July 25, 2014
MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin men’s track and field program has signed 15 athletes that will join the Badgers this fall, Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Mick Byrne announced Friday.
The Badgers added eight runners to their distance group in Zachary Benning, Addison DeHaven, Joseph Hardy, Jacob McDermott, Morgan McDonald, Tyson Miehe, Kyle Thompson, Kai Wilmot; four to the middle-distance group in Cooper Barth, Nick Frietag, McKenna Ramos and Nick Zander; multi-event athletes Jacob Hirsbrunner and Trent Nytes and jumps specialist Zachary Webster.
“We are pleased with this incoming recruiting class,” Byrne said. “After losing a decorated senior class this past season, we believe this class will help us continue the rich tradition of excellence here at Wisconsin. This year’s class features some of the top athletes from not only Wisconsin, but from the United States and Australia. We’re excited to see what this group will accomplish during their careers while wearing the cardinal and white.”
Chippewa Falls, Wis. (Chippewa Falls)
Barth finished 11th in the 800 meters at the 2014 WIAA Division I state meet with a personal-best time of 1:55.15. He placed fifth at the indoor state meet in the 800 meters with a time of 1:58.71 and finished eighth at the 2013 WIAA Division I state meet in the 800 in 1:56.40.
Hastings, Minn. (Hastings)
At the 2014 Minnesota state meet, Benning finished second in the 3200 meters in 9:02.71. Benning placed fifth at the 2013 Class 2A state cross country meet, completing the 5000-meter race in 15:36.20. During his junior season, he finished 13th in cross country (15:51.20) and claimed fourth in the 3200 meters at the 2013 Class 2A state track meet in a school-record time of 9:02.37.
Brookings, S.D. (Brookings)
A five-time Class AA all-state performer in cross country and two-time state cross country champion, DeHaven was honored as the South Dakota Gatorade Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year twice and was named the South Dakota Gatorade Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year in 2013. As a senior, he won the 2013 Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Regional in 15:08.90 and qualified for the 2013 Nike Cross Nationals, where he finished 17th in 15:24.00. DeHaven also placed second at Foot Locker Midwest Regional in 15:09.00 and 18th at the National Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 15:43.00. At the state track meet his junior year, DeHaven won both the 1600 meters (4:16.91) and 3200 meters (state-record 9:00.19) and helped his team win the 4x800 relay and 1600 sprint medley relay. During his sophomore season, he was runner-up in both the 1600 and 3200 at the state track meet.
Oconomowoc, Wis. (Oconomowoc)
As a senior, Ellis won the 400 meter at the 2014 Wisconsin Division I state meet with a time of 47.75 and he also helped Oconomowoc win the 4x400 relay at the state championship meet. A four-time Wisconsin Little Ten 400 champion, he ran a personal best of 47.85 in the 400 meters his senior year. During his junior year, he helped the 4x800 relay team finish third in the 2013 Wisconsin Division I state meet.
Green Bay, Wis. (Preble)
Freitag had a personal-best time of 1:53.58 last season at the 2013 WIAA Division I state meet, where he finished fifth. At the 2014 state meet, he placed third in the 800 in 1:54.39 and was a part of the 4x800 relay team that finished third in 7:46.60.
Seattle, Wash. (Seattle Prep)
As a senior, Hardy ran the nation’s 11th-best time in the 1600 meters (4:07.73) at the 2014 Washington state meet to win the event. He also won the 3200 meters in 8:56.11, which ranks as the nation’s 17th-best time. The 2012 Class 3A state cross country champion, Hardy finished runner-up at the state cross country meet as a senior in 2013. He also won the 3200 state title in a meet-record 8:55.22 and finished third in the 1600 during his sophomore season. Hardy won the Nike Cross Nationals Northwest Regional and finished fourth against the nation’s best at Nike Cross Nationals as a junior. He placed fifth at the Foot Locker Nationals his senior year, completing the 5000-meter race in 15:22.00.
Monroe, Wis. (Monroe)
Hirsbrunner finished second in the 1600 meters in 4:13.82, third in the 800 in 1:53.72 and fourth in the high jump with a clearance of 6-6 at the 2014 WIAA Division 2 State Championships. He also helped the Cheesemakers to second in the 4x800 relay. Hirsbrunner claimed fourth place his senior year at the 2013 state cross country meet in 16:11.50. He set a personal-best mark in the high jump during the indoor season of 6-8 1/4. As a junior, he finished sixth in the 800 meters at the Division 2 state track meet in 1:54.13 and was second at the state indoor meet in the high jump. He also placed 11th at the 2012 state cross country meet in 16:26.29. Hirsbrunner also played basketball at Monroe, earning All-Badger South Conference honorable mention as a senior.
