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Track & Field News profiles Sisson on eve of NCAAs

With Wisconsin's Emily Sisson set to make her NCAA championship debut Monday in Terre Haute, Ind., Track & Field News has profiled the Badgers freshman.

The feature, penned by Don Kopriva, discusses Sisson's successes and struggles in her first season, with comments from Sisson and head coach Jim Stintzi:

Although Emily Sisson certainly is not favored in Monday's NCAA Cross Country, Wisconsin's prize frosh has proved she's ready to run up front.
"It's really important to have confidence in yourself when you're at this level. I used to struggle with confidence and believing in myself, but you have to have the mentality that you're going to win every race you're going into."

You can read the entire story online at www.trackandfieldnews.com.

Sisson and teammate Caitlin Comfort will race at the 2010 NCAA Championship on Monday, with the women's 6-kilometer race set to begin at 11 a.m. UWBadgers.com will have complete coverage.

Sneak peek at Favor Hamilton 'Icons' special

Wisconsin legend Suzy Favor Hamilton will be featured Tuesday night as part of the "Big Ten Icons" series on Big Ten Network, a countdown of the top 50 student-athletes in Big Ten history.

Favor Hamilton, a nine-time NCAA champion during her time at UW, checks in at No. 19 on the countdown. Her special, hosted by broadcasting legend Keith Jackson, will air at 8 p.m. Tuesday evening.

Here's a brief glimpse of Favor Hamilton's episode of Big Ten Icons.

Bolas, Miller lay down sub-4 miles in Dublin

They have only been in the professional circuit for less than a month, but Jack Bolas and Craig Miller have wasted no time working  their way to the front of the field.

The former Wisconsin track and field athletes signed contracts with New Balance to begin their new careers as professional runners, following a season that saw both earn All-America honors in the 1,500 meters at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

The pair continued their European tour Wednesday with the Morton Mile Meeting in Dublin, Ireland.

Strong summer continues for Badgers

The summer continues to heat up for a number of athletes with ties to the Wisconsin men's and women's track programs.

• Incoming freshman Emily Sisson opened the 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships with a 10th-place finish in the 3,000 meters Monday. Her impressive time of 9:16.80 ranks No. 8 on the all-time list for high school athletes, according to Track & Field News.

To put that mark in perspective, Sisson's time would rank No. 9 on Wisconsin's all-time list. Consider the names of Badgers who have run faster and you get a list that reads like a who's-who of UW -- and collegiate track -- history:

1. Kathy Butler (8:48.61); 2. Cathy Branta (8:49.64); 3. Clare Eichner (9:03.06); 4. Mary Hartzheim; 5. Maureen Hartzheim (9:05.37); 6. Stephanie Herbst (9:08.64); 7. Suzy Favor (9:12.33); 8. Cindy Bremser (9:13.4); 9. Kelly McKillen (9:16.48).

That group -- which includes three Olympians -- accounts for a combined 64 individual Big Ten championships, 45 All-America awards and 24 individual NCAA titles.

Sisson won the U.S. junior title in the 3,000 meters last month to earn her spot on Team USA.

• Senior Jenny Soceka, who completed her collegiate eligibility with an All-America performance at the NCAA championships in June, has not slowed down since.

So far this summer, Soceka has set a Big Ten record in the pole vault by clearing 14-3 1/2 (4.35m), competed at the 2010 USA Outdoor Championships and, most recently, finished third at the 2010 Grand Haven Beach Vault last weekend in Grand Haven, Mich.

Soceka cleared 14-0 (4.26m) to match runner-up Mary Saxer, who took the second spot on the criteria of misses. Reigning NCAA champion Kylie Hutson won with a clearance of 14-6.

• On the men's side of the Beach Vault competition, UW volunteer assistant coach Joe Samaniuk cleared 17-5 (5.30m) to finish fifth.

• Across the pond, the duo of Jack Bolas and Craig Miller continue their initial European tour as professionals. Both signed with New Balance following the USA outdoor championships in June, where Bolas finished seventh in the 1,500 meters.

After getting off to a fast start in their first two professional races, the pair ran an elite 1,500 meters race as part of the Folksam Grand Prix stop in Karlstad, Sweden, on July 15.

Bolas led the charge by finishing sixth in 3:39.26, with Miller registering a season-best time of 3:40.16 to take ninth place. The pair were among five Americans in the field, including winner David Torrence, who clocked a 3:37.73 to take the top spot.

Both Bolas and Miller are expected to race Wednesday at the Morton Mile Meeting in Dublin, Ireland. The duo will represent two of the seven athletes confirmed for the event that have gone below the 4-minute threshold.

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.

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.

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

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 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)