UW Health Sports Medicine 

Repeat engagement: Ziemek, Block All-Americans again for Badgers

2014 NCAA Indoor Championships
Albuquerque Convention Center • Albuquerque, N.M.

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 Team Standings
1. Oregon 62
2. Arkansas 54
3. Florida 35
4. Florida State 28
5. Arizona 24
11. Wisconsin 17
 Wisconsin Results
 3000 Meters
1. Edward Cheserek Oregon 8:11.59
2. Kirubel Erassa Okla. State 8:13.08
3. Ben Saarel Colorado 8:13.45
9. Reed Connor Wisconsin 8:15.17
 Pole Vault
1. Shawn Barber Akron 18-10 1/4
2. Sam Kendricks Ole Miss 18-8 1/4
3. Pauls Pujats Memphis 73-9 1/2
16. Japheth Cato Wisconsin 17-4 1/2
 Shot Put
1. Ryan Crouser Texas 69-7
2. Stephen Mozia Cornell 65-9 3/4
3. Bobby Grace Youngstown St. 65-3 1/2
7. Danny Block Wisconsin 63-7 3/4
1. Curtis Beach Duke 6190
2. Maicel Uibo Georgia 6044
3. Kevin Lazas Arkansas 5973
5. Zach Ziemek Wisconsin 5913

March 15, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE -- Zach Ziemek's time in the lead proved to be short-lived, but the Wisconsin junior proved again Saturday that his career will be anything but.

Ziemek repeated as an All-American in the heptathlon at the NCAA indoor championships, rolling up the second-best score of his career en route to a second-consecutive fifth-place finish. He scored 5,913 points to join teammate Japheth Cato as the only Badgers to earn back-to-back All-America awards in the event.

"I came out and had a PR in the hurdles, I did decent in the vault and ran the 1000 like I knew I needed to," Ziemek said, characterizing his effort. "It got me fifth and it got me All-American. You have to be happy with that."

 Fast Facts
• Ziemek repeats as All-American in heptathlon
• Block becomes three-time All-American in shot put
• Connor just misses All-America in 3000 meters

The final day of the seven-discipline event played out as it was projected, with Duke senior Curtis Beach using his strength in the 1000 meters to claim his second NCAA title -- he held off Cato for the first in 2012 -- with a score of 6,190 points. Georgia's Maicel Uibo, the Day 1 leader, finished second at 6,044, with defending champion Kevin Lazas of Arkansas (5,973 points) third and Oregon's Dakotah Keys (5,942) taking fourth.

Much like Beach, Ziemek played to his strength by clearing 17 feet, 2 3/4 inches in the pole vault to take the overall lead with just the 1000 remaining to be contested. Only Akron's Alex McCune weight higher in the vault, clearing 17-10 1/2 to break the collegiate record of 17-8 1/2 that Ziemek matched last year.

"Coach (Nate Davis) did all the numbers and I knew I had to jump in the 30s or 40s (5.30 to 5.40 meters) to win and I jumped 25," Ziemek said.

The other big boost to Ziemek's All-America push came in the opening event of the day, when he posted a massive personal best by running a time of 8.20 in the 60 hurdles.

"A major goal was to come out of indoor and head into outdoor healthy, since I wasn't last year," Ziemek said. "I wanted to do a little better here, but I'll get mine outdoors.

"I've learned so much. I have some time to recover heading into outdoors and hopefully I can make the most of this knowledge and apply it."

Senior Danny Block became UW's first two-time All-American in the indoor shot put by scoring a seventh-place finish with his throw of 63 feet, 7 3/4 inches -- matching the third-best mark of his career. Block, who was third at the NCAA meet last year with his school-record effort of 65-7 1/2, owns the top eight indoor shot put marks -- and 13 of the top 15 -- all-time at UW.

Combined with his All-America citation in the outdoor shot put last year, Block is just the second thrower in UW history become a three-time All-American. He joins Samuel Behr, who earned the distinction in the outdoor shot put from 1929-31.

Senior Reed Connor fell just shy of becoming the fourth Badger to earn All-America honors in both the 3000 and 5000 meters at the same NCAA championships. Connor, who was eighth in the 5000 on Friday, made another of his trademark late-race charges in Saturday's 3000 but narrowly missed the podium with a ninth-place finish in 8:15.17. Oregon's Edward Cheserek completed a sweep of the 3000 and 5000 titles by crossing the line first in 8:11.59.

Like Block and Connor, senior Japheth Cato wrapped up his indoor career for the Badgers on Saturday. Cato, who withdrew from the heptathlon after recording in the no-height in the high jump on Friday thanks to an injured ankle, returned to the track to compete in the pole vault and took 16th place by clearing 17-4 1/2.

As a team, Wisconsin finished 11th. Oregon swept both the men's and women's titles, with defending champion Arkansas finishing second in the men's race.

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