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June 2010 Archives

Solinsky profiled by Sports Illustrated

Solinsky_Chris_Cardinal_10_5_Blog.jpegChris Solinsky's American-record run in the 10,000 meters last month -- along with a near-record run in the 5,000 meters in early June -- has put the former Badger in the spotlight of the running world.

A whole new audience is learning of Solinsky's accomplishments -- not to mention his seemingly endless potential -- thanks to a profile in this week's issue of Sports Illustrated.

Long-time SI writer Tim Layden put together a great piece on Solinsky's path to the pinnacle of American distance running, as well as the unconventional build of his body that draws even more attention to his feats.

"Solinsky, meanwhile, is 6-foot-1, 165 pounds, with the definition and muscle mass of a wrestler or a Division III safety," Layden writes.

Layden has posted a longer version of the feature online at SI.com, with fellow former Badgers Matt Tegenkamp and Simon Bairu providing some insight on their Nike teammate.

SI.com: Chris Solinsky is breaking records without conventional runner's build

2010 Football Poster Shoot

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2010 Football Poster Shoot Photo Gallery

The 2010 Wisconsin football season is quietly approaching as we're less than two months away from the opening of fall camp. Another indication that the season is almost upon us is that the 2010 senior class met on Wednesday night to shoot the team poster.

One career is over, another begins

For four future members of the Wisconsin volleyball team, their high school season is officially over. Four signees for the Badgers competed in the AAU Junior National Championships in Orlando, Fla., over the last four days. The championship wrapped up on Tuesday in the 18-open division with Dominique Thompson and her Minnesota One Volleyball Club winning the bronze medal. Thompson was also named to the 14-player AAU All-American team.

Badger trio ranked ninth by Rivals

"These triplets are a nightmare for defenses"

Rivals.com put up a story earlier this month ranking the top "triplets" in college football, meaning the team with the best combination of quarterback, running back and wide receiver.

The Badger trio of QB Scott Tolzien, RB John Clay and WR Nick Toon came in at No. 9 in the top-15 poll.

"The Badgers' trio isn't as flashy as some others on this list, but Tolzien, Clay and Toon get the job done," writes David Fox.

Follow the link at the top to read what else he has to say and see the rest of the list.

NCAA announces change in women's soccer championship format

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The NCAA Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet approved a recommendation to change the women's postseason championships to a 1-1-2-2 format beginning in the fall of 2011, the NCAA announced Friday.

Now, the first round of the NCAA tournament will be held at 32 on-campus sites and the following week, the second round will be held at 16 on-campus sites.

Lots of news in Badger hockey world

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Burish wins Stanley Cup; Geoffrion, Stepan sign NHL contracts; Ramage invited to World Junior camp; Joudrey wins Calder Cup


Five people with ties to the Wisconsin men's hockey program - a combination of former and current student-athletes - have been in the news of late, and there is great reason to be happy for all of them.


First off, Adam Burish and his Chicago Blackhawks teammates reached the pinnacle of the hockey world when the team won game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals with an overtime goal in Philadelphia. That victory, on an overtime winner by Patrick Kane that nobody but Kane actually knew went in the net, gave Chicago its first Stanley Cup victory in 49 years. Burish now boasts a somewhat rare double that includes NCAA and Stanley Cup titles. He also brings another Cup title home to Madison.

Surely the news most directly impacting the 2010-11 Badgers is the early departure of junior-to-be center Derek Stepan. Named an assistant captain for next season, Stepan decided to pass on his final two years of collegiate eligibility and take his game to the next level. Wisconsin's leading scorer last season was one of three players in the nation to average better than an assist per game. And in one of those annual end-of-season quirks in college hockey, was completely absent with regards to individual league and national honors. The former Badger star opened eyes when he led Team USA in scoring as captain and led the team to the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship gold medal. Stepan is a fantastic person with obvious leadership abilities who will be sorely missed in the Badger locker room. He will be a great addition to the New York Rangers organization.


