June 4, 2012
• USTFCCCA Regional Awards
MADISON, Wis. -- After helping put the Wisconsin men’s track and field team back atop the Big Ten Conference, a pair of key contributors to the Badgers’ conference title were honored Monday with the release of regional award winners by the U.S Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
UW head coach Ed Nuttycombe was named Great Lakes Region Men’s Head Coach of the Year by the USTFCCCA for the ninth time in his career, while junior distance runner Mohammed Ahmed was named Great Lakes Region Men’s Track Athlete of the Year.
Nuttycombe guided the Badgers to a Big Ten team title for the 25th time in his 28-year career in Madison. The crown is Nuttycombe’s 18th outdoor title and his first since leading UW to the top spot in 2007.
For his efforts, Nuttycombe was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the 21st time.
Nuttycombe’s Badgers also qualified 25 athletes to the NCAA West Preliminary Round and advanced a total of seven to this week’s 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships. UW’s total of 28 NCAA postseason entries ranked as the seventh-most nationally and led both the Big Ten and the Great Lakes Region.
He directly coached eight of UW’s entries for the preliminary round and oversees one of the two multi-event programs nationally that had three athletes post qualifying scores for the NCAA championships in the decathlon.
Ahmed claimed the Big Ten title in the 5000 meters, finishing in a meet-record time of 13:41.06, to help the Badgers secure their first outdoor conference crown since 2007. He qualified for this week’s 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships with a third-place finish in the 5000 at the NCAA West Preliminary Round.
He also has positioned himself for a spot on the Canadian team for the upcoming Olympic Summer Games in London.
Ahmed achieved the Olympic “A” qualifying standard by shattering the 36-year-old Big Ten record in the 10,000 meters with a run of 27:34.64 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in April. The time ranks No. 14 in the world this year and has Ahmed a top-three finish at the Canadian Olympic Trials away from a trip to London.
The Badgers open competition at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships on Wednesday.