Ziemek off to career-best start at Georgia Bulldog Decathlon


Ziemek

April 10, 2014

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Athens, Ga.-- If Zach Ziemek's performance in the decathlon on Thursday is a sign of things to come this season, the Badgers will be in good hands.

Making his season debut outdoors by competing at the Georgia Bulldog Decathlon in Athens, Ga., the junior currently sits in first place through five events with a day-one personal-record total of 4,191 points, besting his previous mark by 79 points.

The reigning Big Ten outdoor decathlon champion holds a narrow lead over Georgia teammates Maicel Uibo and Garret Scantling. Uibo, who trails Ziemek by only 14 points, finished runner-up in the heptathlon at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships, while Scantling earned a top-10 finish in both the decathlon and heptathlon at last year's national meets.

Ziemek set personal records in three of five events and set the tone early by winning both the 100 meters and long jump.

The junior began the day with a victory in the 100 meters in a wind-aided time of 10.69 seconds and followed up the win with a first-place performance in the long jump by distancing 24 feet, 5 3/4 inches. The mark set a non-wind-aided personal record, besting his previous distance of 24-1, set last year.

Two more personal records came for Ziemek in the shot put and high jump, as he finished fourth with a heave of 44-4 and second by clearing 6-10 3/4. The junior set a personal record in the shot put by an inch and a half and in the high jump by two inches.

Ziemek concluded the day with the 400 meters, finishing fifth (51.63) to secure the lead through the first day of competition.

Meanwhile, sophomore Brandon Mortensen, competing unattached in his first career decathlon, had an impressive performance of his own, totaling 3,913 points, good for fourth place. Mortenson finished runner-up in 100 meters with a wind-aided personal record of 10.82, third in the long jump with a leap of 23-9 1/2, fourth in the high jump by clearing 6-7, sixth in the 400 meters in 52.26 and seventh in the shot put with a heave of 39-8.

Charlie Foss also competed in the decathlon, and through five events the sophomore ranks seventh overall with 3,665 points. Foss' best performances of the day came in the long jump and shot put, where he finished fifth in both events by setting personal records with a leap of 22-9 3/4 and heave of 42-11 1/2.

In addition, the sophomore placed sixth in the 100 meters (11.23), seventh in the high jump (6-1) and seventh in the 400 meters (52.55).

The decathlon concludes tomorrow with the final five events, beginning with the 110 hurdles at 10 a.m. (CT).

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