May 20, 2014
Big Ten Release
MADISON, Wis. -- After leading the No. 14-ranked Badgers to a sweep of the Big Ten indoor and outdoor track titles, senior Mohammed Ahmed and Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Mick Byrne have been recognized by the Conference.
Ahmed, the 2014 Big Ten outdoor champion in the 5000 meters and the runner-up in the 10,000 meters, was named the Big Ten Men's Track Athlete of the Year, while Byrne was honored as the Big Ten Men's Coach of the Year for the second time this year after earning the accolade after the indoor season.
A 2012 Olympian, Ahmed played a critical part in the helping the Badgers win their 19th track title in 14 years by scoring 18 points for the Cardinal and White at last weekend's Big Ten meet. Ahmed helped the Badgers sweep the podium in both the 5000 and 10,000 as UW earned 49 of its 121 team points in the two events.
Ahmed also ran the conference's best time in the 5000 meters earlier this year with a time of 13:28.02 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, becoming the fourth UW runner in program history to break the 13:30 mark in the 5000. The senior also holds the league's second-best time in the 10,000 meters this spring, trailing only teammate Reed Connor in the event.
It marks the first time Ahmed has been honored as the conference's track athlete of the year.
Byrne earned his seventh Big Ten coach of the year honor after being named the Big Ten Cross Country Coach of the Year five times during his career and the 2014 Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year earlier this year. Byrne's award marks the 12th time a Badgers' head coach has earned the honor, joining 11-time recipient Ed Nuttycombe.
Byrne helped the Badgers to three first-place finishes and podium sweeps in the 5000 and 10,000 meter races. Ahmed and Reed Connor claimed the 5000 and 10,000 titles, respectively, while Zach Ziemek won the decathlon title.
In addition, Charlie Foss was selected as UW's men's honoree for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. Foss placed fourth in the decathlon with a personal-best score of 6,963 points.
On the women's side, Lizzie Wendt earned the Badgers' nod for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award after placing 12th in the 800 meters.