Another former Badger signing an NHL contract over the past couple of weeks is Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Blake Geoffrion. Having spent the past two weeks in the New York area myself, his signing has been covered even in the local media there. Among some of the places I've read about the signing included CNNSI.com.


As the first Tennessee native to ever sign an NHL contract, Geoffrion would have been breaking ground. It just happens that his hometown Nashville Predators drafted the All-American and so the hometown boy did good.


He also happened to sign his contract at his elementary school, as this video shows.

It seems strange to bury what a current Badger is up to, but that is just how this worked out. Sophomore-to-be John Ramage has been invited by USA Hockey to the 2010 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp this summer in Lake Placid, N.Y. He will be among 44 players auditioning for a spot on the U.S. National Junior Team that will take part in the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, Dec. 26, 2010-Jan. 5, 2011, in Buffalo, N.Y. Ramage was a part of last year's gold medal-winning American squad, along with Badgers' Jake Gardiner and Stepan, as well as former UW assistant coach Mark Osiecki.


The NHL draft runs June 25-26 from Los Angeles and Ramage is among the players who may be drafted over the two days.


Lastly, in addition to a Badger winning the Stanley Cup, another Badger won the Calder Cup, which goes to the winning team of the American Hockey League playoffs. Former UW center Andrew Joudrey, a former teammate of Stanley Cup champion Burish, helped the Hershey Bears capture their second consecutive league title. Hershey is the AHL affiliate for the NHL's Washington Capitals.

A week in the office

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Wisconsin women's soccer head coach Paula Wilkins checks in weekly updating fans on the women's soccer team, what's going on in Madison and other tidbits. Check back to UWBadgers.com for regular updates.

It has been a very productive week in the office for me. It has been very quiet with both my assistants out of town, but my staff assistants, Sue and Lori, have kept me entertained all week (along with the World Cup).

The World Cup has been fantastic, and you have to assume the second round games will be more entertaining as teams have to get results. I was shocked, as everyone was, to see Spain lose to Switzerland but that truly is the nature of our sport.

Bohannon works out for Bucks

Bohannon_Jason_Bucks_Workout_10.jpgJason Bohannon and Trevon Hughes shared a number of experiences during their four years together at the University of Wisconsin.

They can add another after Bohannon took part in a pre-draft workout for the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday. Hughes also took part in a workout for the Bucks, who are scouting for talent for the upcoming NBA Draft and summer league season, on May 17.

"It was a great experience," Bohannon said after his workout. "There was definitely a lot of good guys out here, and the games were very competitive and all the drills we did. We got a very good workout."

Billy McKinney, the Bucks' director of scouting, said Bohannon showed himself to be more than just a perimeter shooter.

"He gets the reputation as a spot-up shooter, but he handles the ball, he can create shots off the dribble," McKinney said.

Bohannon says that he is exploring the options for continuing his playing career, whether in the U.S. or overseas. The 2010 NBA Draft is set for June 24 in New York, with the NBA Summer League getting underway July 9 in Las Vegas.

Busy day to be a Badger


Live Video: NCAA Championships  |  adidas Grand Prix

There are major track and field competitions taking place on both U.S.coasts on Saturday, and Wisconsin athletes past, present and future will be well-represented.

First, seniors Jack Bolas and Craig Miller will race for a national title -- and in Miller's case an eighth-career All-America honor -- in the final of the men's 1,500 meters at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore.

That race goes off at 12:30 p.m. (CT), with CBS carrying the event live. You can also watch a free live webstream.

Later this afternoon, you have the latest IAAF Diamond League event, the adidas Grand Prix, set to begin at 3 p.m. in New York. Look for former Badgers Matt Tegenkamp and Evan Jager to make their season debuts in a star-studded 1,500 meters field.

The adidas Grand Prix will air live on NBC and is also available online via webstream from Universal Sports, for a cost of $1.99.

Also competing at Ichan Stadium in New York is incoming Badgers freshman Emily Sisson, who is racing in the Jim Ryun High School Dream Mile. The all-star race is scheduled to go off at 5:22 p.m., as part of the adidas Grand Prix.

