March 28, 2014
MADISON, Wis. - Following the conclusion of the NCAA indoor track and field championships, the Badgers currently rank fourth in the race for the John McDonnell Program of the Year award.
The award, named after legendary Razorbacks coach John McDonnell, is handed out to the program with the lowest cumulative score, which is determined based on team finishes at the NCAA cross country, indoor track and outdoor track championships. Each finishing position is worth one point, with a first-place finish valued at one point, a runner-up finish two points, and so on.
With just the outdoor track season remaining, the Badgers have accumulated 20 points after finishing ninth at the NCAA cross country championships and 11th at the national indoor track meet. Wisconsin trails only Oregon (6 points), Oklahoma State (9.5) and Arkansas (14).
In cross country, redshirt freshman Malachy Schrobilgen led the way for the Badgers. He won the Big Ten individual title, was named the Big Ten Cross Country Athlete of the Year and earned All-America honors at the national meet by finishing 33rd overall.
Inside on the track, Wisconsin successfully defended its Big Ten indoor title behind conference titles in the heptathlon, weight throw, 3000 meters and 5000 meters. At the national meet, All-American Michael Lihrman put the finishing touch on a remarkable season by winning the national title in the weight throw, while Reed Connor (5000 meters), Danny Block (shot put) and Zach Ziemek (heptathlon) also earned All-America honors.
Last season, UW used podium finishes in cross country (second place) and indoor track (third) and tied for 15th at the outdoor track championships for a cumulative score of 21, securing a runner-up finish to match the best-ever showing by a Big Ten Conference team. Arkansas won the award by totaling 14 points.