• NCAA Championships Declarations
MADISON, Wis. -- Led by the top seed in the heptathlon, the No. 4-ranked Wisconsin men's track and field team will be represented by nine entries in this weekend's 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Declared entries to the meet were announced late Monday by the NCAA.
The Badgers will send seven athletes to Fayetteville, Ark., for the meet this Friday and Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track Center, with UW represented in seven different events.
Only top-ranked Arkansas (19) and No. 2 Florida (11) have more entries than the Badgers, who matched Oregon and Texas A&M for the third-largest contingent of athletes in the meet with nine.
As expected, senior Maverick Darling will compete in both the 3000 meters and 5000 meters, while junior Japheth Cato is entered in both the long jump and heptathlon.
Cato enters the meet as the No. 1 seed in the heptathlon with his Big Ten-record score of 6,090 points. He was runner-up in the event at last year's NCAA meet.
Sophomore Austin Mudd, who had also qualified in the 800 meters, declared to compete in the mile after running a school-record 3:58.59 on Saturday to solidify his qualifying spot.
"The 800/mile double is awful, awful tough," UW head coach Ed Nuttycombe said Monday. "It boils down to which he has the most confidence in and which we, as coaching staff, see as the best opportunity to help the team."
Joining Darling in the 5000 meters will be teammates Mohammed Ahmed and Elliot Krause, giving the Badgers three of the top 10 seeds in the event.
"To have three there gives us three shots," Nuttycombe said. "It's nice to be able to run as a pack and have your teammates there, but Mick (distance coach Mick Byrne) has done a great job of preparing those guys as he did in the fall, where, of course, he had them ready to finish runner up at the NCAA championships."
Sophomore Zach Ziemek will compete alongside Cato in the heptathlon, while junior Danny Block will compete in the shot put.
The meet begins at 10 a.m. Friday with Cato and Ziemek in the heptathlon. On Saturday, action gets underway at 11 a.m.
ESPN3 will carry the evening sessions live, with the live webcast beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday.
"It's great to have the quality of athletes we have going to the national championships," Nuttycombe said. "They only take 16 per event, so anyone there can place. Anyone can be an All-American. Anyone there can do quite well."