UW Health Sports Medicine 

Throwing his weight around: Lihrman impresses at home


Jan. 25, 2014

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MADISON, Wis. -- Michael Lihrman had only donned the cardinal and white uniform twice since transferring from UW-Stout following the 2012 track season. Each time, he walked off the track with a new school record.

Saturday was no different.

The junior -- who set Wisconsin records in the weight throw and hammer throw at last year’s USA indoor and outdoor championships -- competed for UW for just the third time in his short career and had the most impressive performance of the day at the Wisconsin Elite Invitational inside the Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center (The Shell).

Lihrman unleashed a massive heave of 74 feet, 7 3/4 inches in the weight throw to shatter his own school and facility record by 4 feet, 3 inches. His effort ranks as the second-best throw in the country behind Purdue sophomore Enekwechi Chukwuebuka’s toss of 76-5 3/4. Remarkably, the Rice Lake, Wis., native topped 74 feet on three of his six throws and missed a fourth by one centimeter.

Also competing in the weight throw was junior Scott Erickson and sophomores Andrew Brekke and Andrew Bartsch. Erickson finished second (61-6 3/4), Brekke sixth (57-9 1/2) and Bartsch seventh (57-5 3/4).

Japheth Cato had another notable performance for the No. 4-ranked Badgers. The senior, competing for just the second time since rupturing his Achilles last April, won both the high jump and pole vault, just as he did at last week’s dual meet against Missouri.

In the high jump, Cato cleared 7-2 1/4, besting his previous record of 6-11 1/2. The mark ranks tied for seventh in the nation this season and is tied for sixth in school history. Cato’s leap makes him just the 11th athlete in Wisconsin history to clear seven feet in the high jump.

The Crete, Ill., native took one attempt at 7-3 1/4 -- a mark that would have tied the school record -- but fell short. Teammates Collin Taylor and Zach Ziemek finished second and sixth in the event, clearing 6-11 3/4 and 6-4 3/4, respectively.

In addition to the high jump, Cato also won the pole vault with a clearance of 16-10 3/4. Ziemek leaped 16-4 3/4 to finish second, while sophomore Ben Schreib was eighth (13-11 1/4).

In the shot put, Danny Block made his season debut after culminating last indoor season with a Big Ten title and a third-place, All-America finish at the NCAA championships by throwing for a school-record distance of 65-7 1/2. Saturday, the senior threw 61-6 1/4 for a runner-up showing.

Sophomore Brandon Mortensen competed unattached and won the long jump with a leap of 23-11 1/2, while junior Aaron Thompson claimed the victory in the 600 meters by crossing the line in 1:20.11.

Indiana State senior Greggmar Swift -- who came into the meet with the second-fastest time in the country in the 60 hurdles (7.69) -- had the standout showing on the track, twice breaking the facility record in the event.

In the preliminary round, Swift crossed the finish line in 7.79 seconds, besting the 7.81 mark set in 2008 by Purdue’s Josh Hembrough. In the final, Swift was even faster, finishing in 7.70 seconds and just one hundredth of a second shy of his season-best time.

Five Wisconsin athletes placed in the top eight in the 200 meters, led by a quartet of freshmen. Zach Reitzug was second in 22.49, while Justin Rabon finished a fraction of a second later in third in 22.51. James Stecker placed sixth in 22.81, while Shawn Michels and junior Garret Payne crossed the line with identical times of 22.90.

On Friday, a number of Badgers competed in the exhibition discus. Junior Alex Thompson led UW with a throw of 172-1, good for second place, while Erickson finished third (168-0), Bartsch was eighth (154-9) and Brekke placed 10th (148-7).

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