Feb. 28, 2012
MADISON, Wis. -- For the second-consecutive year, Japheth Cato has been recognized as one of the Big Ten's best.
The Wisconsin sophomore has earned Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year honors, with the conference's announcement of its seasonal awards made Tuesday following last weekend's league championship meet.
Cato also was named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Championships after successfully defending his conference title in the heptathlon and scoring in two other events at the 2012 Big Ten Indoor Championships last weekend in Lincoln, Neb.
In addition, Cato was selected as Wisconsin's recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for the indoor track season.
The Crete, Ill., native earned the seasonal honor after a fantastic indoor campaign that saw him smash the Big Ten's all-time heptathlon record with his winning score of 5,939 at the Frank Sevigne Invitational in Lincoln on Feb. 3.
Cato's mark ranks No. 3 in the nation this season but ranks him as the No. 9 collegian all-time in the event.
He nearly matched the record total in winning the heptathlon at the Big Ten meet over the weekend, scoring 5,902 points to defend his title -- one of three events in which he scored for UW.
Cato finished third in the long jump with a personal-best leap of 25 feet, 3/4 inches. He also ran a personal-best 7.88 seconds in the preliminary round of the 60 hurdles before clocking in at 7.99 to take fourth place in the final.
His long jump performance ranks No. 4 all-time at Wisconsin, while he stacks up fifth all-time in the hurdles
Cato also is the national leader in the pentathlon, thanks to his winning and school-record score of 4,040 from the Wisconsin Invitational on Jan. 20, giving him a sweep of UW's all-time marks in the multi-events.
A first-team All-Big Ten selection for the second-consecutive year, Cato's field athlete MVP honor follows the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award he picked up last season.
Cato is positioned for an NCAA indoor championships bid for the second-consecutive season. He earned second-team All-America honors in the heptathlon at last year's NCAA meet. The 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships are set for March 9-10 in Nampa, Idaho.