April 11, 2013
MADISON, Wis. -- After a week off from competition, the No. 9-ranked Wisconsin men's track and field team returns to the road this weekend when the Badgers send athletes to Knoxville, Tenn., for the Sea Ray Relays and to Athens, Ga., for the Spec Towns Invitational.
A number of Wisconsin distance runners will compete in the prestigious Sea Ray Relays Friday and Saturday on the Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium.
Highlighting the Badgers' schedule are three relay events that aren't run with much regularity. Seniors Rob Finnerty and Zach Mellon will join sophomores Alex Hatz and Austin Mudd in the 4x800 relay, UW's first since the 2011 Drake Relays.
Finnerty and Mellon are also scheduled to compete in the 4x1500 relay alongside senior Maverick Darling and junior Reed Connor. It will be the Badgers' first entry in a 4x1500 since Simon Bairu, Chris Solinsky and Matt Tegenkamp teamed up to help the Badgers win the event at the 2004 Sea Ray Relays in 15:29.90.
Connor, Mudd, Mellon and Hatz will put their top seed to the test in the distance medley relay, the final event of the day for UW athletes. Wisconsin's last entry in an outdoor DMR was a runner-up effort at the Drake Relays in 2011.
In addition to the relays, numerous athletes will compete in open events on Friday.
In the 800 meters, Mudd owns the fastest seed time and will run with teammates Mellon and Hatz.
Connor and Darling, seeded second and third, respectively, are scheduled to compete in the 1500 meters. Senior Danny Buechel will also run in the event.
Sophomores Matt McKenna and Jacob Erschen, also claiming the top two seeds in their event, will try to score top finishes in the 5000 meters.
Wisconsin will be well-represented at the Spec Towns Invitational in Athens, Ga., as well.
On Friday, UW will run the 4x400 relay, with relay legs Garret Payne, Babatunde Awosika and Tyler Woloszyk also compete in the 400 meters on Saturday.
Awosika and Payne will join junior Japheth Cato and senior Matt Kerswill on the 4x100 relay. Cato is also scheduled to compete in the long jump and 100 hurdles.
Off the track, sophomore Scott Erickson and redshirt freshman Andrew Brekke will compete in the hammer throw. Erickson set a school record in the event on March 30 at the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta, unleashing a massive toss of 191 feet, 2 inches.
Brekke, who won the shot put with a personal-best throw of 55-1 1/2 in Atlanta, will compete in the same event Saturday alongside junior Danny Block. The duo will also join Erickson and sophomore Alex Thompson in the discus.