In video: NCAA Championships - Day 2

Mohammed Ahmed talks with RunnersSpace.com about his fourth-place finish in the 10,000 meters Thursday at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Check out additional interviews with assistant coach Mick Byrne and 1,500-meter runners Jack Bolas and Craig Miller after the jump.

Gutsy run earns Ahmed All-America honors

Live Results  |  Day 2 Photo Gallery 

Mohammed Ahmed's outstanding rookie season for the Wisconsin men's track and field team continued Thursday, as the freshman raced his way to an impressive fourth-place finish in the 10,000 meters at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

There was no catching champion Sam Chelanga of Liberty, but Ahmed dueled some experienced competition all the way to the finish and, in the process, lowered his own Canadian national junior record to 28:57.44.

Running like a veteran, Ahmed rode out the early stages of the race in the middle of the pack, but moved steadily forward as attrition set in and competitors dropped off the pace.

He closed well, knocking off the final 800 meters in 2:07.47, including a spectacular final 400 meters that he covered in 1:00.81 -- the second-fastest final lap of any competitor.

Ahmed becomes the 16th Wisconsin athlete to earn All-America honors in the 10K and earned the program's 11th All-America honor in the event since 2000.

Akinniyi again an All-American


Live Results  |  Day 2 Photo Gallery 

Redshirt freshman Dorcas Akinniyi just keeps moving up the awards stand at the NCAA championships.

After finishing seventh to earn All-America honors in the pentathlon at the NCAA indoor championships in March, Akinniyi followed up by putting the wraps on a fifth-place heptathlon finish and another All-America citation Thursday at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Akinniyi posted the second-highest score of her young career by tallying 5,506 points to earn her fifth-place showing. Oregon junior Brianne Theisen defended her title by claiming in the top spot with a score of 6,094.

With her performance, Akinniyi becomes just the third Wisconsin athlete to earn All-America honors in the heptathlon, and the first to ever post All-America finishes in both the indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon.

She also becomes the first Badger to be an indoor and outdoor All-American in the same season since Katrina Rundhaug accomplished the feat in 2008.

Akinniyi, who entered the second day of competition in third place, held her position until the final event. She slid two spots to fifth despite ending the seven-event competition with a personal-best run of 2:21.45 in the 800 meters.

She also posted a mark of 18 feet, 9 3/4 inches in the long jump and threw 114-6 in the javelin to set up her All-America finish.

The performance wraps up an amazing collegiate season for the second-year athlete, who also swept the Big Ten indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon crowns. She'll next compete at the 2010 USA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, in two weeks.

Grzesiak wraps up first day of decathlon

Grzesiak_David_NCAA_10_Blog.jpgLive Results  |  Day 2 Photo Gallery 

Sophomore David Grzesiak closed out the first day of the decathlon at the 2010 NCAA Championships on Thursday with a five-event score of 3,623 points that has him 20th halfway through the competition.

Oregon senior Ashton Eaton holds down the lead with his collegiate-record first-day score of 4,500 points.

Grzesiak opened the day with a season-best run of 11.46 in the 100 meters to pick up 761 points out of the gate. He posted a mark of 21 feet, 4 3/4 inches on his first attempt in the long jump to add another 702 points to his total.

He heaved 39-10 3/4 in the shot put for 616 points and then cleared 6-4 in the high jump for a 740-point boost.

Grzesiak wrapped up the day with a run of 50.23 in the 400 meters.

He'll finish the decathlon Friday, with the final five events beginning at noon (CT) with the 110-meter hurdles.

Biking and...Bacon?

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Wisconsin women's soccer head coach Paula Wilkins checks in weekly updating fans on the women's soccer team, what's going on in Madison and other tidbits. Check back to UWBadgers.com for regular updates.

Sometimes I get to do the coolest things as a coach, and Tuesday was one of those times. Yesterday the Wisconsin coaching staff went to Milwaukee for Badger Days, and we had the opportunity to be on the field at Miller Park before the Brewers game against the Cubs. If you are not from the Midwest, you have to understand that it's a big game when the Brewers play the Cubs, as there is no love lost between the two teams. It was a great game, but more importantly, it was a great athletic atmosphere.

