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Big Ten championships underway


With the men's decathlon 100 meters and the heptathlon 100-meter hurdles, the 2010 Big Ten Outdoor Championships are underway at the Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex in Bloomington, Ind.

Follow along with Live Results and on Twitter.

The Badgers are off to an especially strong start in the women's hepathlon, with sophomore Jessica Flax, redshirt freshman Dorcas Akinniyi and senior Jenny Soceka posting the three fastest marks in the 100 hurdles.

All three posted personal-best performances, led by Flax's time of 14.04 seconds. The trio stands 1-2-3 in the heptathlon standings after the first of seven events.

In the decathlon, Grzesiak leads the charge for the Badgers after the 100 meters. His time of 11.42 has him sixth after one event in the 10-event competition.

Nuttycombe hits the airwaves


Men's track and field head coach Ed Nuttycombe hit the airwaves this morning to talk about the accomplishments of Badgers past and present.

Nuttycombe was a guest on the "Lucas and Lepay" show on WTSO-AM in Madison, with Chris Solinsky's American-record run in the 10,000 meters last weekend the topic of the day for hosts Mike Lucas and Matt Lepay.

The conversation also turned to Nuttycombe's current squad, namely the recent success of two-sport athlete Kyle Jefferson, and the cooperation between the Badgers' football and track programs.

A podcast of the show is available in mp3 format (Nuttycombe's interview begins at the 29:30 mark).

Nuttycombe is also scheduled to appear on the "On Wisconsin" show with Brian Posick on WTSO later this week. The show airs from 2-3 p.m., and is available online at TheBig1070.com.

Badgers position themselves for NCAAs


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.

More on Solinsky's dazzling debut


Former Badger Chris Solinsky remains in the spotlight as the track and field world continues to process his American-record run in the 10,000 meters Saturday.

Here are some highlights of the coverage in the wake of Solinsky's performance:

- Jason McMahon of Madison.com caught up with Solinsky and teammate Simon Bairu and put together a couple of great pieces:

Madison.com: Solinsky, Bairu like the sound of broken records
Madison.com: Blog: A victory lap with Solinsky and Bairu

- Columnist Andy Baggot also talks Solinsky on Madison.com today, linking his feat with those of fellow Stevens Point (Wis.) High School and Wisconsin athlete Joe Pavelski, who is tearing up the Stanley Cup Playoffs for San Jose:

Madison.com: Baggot: Pavelski, Solinsky feats linked by coincidence

- Ken Goe of The (Portland) Oregonian caught up with Solinsky and even the elusive Jerry Schumacher after Saturday's race, using some of their comments in his track and field notebook:

The Oregonian: OTC Elite's Chris Solinsky runs past the pain, shatters U.S. record in 10,000

- Curtis Anderson of the The (Eugene, Ore.) Register-Guard is already looking ahead to Solinsky's next race at the Prefontaine Classic in July, when he hopes to take a shot at the American record in the 5,000 meters, as well:

The Register-Guard: Next for Solinsky: American 5K record at July's Pre Classic

- Larry Eder breaks down the "geek analysis" on RunBlogRun with perspective on where Solinsky ranks among athletes making their 10K debut, as well as lap-by-lap splits from the race:

RunBlogRun.com: Chris Solinsky's 26:59.6 - the Geek analysis

Putting Solinsky's performance in perspective


You knew it was going to be fast, but...

When the declared entries were posted for Saturday's Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, it was immediately clear that the men's 10,000 meters was going to be a world-class race. The only question, really, was, "How fast will it be?"

That seemed to hinge on whether or not Galen Rupp, the seven-time NCAA champion while at Oregon, would run at Angell Field. His much-publicized attempt at the American record in the 10K would either take place in Palo Alto or on what is essentially his home track in Eugene, Ore.

In the end, Rupp chose Stanford's surface and joined an elite field that included former University of Wisconsin stars Simon Bairu, Tim Nelson and Chris Solinsky.

Of the three, Solinsky seemed least likely to make noise in the race, seeing as how he would be making his 10K debut. How wrong that assumption would turn out to be.

Jack is back

Bolas.jpgI had a nice conversation with senior Jack Bolas on Thursday as he and the rest of coach Mick Byrne's distance crew prepared to leave Madison for Palo Alto, Calif., and tonight's Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational.

Jack has been watching from the sidelines ever since the Big Ten indoor championships in early March because of a leg injury. In that last meet, he anchored  the Badgers to a conference title in the distance medley relay.

For someone who has competed at an All-America level since coming to Madison four years ago, it was interesting to hear that, for Jack, the worst part of being injured was missing out on traveling with his teammates.

He says he's going to make the most of what's left of his senior season, both on the track and in the time he has left with his teammates.

Read the full story here

A look at the lineups


While this weekend's Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational serves as a highlight of the season for the Badgers' distance crew, the Musco Twilight will be a tryout of sorts for several Badgers.

With the meet in Iowa City taking place just two weeks out from the Big Ten championships, it will serve as a final opportunity for some athletes to earn a spot on the Badgers' limited roster for the conference meet.

With that in mind, here's a look at the lineups for this weekend....

Weekend a big one for Badger alums, too


As usual, the Wisconsin men's track and field team has had the first weekend in May circled on its calendar since the outdoor season began.

That's because the annual trip to Palo Alto, Calif., for the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational usually brings out the best in the Badgers.

Last year in Palo Alto, then-juniors Jack Bolas and Craig Miller recorded the third- and fifth-fastest 1,500 meters times in school history. Bolas' 3:37.64 ranked No. 4 in the nation last year, while Miller's 3:37.81 was No. 5 on the NCAA list.

Miller and Bolas seek similar success on Saturday, but this year's running of the Payton Jordan Invitational is a big one for some former Badgers, too.

Video: Recapping the Badgers' weekend at Drake

Check out a video interview with the four members of the championship distance medley relay team of Ryan Gasper, James Groce, Zach Beth and Craig Miller after the jump.

Finnerty, Rucks take third-place finishes


Redshirt freshman Rob Finnerty showed he's undoubtedly on the downhill side of the road to recovery with a third-place finish in the 1,500 meters Saturday at the Drake Relays.

Finnerty, who missed his entire first season at UW because of injury, ran a personal-best 3:45.45 but was nipped at the line by Iowa State freshman Rico Loy and Silas Kisorio of Oklahoma Christian in a fantastic finish.

He spent most of the race on Kisorio's shoulder at the front of the pack and was in good position for a kick with 150 meters to go. That's when Loy joined the fray, and he out-kicked both the front-runners to take the win in 3:45.27.

Kisorio was just back in 3:45.37 with Finnerty half a step behind as all three lunged for the finish.

Finnerty's time cut more than three seconds off his previous best, the 3:48.50 he ran two weeks ago at the Mt. SAC Relays.

In the 800 meters, junior Luke Rucks finished a busy day of competition -- he also anchored UW's effort in the sprint medley relay -- by taking a third in the 800 meters.

Despite splitting a 1:50 earlier in the day on the relay, Rucks clocked in at 1:50.38 to claim his third-place finish. The time was just off Rucks' season-best mark of 1:50.20 that he ran at Mt. SAC.

Alabama junior Fred Samoei claimed the win in 1:49.73, with Nebraska freshman Tommy Brinn taking second in 1:49.84.