April 13, 2013
• Sea Ray Relays Results | Spec Towns Invitational Results
MADISON, Wis. -- Led by Maverick Darling and his fellow distance runners, the No. 9-ranked Wisconsin men’s track and field team wrapped up its weekend of competition in style Saturday.
Darling’s win in the 1500 meters was just the beginning for the Badgers at the Sea Ray Relays in Knoxville, Tenn. He came back to contribute to one of the Badgers’ two relay wins, as UW walked away with a pair of the meet’s iconic wooden trophies.
Junior Reed Connor was part of both wins for the Badgers, in the distance medley and 4x1500 relays.
Both Darling and Connor contributed to UW’s first run in a 4x1500 relay since guys named Simon Bairu, Chris Solinsky and Matt Tegenkamp teamed up to win at the 2004 Sea Ray Relays.
After a strong opening carry by senior Rob Finnerty in 3:52.7, Darling rolled through his 1500-meter leg in 3:50.4 to put the Badgers in command. Alex Brill covered his leg in 3:52.0 and passed to Connor for an easy anchor carry that made winners of the Badgers in 15 minutes, 35.83 seconds. Eastern Kentucky was a distant second in 15:43.02, ahead of third-place Ohio State and fourth-place Purdue.
The effort finished a sweep of the 4x1500 titles for Wisconsin, with the UW women claiming their race, as well.
The title also came on the heels of UW’s earlier win in the distance medley relay, with Connor contributing the opening 1200-meter leg, sophomore Austin Mudd providing the 400-meter carry, senior Zach Mellon on the 800-meter portion and junior Alex Hatz anchoring with the 1600-meter leg.
The quartet finished in 9:50.68, again putting a gap on runner-up Eastern Kentucky, which clocked in at 9:52.93.
Darling started the day off strong for the Badgers by notching a win in the 1500 meters in a personal-best time of 3:47.22, the seventh-fastest time in the Big Ten entering the weekend.
Senior teammate Danny Buechel finished fifth in 3:51.26.
In the 4x800 relay, Mellon, Matt McKenna, Hatz and Buechel placed sixth in 7:38.28.
Big marks by Block, Payne lead Badgers in Georgia
At the Spec Towns Invitational in Athens, Ga., junior Danny Block unleashed a career-best heave of 62-3 3/4 to vault into the Big Ten’s seasonal lead in the shot put.
The mark, good for fourth place, is the seventh-best throw in UW history and the best since Joe Thomas threw 62-5 1/4 in 2005. Along with leading the Big Ten, Block’s effort ranks seventh nationally.
Block also earned a third-place finish in the discus with a mark of 185-4.
Senior Collin Taylor set a personal best in the high jump, leaping 7-0 1/2 to finish second in the event and move into a tie for ninth on UW’s all-time list. In his career, Taylor has now cleared 7 feet both indoors and outdoors.
On the track, sophomore Garret Payne won the 400 meters in a season-best 46.89 seconds. Babatunde Awosika and Tyler Woloszyk finished eighth and ninth, crossing the finish line in 48.10 and 48.18, respectively.
Matt Widule had a career-best performance of his own, finishing 18th in the 100 meters in 11.03 seconds. The sophomore also competed in the 110 hurdles and placed fourth in 14.63.
In the 4x100 relay, Japheth Cato, Matt Kerswill, Awosika and Payne earned a third-place finish by completing the lap in 40.58 seconds. UW also took third in the 4x400 in 3:14.58.
In addition to his relay work, Cato scored runner-up finishes in a pair of open events. The junior leapt 24-5 1/2 in the long jump and completed the 110 hurdles in 14.20 seconds.