White Bear Lake, Minn. (Cretin Derham)
McDermott finished fourth at the Minnesota Class AA state cross country meet as a senior in 15:33.00 and also placed 10th at the 2013 Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Regional in 15:42.60. During his junior year, he placed fifth in the 3200 meters (9:02.58) and sixth in the 1600 meters (4:14.67) at the Minnesota state meet. McDermott also finished 20th at the 2012 state cross country meet as a junior in 15:57.70.
The reigning Australian junior cross country champion and Australian junior 5000 meters champion, McDonald finished 33rd at the 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in 23:21.00. He will compete in the 5000 meters at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships for Australia after running a qualifying time of 14:07.1. McDonald has a personal best of 3:45.92 in the 1500 meters, 8:15.90 in the 3000 meters. In preparation for the IAAF World Junior Championships, McDonald ran a 4:04.01 mile at the Harry Jerome Track Classic this summer
Darlington, Wis. (Darlington)
Miehe became the first Wisconsin prep since Chris Solinsky to win three consecutive state cross country championships, claiming WIAA Division 3 titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013 while competing at Darlington. Miehe captured his 2013 title in 15:57.49. At the 2014 WIAA Division 3 state meet, he placed second in the 3200 meters in 9:08.67, third in the 1600 meters in 4:20.71, and helped Darlington finish second in the 4x800 meters. Miehe has a 1600 meter personal best of 4:19.60.
Kaukauna, Wis. (Kaukauna)
Nytes won the high jump for the second-straight year with a mark of 6-7 and finished sixth in the long jump with a distance of 22-3 1/2 at the 2014 WIAA Division I state meet. He posted a personal best in the high jump with a leap of 6-10 at the Preble Relays on April 25 and recorded a personal-best mark of 22-11 1/4 in the long jump at the WIAA sectional meet on May 30. He also competed in the 110 hurdles, triple jump, 4x100 relay and 4x400 relay as a senior in 2014
Sheboygan, Wis. (UW Oshkosh)
Ramos, a transfer from UW-Oshkosh, won the 800 meters at the 2014 NCAA Division III Indoor Championships in 1:51.30 and won the 1500 meters at the 2014 NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships in 3:47.83. He also earned All-America honors in the 800 meters at the national outdoor meet with a seventh-place showing (1:53.58). During the cross country season, Ramos finished 92nd overall at the 2013 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship. A native of Sheboygan, he finished fifth in the 3200 meters at the 2013 WIAA Division I state meet with a time of 9:19.20.
Portland, Ore. (Central Catholic)
A two-time state cross country champion, Thompson won the 5000 meters at the 2013 Class 6A state cross country meet in 15:22.00. He finished 12th in the event at the Nike Cross National Northwest Regional in 16:02.90 and 40th at the Nike Cross National Championships in 15:39.00. In 2012, he finished third in 15:54.00 at the state cross country meet and fifth at the Nike Cross National Northwest Regional in 15:43.30. As a sophomore, Thompson won the state cross country meet in 15:41.00 in 2011 and was 10th at the NXN regional (15:58.80).
Spring Valley, Wis. (Spring Valley)
Webster broke the Spring Valley school record in triple jump as a junior, topping a mark his father had previously held. He holds the Wisconsin Division 2 and 3 state record in the triple jump with a mark of 48-4, winning the state title in 2013 and finishing sixth in the high jump and third in the long jump. In 2014, he defended his triple jump title with a mark of 44-8 1/2. Webster also placed second in the high jump with a height of 6-4 and second in the long jump with a distance of 21-11 1/2 at the 2014 WIAA Division 3 state meet.
Taylor (Kai) Wilmot
Spokane, Wash. (North Central)
The 2013 Nike Cross Country Nationals champion, Wilmot clocked a course-record time of 15:00.00 in the 5000-meter race and was also named the Washington Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year for his efforts. He also placed fourth at the 2013 Washington Class 3A state cross country championship in 15:17.89 During the 2014 track season, Wilmot had a season-best time of 9:02.50 in the 3200 meters and finished fourth at the Washington state meet. During his sophomore year, he was third at state track meet in the 3200 in 9:01.83. He also ran a personal-best time of 8:57.66 in the event at the Shoreline Invitational in 2012.
Chippewa Falls, Wis. (McDonell Central)
Zander won both the 800 and 1600 meters at the 2014 WIAA Division 3 State Championships in 1:54.93 and 4:11.65, respectively. He also won the 800 and 1600 at the 2013 state meet, while he finished runner-up in the 1600 meters at the 2012 state meet. As a senior, he placed second in the 2013 Wisconsin Division 3 cross country meet in 16:14.25.