March 2, 2013
Results | Printable Results | Watch Mudd's Race
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The famous line from the film Wall Street claims "Greed is good."
It certainly was for Wisconsin's Austin Mudd on Saturday.
Though he was already safely qualified for next weekend's 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships in the 800 meters, Mudd wanted to make the meet in the mile, as well.
So, the sophomore took matters into his own hands at the Alex Wilson Invitational, getting out fast and then leading the charge to the finish line -- literally and figuratively -- on "last chance weekend." Mudd's tremendous final lap around the oversized oval pushed him to break the Badgers' school record with a run of 3 minutes, 58.59 seconds that -- unofficially -- puts him into the NCAA championships in the mile, as well.
Mudd covered the final 400 meters of the race in 58 seconds flat.
It was a familiar feeling for Mudd, who also kicked to a victory in the prestigious Meyo Mile on the same track inside Notre Dame's Loftus Center on Feb. 2. His winning time then, 3:59.33, had Mudd ranked 19th nationally entering the final weekend of the NCAA's qualifying window.
The top 16 athletes and top 12 relays in each event will earn a trip to Fayetteville, Ark., for the national meet, which is set for next Friday and Saturday, March 8-9.
Saturday's winning effort unofficially places Mudd at No. 14 in the mile. He also ranks 13th in the 800 meters at 1:48.24.
Now that Mudd got his wish on the track by qualifying in the mile, he'll have a decision to make off it. Which event to race in?
The only other competitor ranked in the top 16 of both the 800 and mile is Tulsa's Chris O'Hare, who leads the nation in the mile with his collegiate-record 3:52.98 and ranks 14th -- one spot behind Mudd -- in the 800 at 1:48.28.
Mudd actually fell just two tenths of a second short of qualifying in three events, as the UW distance medley relay team he led off Friday night stacks up No. 13 nationally -- two tenths back of the 12th and final qualifying position.
The Badgers' 4x400 relay wasn't as close in its effort on Saturday, despite the quartet of Garret Payne, Tyler Woloszyk, Babatunde Awosika and Drew Simmons running a season-best time of 3:09.99.
Unofficially, the No. 4-ranked Badgers have put seven athletes in the NCAA championships, with 10 total qualifying marks in seven different events.
In addition to Mudd's performances, senior Maverick Darling (3000 meters and 5000 meters) and junior Japheth Cato (long jump and heptathlon) are also dual qualifiers. Junior Mohammed Ahmed and senior Elliot Krause combine with Darling to give the Badgers three entries in the 5000 meters, while sophomore Zach Ziemek will join Cato in the heptathlon. Junior Danny Block is also a qualifier in the shot put.
The NCAA will put out its official list of qualifiers Sunday, with declarations for each event released Monday after qualifiers submit their intentions to compete.
Lihrman smashes school record
Some 1,200 miles from South Bend, Ind., but only 45 minutes after Mudd set a new standard in the mile, UW's Michael Lihrman put his name atop the Badgers' record list in the weight throw.
Lihrman, a transfer from UW-Stout, has competed unattached all year so he can use a redshirt season. He finally had the opportunity to wear "Wisconsin" across his chest on Saturday, and Lihrman did the Badgers proud at the 2013 USA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M.
On his second attempt, Lihrman launched a throw of 68 feet, 5 3/4 inches to smash UW's previous standard by more than four feet. The effort held up to advance Lihrman to the finals and to an eventual sixth-place finish.
In the end, four of Lihrman's six attempts went beyond the previous school record of 64-4 1/2 that Anders Holmstrom established in 2000.
Lihrman has thrown farther this season, establishing a lifetime best of 70-10 3/4, but those marks came while he was competing unattached and not for the Badgers.