March 21, 2013
MADISON, Wis. -- After a successful indoor season that featured a Big Ten title and a third-place finish at the NCAA championships, the Wisconsin men’s track and field team heads outside to open the outdoor season this weekend at the John Mitchell Alabama Relays in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The Badgers, who begin the outdoor campaign ranked No. 7, will compete Friday and Saturday against eight teams, including No. 18 Indiana and No. 24 Georgia.
Competition begins Friday with field events starting at 2 p.m. (CT), while running events are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. The Alabama Relays continue Saturday with field events opening at 11 a.m. and running events starting at 6 p.m.
Moving outdoors, the Badgers will compete in numerous events for the first time this year, including the hammer throw, discus, javelin throw, 100 meters, 110 hurdles, 4x100 relay and the 4x200 relay.
Wisconsin is scheduled to compete in four relays this weekend.
Friday evening, Babatunde Awosika, Garret Payne, Matt Kerswill and Drew Simmons will run the 4x200 relay. Awosika and Payne will also run the sprint medley relay, joining Tyler Wolosyzk and Will Ottow.
On Saturday, Kerswill, Awosika, Payne and Japheth Cato will make up the Wisconsin’s entry in the 4x100 relay, while the Badgers will run Woloszyk, Payne, Awosika and Simmons in the 4x400 relay.
In the 400 meters, Simmons, Grant Bughman and Tim Hucke will compete for Wisconsin.
In the field events, Scott Erickson and Andrew Brekke will both compete in the hammer throw and discus. Alex Thompson will also compete in the discus.
In addition, Badgers Ben Schrieb, Zach Ziemek and Charlie Foss will take part in the javelin throw.
Cato, a three-time defending Big Ten indoor heptathlon champion and two-time runner-up in the same event at the NCAA championships, will begin the outdoor year by competing in the 110 hurdles and the long jump in preparation for decathlons later this spring.
The junior earned second-team All-America honors in the decathlon after a 14th-place finish at last year’s NCAA outdoor championships.
Fellow multi-event athlete Zach Ziemek, who finished second to Cato at the Big Ten meet and earned All-America honors with his fifth-place finish at the NCAAs, will participate in the pole vault, long jump and javelin throw.