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NCAA championships underway

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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

The Oregon Trail

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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

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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)

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)

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.

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)

In pictures: NCAA prelims day 1

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Be sure to check out a photo gallery from Thursday's opening day of the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships Preliminary Round on UWBadgers.com:

Photo Gallery: NCAA Preliminary Round - Day 1

Ahmed races way to Eugene

Ahmed_Mohammed_BT_Out_10_Blog.jpgCheck back to UWBadgers.com for a full recap of Thursday's events.

Freshman Mohammed Ahmed's outstanding freshman season continued Thursday, as he earned a spot in the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships with a fourth-place finish in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA preliminary round in Austin, Texas.

Racing in his first NCAA event, Ahmed clocked a time of 29:38.85 to take fourth and earn one of the 12 spots that advanced to the 10K final in Eugene, Ore., in June.

The performance came on the heels of Ahmed's Big Ten championship in the 10,000 meters two weeks ago, a win that came in his outdoor debut for the Badgers. His second-ever outdoor race went nearly as well.

Oklahoma State's John Kosgei claimed the win in 29:36.55, with Ahmed just two seconds back.

Redshirt freshman Elliot Krause came agonizingly close to earning a ticket to Eugene, as well. He ran a time of 29:50.26 but fell two spots short of a qualifying spot in 14th.

Junior Landon Peacock was just behind in 18th place with his time of 30:03.77.

Groce, Rucks advance at NCAAs

Groce_James_BT_Out_10_Blog.jpgSenior James Groce advanced to the quarterfinals of the men's 400 meters and junior Luke Rucks moved through to the quarters of the men's 800 meters for the Wisconsin men's track and field team Thursday at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships Preliminary Round in Austin, Texas.

Both were forced to anxiously watch the scoreboard after their races, as neither was an automatic qualifier based on finishing position. Both earned the right to advance based on time.

Groce clocked in at 46.87 -- his second-best effort of the season -- to advance in the 400 meters. Sophomore teammate Kyle Jefferson's time of 47.10 did not hold up, however.

Groce was among the 20 athletes in the 48-man field that cracked the 47-second barrier, with the top four finishers each clocking in under 46 seconds. Texas A&M junior Demetrius Pinder was fastest overall at 45.39.

In the 800 meters, Rucks used a personal-best time of 1:49.07 to race his way into the quarterfinals. The performance dropped two tenths of a second off Rucks' month-old best of 1:49.27 and ranked him 12th-fastest in the field.

It also placed the first-time NCAA qualifier a step away from a trip to June's NCAA outdoor championships in Eugene, Ore. The top 12 finishers in Friday's quarterfinals will advance.

Rucks' teammate, junior Zach Beth, did not fare as well and missed out on a quarterfinals berth by finishing 28th overall in 1:50.00.

ON WISCONSIN