NCAA championships underway


Redshirt freshman Dorcas Akinniyi is off to a fast start at the the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships, as she opened the first day of the heptathlon with a personal-best run of 13.95 in the 100-meter hurdles.

The heptathlon high jump is up next for Akinniyi, who is one of three Badgers competing today in Eugene. Senior Megan Seidl competes in the women's high jump at 6:45 p.m. (CT), right after junior Luke Rucks runs in the semifinals of the men's 800 meters at 6:30 p.m.

Be sure to check back throughout the day for the ever-expanding gallery of photos from Day 1 |

Photos: NCAA Championships - Day 1

Coach Stone at Badger Days 2010

Coach Lisa Stone traveled with her fellow coaches and staff to the Badger Days event in Milwaukee on June 8. Coach Stone took a couple minutes from her busy schedule to write a Blog on her experience, including a 3-2 win by the Brewers over the Cubs.

The Oregon Trail


Live Results  |  Live Video  |  Twitter

After a long day of travel Monday and some workouts (photos) at Hayward Field on Tuesday, the Wisconsin men's and women's track and field teams are set to kick off the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships today in Eugene, Ore.

Redshirt freshman Dorcas Akinniyi starts things off with the women's heptathlon at 3 p.m. (CT), followed by junior Luke Rucks in the semifinals of the men's 800 meters at 6:30 p.m. and senior Megan Seidl in the women's high jump at 6:45.

The NCAA is offering a total of four live video feeds today, including one specifically for the women's high jump, as well as a live results feed. I'll also be posting updates throughout the meet on Twitter. Links to the coverage are at the top of this page.

Vote early and vote Badger

Jorgensen_Gwen_BT_09_Blog.jpegThe United States Olympic Committee has opened its monthly polls for the top U.S. male and female teams and athletes in May, and a pair of former Badgers are among the choices.

Vote soon, however, because Sunday is the final day to take part in the polls.

Former Badger cross country and track All-American Gwen Jorgensen is up for USOC May Female Athlete of the Month after a runner-up performance in her international debut for USA Triathlon.

Jorgensen finished a very close second at the 2010 World University Triathlon Championships in Valencia, Spain, on May 30.  |  Vote for Jorgensen

You can also vote for Jorgensen's U.S. women's triathlon team, which scored a silver-medal finish at the world university championships, for USOC May Team of the Month.  |  Vote for the U.S. women

Chris Solinsky, a five-time NCAA champion during his days as a Badger, started the month of May with a bang when he shattered the American record in the 10,000 meters with a time of 26:59.60. The performance has him up for USOC May Male Athlete of the Month.  |  Vote for Solinsky

Heading to Hayward: UW Men


A look at the Wisconsin men's track and field teams' qualifiers for next week's 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships, which are set for June 9-12 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

The rankings and seed times listed below reflect an athlete's qualifying mark from last week's NCAA Preliminary Round in Austin, Texas, except for decathlon scores, which are based on season-best performances.

2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships Entries (9 athletes, 5 events, 6 entries)
- 800 Meters: Luke Rucks (24th, 1:49.84)
- 1500 Meters: Jack Bolas (2nd, 3:38.47); Craig Miller (17th, 3:46.32)
- 10,000 Meters: Mohammed Ahmed (5th, 29:38.85)
- 4x400-Meter Relay: Kyle Jefferson, James Groce, Grant Bughman, Gavin Robertson (22nd, 3:07.30)
- Decathlon: David Grzesiak (22nd, 7364 pts.)

