May 8, 2013
MADISON, Wis. -- With championship season just one week away, the No. 15-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 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, hosted by Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind.
Competition begins Saturday with the hammer throw at 10:30 a.m. (CT), while action on the track starts with the 5000 meters at 12:30 p.m. At 1:05 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 Mohammed Ahmed leads the Big Ten and ranks third nationally in the 5000 meters (13:28.02), while senior Reed Connor ranks third in conference and 12th in the country in the same event (13:39.34). Neither athlete will participate on Saturday.
Junior Austin Mudd, who will compete in the 800 and 400 this weekend, ranks second in the Big Ten and fourth nationally in the 1500 (3:40.16). Junior Alex Hatz, who will not run on Saturday, is also highly ranked in the 1500, sitting fourth in conference and 15th nationally (3:42.10).
On Saturday, Zach Ziemek will participate in the javelin, one of ten events he will see in the decathlon at the Big Ten meet. The junior currently has the conference's top mark and the fourth-best total in the country in the decathlon after setting a personal record by scoring 7,860 points at the Georgia Bulldog Decathlon a month ago.
Michael Lihrman, who has yet to lose to another collegiate athlete in 2014, leads the Big Ten and ranks sixth nationally in the hammer throw with a heave of 226 feet, 8 inches. Lihrman hopes to throw at least 70 meters on Saturday, which would translate to a distance of 229-8. The junior won the hammer at last year's meet, recording a then-personal-best heave of 218-5 while competing unattached.
In the 3000 steeplechase, Alex Brill sits atop the conference and 12th in the nation after finishing eighth overall, but second among collegians, in 8:47.32 at the always-fast Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational last weekend. Brill will compete in the event at the Big Ten meet, but will toe the line in the 1500 on Saturday.
Like most meets, Danny Block will once again compete in both the shot put and discus at the Wisconsin Open with the hopes of improving his national standing. The senior currently ranks fifth in the Big Ten and 21st in the country in the discus (191-3) and sixth in conference and 27th nationally in the shot put (62-0 1/4).
Live results can be found at UWBadgers.com.