UW Health Sports Medicine 

Going the distance: Badgers' relay secures NCAA berth

<b>Freshman Aaron Thompson covered 400 meters of the distance medley relay in 47.8 sec.</b>

Freshman Aaron Thompson covered 400 meters of the distance medley relay in 47.8 sec.

March 2, 2012

Wisconsin Qualifier Results  |  Wisconsin Qualifier Results Get    Acrobat  Reader  Alex Wilson Results

MADISON, Wis. -- Hello, Boise.

Friday marked one final chance for many members of the Wisconsin men's track and field team to qualify for next weekend's NCAA indoor championships, with Badgers competing at the Wisconsin NCAA Qualifier and Alex Wilson Invitational.

Four Badgers made the most of it.

Finishing the distance medley relay in 9 minutes, 30.86 seconds, the group of  Zach Mellon, Aaron Thompson, Austin Mudd  and Alex Hatz ensured themselves a spot in the championships next weekend in Idaho.

Mellon got things started in the relay by pacing himself to an opening split of 2:55 for the first 1200 meters.

Thompson then took the baton and covered 400 meters in 47.8 to set up Mudd's carry.

Mudd ran his 800-meter leg in a time of 1:47.7 and passed to Alex Hatz to bring it home on the anchor leg.

Hatz finished things off for the Badgers, pacing himself early and then kicking his way down the final 100 meters to finish fractions of a second faster than the NCAA automatic qualifying standard of 9:31.00.

Together, the four teamed up to record the second-fastest distance medley relay time in school history, and ensured themselves the opportunity to run once more this indoor season.

Also running at Notre Dame, seniors Ryan Collins and Elliot Krause took part in the 5000 meters.

Collins finished third in the event with a time of 14:02.45, and Krause was fifth in 14:04.06.

Though none earned automatic bids back in Madison, it was a strong all-around day for the Badgers at their own Wisconsin NCAA Qualifier.

Collin Taylor topped his personal-best mark by clearing 7 feet, 1 inch in the high jump. The effort elevated the junior to No. 8 on Wisconsin's all-time list.

In the pole vault, senior Mickey DeFilippo matched his personal-best clearance of 17-1 1/2 to take the win. DeFilippo made an attempt at what would have been a school record at 17-8 1/2, but came up short. Wes Kavelaris also took part in the pole vault, finishing in a tie for fourth with a vault of 15-5 1/2.

Dan Block continued his strong season, taking the win the shot put with a toss of 61-7, his fourth-best mark of the season.

Block broke the school record with a personal-best mark of 62-0 1/2 last weekend at the Big Ten championships and ranks 18th in the nation.

It was an impressive day on the track inside The Shell, as well.

In the 60 hurdles, senior Adum Gross qualified for the final by running a personal-best time of 8.07 in the preliminary section. However, he would outdo himself in the final, finishing in 8.03 to improve his indoor personal-best mark and take the win.

Matt Widule also ran in the event and carried over momentum from his strong showing at the Big Ten championships. The redshirt freshman ran to a time of 8.14 to earn second.

It was a personal-best day for Michael Miller, as the freshman finished second in the 60 meters with a time of 6.96. Patrick Plank took third for Wisconsin, finishing just behind in 6.97. Finishing seventh, Gross recorded a personal-best time of 7.12.  

In the 200 meters, Plank continued the trend of personal bests and took the win with a time of 22.21. Charlie Foss also took part in the event, finishing second in 23.14.

Daniel Buechel shattered his personal-best time in the 3000 meters, crossing the finish line in 8:24.30 and taking the win. Michael VanVoorhis and Matt McKenna also earned top-five finishes, as VanVoorhis took second with his time of 8:27.65 and McKenna finished fourth in a personal-best time of 8:49.18.

The Badgers now turn their attention to the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships next Friday and Saturday, March 9-10, in Nampa, Idaho.

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