June 21, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa -- If nothing else, Michael Lihrman offered a glimpse of what to watch for next season with his effort Friday at the USA Outdoor Championships.
The junior, who redshirted the indoor and outdoor seasons after transferring from UW-Stout, was able to don a Badgers uniform for just the second time when he stepped into the ring for the hammer throw.
And, just as he did in the weight throw at the USA Indoor Championships in March, Lihrman smashed the Badgers’ school record with his effort outdoors. He only landed one legal throw, but the mark of 207 feet, 11 inches topped the previous school standard by nearly 11 feet.
The throw placed Lihrman 12th overall after he entered the competition as the No. 16 seed. That was on the strength of the lifetime-best effort of 220-10 he used to win the Chicagoland Summer Throws Series meet last week in Lisle, Ill.
Lihrman’s finish followed the sixth-place showing he had indoors in the weight throw.
On the track, it was business as usual for a former Badgers athlete Evan Jager in the first round of the 3000 steeplechase. The defending U.S. champion and American record-holder automatically advanced to Sunday’s final in the event by winning the second and final heat in 8:45.85.
“I’m hoping this race will wake my legs up,” Jager said. “I’ve been working to improve my times and place on the world level. I think with this being early in the year, I’m okay with my time today.
“If I can improve my place on the world stage from last year, I will be very happy.”
That will be the mission for the 2012 Olympic finalist, who will be the favorite in the final to make the U.S. national team for the IAAF World Championships in August.
UW junior Alex Brill did not advance through the first round, but his fate came by a slim margin. After finishing in 9:00.74 for eighth in Heat 1, Brill needed his time to stand up as one of the four fastest beyond those turned in by the top five finishers in each section.
It nearly did, but Augustus Maiyo’s finishing kick for seventh place in Heat 2 put him across the line in 8:57.64 to make Brill the first man out.
Junior Danny Block completed half of his double duty for the weekend by competing in the discus. After a pair of fouls on his first two throws, Block wasn’t satisfied with his third effort and took an intentional foul. He’ll be back in the shot put at 2:10 p.m. Sunday.
A pair of Badgers will compete Saturday, with senior Taylor Smith competing for the final time in a UW uniform in the women’s shot put at 1 p.m. and alumnus Craig Miller racing in the 1500 meters final at 5:40 p.m.