up finish in the 110-meter hurdles for the second-consecutive year, clocking in at 14.24 seconds to finish just back of Illinois' Andrew Riley, who came home first in 14.18.

Groce and Jefferson came back to take points in the 400 meters, with Groce taking a spot on the podium with a third-place finish in a season-best 46.71. Jefferson was right behind in fourth with a time of 47.03.

Robertson provided another clutch performance for the Badgers by blazing to All-Big Ten honors and a runner-up finish in the 200 meters. The freshman clocked in at 21.38 a day after earning the No. 5 qualifying spot for the finals with a personal-best run of 21.28.

Jefferson, Robertson and Groce also teamed up with sophomore Grant Bughman to take fifth in the 4x400-meter relay by clocking a season-best time of 3:09.59 to wrap up the meet for UW.

Wisconsin also picked up an All-Big Ten performance from junior Zach Beth in the 800 meters, as he came home second in 1:49.15 to finish just back of Penn State's Casimir Loxsom's 1:48.06.

Maverick Darling helped close things out on the track for the Badgers with a run of 13:55.72 that was good for third place in the 5,000 meters.

In the field events, junior Robert Dehn earned All-Big Ten honors and a runner-up finish in the javelin for the second-consecutive year. He let loose a throw of 212 feet, 9 inches on his first throw of the finals to finish just back of champion Matt Byers of Iowa, who threw 220-6.