Feb. 17, 2014
MADISON, Wis. – Reed Connor’s Big Ten and NCAA-leading effort this past week made him an easy choice for the league’s athlete of the week honor.
The Wisconsin senior was named the Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week after his world-class performance at the Iowa State Classic last Friday, the league announced Monday.
Competing against 11 All-Americans, Connor beat out Villanova’s Patrick Tiernan in a thrilling finish to win the 5000 meters. His time of 13 minutes, 37.42 seconds, which set a personal record by over 13 seconds, placed him .31 seconds ahead of Tiernan.
The performance stands as the fourth-best mark in school history, trailing only Chris Solinsky, Matt Tegenkamp and Maverick Darling on the UW all-time list. Connor’s time, which broke both the Lied Center and ISU Classic records, currently ranks fourth in the world, behind Galen Rupp, Samuel Chelanga and Cam Levins. In addition, his time is the second-fastest by an American and ranks as the best time in the nation this season among collegiate athletes.
Connor’s award is the first of his career, indoors or outdoors, and is the first for a Badger since Elliot Krause was named the league’s track athlete of the week last April for his effort in the 5000 meters at the Mt. SAC Relays.
A 2013 All-American in the 5000 meters with a time of 13:50.70, Connor and the rest of the Badgers host the Red & White Open on Friday at the Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center. Field events start at 3 p.m. with the women’s weight throw, while the men’s 3000 meters kicks off running events at 4:50 p.m.