Entries Breakdown
- First-Time Qualifiers (6): Rucks, Ahmed, Jefferson, Bughman, Robertson, Grzesiak
- Prior All-Americans (2): Miller (7-time All-American), Bolas (3-time All-American)
- By Class: Freshman - 2 (Ahmed, Robertson); Sophomore - 3 (Bughman, Jefferson, Grzesiak); Junior - 1 (Rucks); Senior - 3 (Bolas, Miller, Groce)

Heading to Hayward: UW Women


A look at the Wisconsin women's track and field teams' qualifiers for next week's 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships, which are set for June 9-12 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

The rankings and seed times listed below reflect an athlete's qualifying mark from last week's NCAA Preliminary Round in Austin, Texas, except for heptathlon scores, which are based on season-best performances.

2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships Entries (3 athletes, 3 events, 3 entries)

- High Jump: Megan Seidl (2nd, 5-11 1/4 (1.81m))
- Pole Vault: Jenny Soceka (4th, 13-9 1/4 (4.20m))
- Heptathlon: Dorcas Akinniyi (7th, 5584 pts.)

Entries Breakdown
- First-Time NCAA Outdoor Qualifiers (1): Akinniyi
- Prior All-Americans (1): Soceka (outdoor pole vault: 7th, 2008)
- By Class: Redshirt Freshman - 1 (Akinniyi); Senior - 2 (Seidl, Soceka) 

Solinsky flirts with American 5K record

Solinsky_Chris_Payton_Jordan_10K_AR_2._Blog.jpgChris Solinsky wanted to take a shot at the American record in the 5,000 meters Friday in Oslo, Norway, and take a shot he did.

The former Badger ran just off the pace of the previous American mark at the Bislett Games, finishing sixth in a world-class field at the IAAF Diamond League event with a personal-best time of 12:56.66.

He finished only tenths of a second off the previous American record of 12:56.27 set last year by Dathan Ritzenhein.

It's appropriate to say "previous American record" because Solinsky's U.S. counterpart and two-time world champion Bernard Lagat topped the mark with his third-place run of 12:54.12.

Ethiopians Imane Merga (12:53.81) and Tariku Bekele (12:53.97) hit the line first in a tightly-packed group that saw each of the top 10 finishers crack the 13-minute mark.

Solinsky has said previously that he plans to make a run at the American record when the Diamond League stops at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., on July 3. Now, he'll have a faster mark to chase.

- Bislett Games Results
- All-Time Sub-13:00 Club (Track & Field News)

M... is for Morley and MVP

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Wisconsin alum Michael Finley and the Boston Celtics tipped off the NBA Finals Thursday in Los Angeles, but several time zones East, fellow Badger Zach Morley is collecting his own hardware.

2009-10 MVP.jpgPlaying for Autocid Ford Burgos in Spain, Morley was named the 2009-10 LEB Gold Spanish League MVP while leading his team to the league championship series.

Morley's Burgos team holds a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five games championship series against Vive Menorca. Burgos will look to close out the series with a home win Friday night. If necessary, game five would be played Sunday.

Morley averaged 15.1 points per game this season while shooting over 52 percent from the field. The 2005 UW alum also posted averages of 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.8 blocks and made a living at the free throw line, converting 81.1 percent of his attempts.

Overall, Morley topped 20 points in 11 games this season, including a season-high 30 points with eight rebounds in a Dec. 11, 2009 win over Clin.Rincon.

Morley has been playing professionally overseas since leaving Wisconsin after the 2004-05 season. In two years with the Badgers, Morley averaged 8.1 points, 5.3 rebounds 1.7 assists and 0.9 steals in 65 career games.

Solinsky back on track in Oslo

Solinsky_Chris_Cardinal_10_5_Blog.jpegIt's been just over a month since Chris Solinsky rewrote the American record in the 10,000 meters with his run of 26:59.60 in Palo Alto, Calif.

The former Badger's encore comes Friday, when he returns to the track to race in the 5,000 meters at the Bislett Games, the third stop in the 2010 IAAF Diamond League tour, in Oslo, Norway.

While neither is favored to win the event, Solinsky and fellow American Bernard Lagat -- a two-time world champion and Olympic silver medalist -- are going head-to-head in an effort to break the American 5K record of 12:56.27.

