May 3, 2013
MADISON, Wis. -- With championship season just one week away, the No. 11-ranked Wisconsin men’s track and field team will host the Wisconsin Open, its only home meet of the outdoor season, this Saturday at the Dan McClimon Memorial Track/Soccer Complex.
The Badgers will use the meet as a final tuneup for next weekend’s 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, hosted by Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio.
Competition begins Saturday with the hammer throw at 10:30 a.m. (CT), while action on the track begins with the 4x100 relay at 1:50 p.m. At 1:30 p.m., Wisconsin’s senior student-athletes will be introduced in a short ceremony before they compete in front of the home crowd for the final time as a Badger.
Entering the Wisconsin Open, multiple Badgers are nationally ranked in their individual events.
Senior Maverick Darling leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth nationally in the 5000 meters after his career-best performance of 13 minutes, 30.40 seconds at last weekend’s Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. Teammate Elliot Krause is second in the conference and seventh nationally in the event after finishing in 13:34.30 at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif.
Sophomore Alex Hatz also had a breakout performance at the Payton Jordan Invitational, winning his section of the 1500 meters in 3:39.87. The mark is the best in the Big Ten and ranks third nationally. Hatz will join a number of Badgers athletes in the 800 meters on Saturday.
Junior Alex Brill is also the best in the Big Ten and ranks 17th nationally in his respective event, leading the conference in the 3000 steeplechase with his time of 8:50.85 set at the Mt. SAC Relays earlier this season. Brill will compete in the event with Jacob Erschen and Neal Berman at the Wisconsin Open.
In addition, Danny Block sits in second in the Big Ten in both the shot put and discus. The junior heaved a personal-best 62 feet, 3 3/4 inches in the shot put at the Spec Towns Invitational in Athena, Ga., earlier this season. The mark currently is the ninth best in the nation.
In the discus, Block ranks fourth nationally after his career-best and school-record throw of 200-4 at San Diego’s Triton Invitational two weeks ago. Block will compete in both the shot put and discus on Saturday in an attempt to further improve his marks.
The Badgers will feature a loaded 1500 meters at the Wisconsin Open, as Austin Mudd, Reed Connor, Alex Brill and Matt McKenna will go head to head. Mudd earned All-America honors in the mile in a school-record 3:57.93 at the NCAA indoor championships earlier this year.
Also on Saturday, track newcomers Dezmen Southward and Kenzel Doe will run against teammates Matt Kerswill and Matt Widule in the 100 meters. Doe, a junior wide receiver, and Southward, a senior defensive back, will hope to transfer their speed from the football field to the track.
In preparation for competing in the decathlon during the championship season, redshirt freshmen Ben Schreib and Charlie Foss are entered in a variety of events. Foss will compete in the long jump and 110 hurdles, while Schreib is scheduled for the javelin throw, high jump and 110 hurdles.
Wisconsin will attempt to improve their times and climb the Big Ten standings on Saturday when they compete in both the 4x100 and 4x400 relay.
Live results can be found at UWBadgers.com.