Solinsky said following his record run in the 10K last month that his next goal would be taking a shot at the 5K mark at the Prefontaine Classic on July 3. The meet, which annually attracts the U.S.'s top athletes to Eugene, Ore., was added to the Diamond League circuit this season.

The Bislett Games meet airs live on Universal Sports at 1 p.m. (CT), with a live web stream also available on www.universalsports.com for a fee of $1.99. Live results are also available.

Badger Days - Kohler

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IMG_8428.JPGThough there was a threat of bad weather the entire day, Badger Days Kohler was a hit from the early morning to the late evening. Here are some observations from 24 hours in Kohler.

Photo Gallery / Badgers Days - Kohler video

•    Tuesday night, following the Green Bay Badger Days, the bus took us to Whistling Straights for a private reception in their Championship Locker Room. Upon entrance, everyone filed into the locker rooms to check out the names. Of course, Tiger Woods was the big one but folks also looked for local guys Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly as well as favorites Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Ernie Els.

•    There were hors d'oevres and drinks in the sitting area of the locker room where the coaches and staff mingled for a couple hours. Coach Alvarez labeled it a "staff retreat" and it was another great chance for the coaches to talk on a myriad of subjects.

•    Wednesday started with a round of golf for most of the coaches and staff at Blackwolf Run. Coach Alvarez's wife, Cindy, was actually the talk of the day as her lessons from the day before obviously paid off. Women's basketball coach Lisa Stone, who played with Cindy, raved about her improvement, saying she had at least four pars and one birdie. Everyone talked about what a terrific course it was and what a good time everyone had. I don't know how it is at other athletic departments but all of our coaches talk about how close our coaches are and how well they all get along. This two-day stretch was another example.

•    The actual Badger Days event was held at the Shops at Woodlake. They had a huge tent set up for us in the parking lot with use of an atrium area overlooking the lake where Coach Alvarez, Coach Ryan and Coach Bielema were set up at their autograph tables.

Badger Days takes over Lambeau

IMG_8270.JPGThis is probably my fifth or sixth Badger Days trip and I still can't get over how cool it is. This year there are a couple new wrinkles. Student-athletes are making a couple of trips and Blake Geoffrion (with his Hobey Baker Trophy) and J.J. Watt were on the bus with us Tuesday.

Photo Gallery / Badgers Days - Green Bay video

The cheerleaders and Bucky have been mainstays at Badger Days but this year the UW Band will also be in attendance, playing all the fans' favorites. And, for the second straight year, 1999 Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne will join the festivities.

Tuesday's journey took us to Green Bay and Lambeau Field. I was going to do a running diary-style blog but I got an hour in and it was already a couple pages long and I'm sure no one wants to read that much detail. So I'll just hit on some highlights:

Badgers 9th in top program rankings

Byrne_Mick_BT_Out_10_Blog.jpgHeading into next week's 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships, the Wisconsin men's track and field team holds down the No. 9 spot in the standings for the John McDonnell Program of the Year Award.

The award, named for legendary Arkansas coach John McDonnell and presented by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, is presented to the school that performs best across the cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field seasons.

Programs are awarded a score for each championship based on their finish, with a championship worth 1 point, a second-place finish worth 2 points and so on.

With its seventh-place finish at the 2009 NCAA Cross Country Championships and its tie for 26th at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships, Wisconsin ranks No. 9 with a total of 36 points.

The Badgers have six entries for next week's NCAA outdoor meet, tying them with Penn State for the largest contingent among Big Ten teams.

Oregon, which finished runner-up in both cross country and indoor track, has a comfortable lead at 4.5 total points. Northern Arizona (13.5 points) is second, with New Mexico (18), Arizona State (26) and Oklahoma (27) rounding out the top five.

2010 John McDonnell Program of the Year Award
Men's Standings (as of May 30)

1. Oregon (4.5)
2. Northern Arizona (13.5)
3. New Mexico (18)
4. Arizona State (26)
5. Oklahoma (27)
6. Arkansas (31)
7. Alabama (32)
8. Minnesota (33.5)
9. Wisconsin (36)
10. Virginia (37)