Peacock paves way for Badgers' 12th-straight Big Ten title


ON WISCONSIN
ON WISCONSIN

ON WISCONSIN

Oct. 31, 2010

2010 Big Ten Championship
Zimmer Championship Course • Verona, Wis.
Complete Results  |  Complete Results Get     Acrobat  Reader
• Distance: 8 Kilometers
• Weather: Sunny, 43 degrees, wind E at 5 mph
 Team Results
1. Wisconsin
28
2. Indiana
75
3.
Minnesota
101
4.
Penn State
128
5.
Michigan State
141
6.
Illinois
150
7.
Ohio State
164
8.
Michigan
185
9. Iowa
205
10. Purdue 212
 Individual Results
1. Landon Peacock
WIS
23:41
2.
Andrew Bayer
IND
23:41
3.
Ben Blankenship
MINN 23:41
4.
Mohammed Ahmed
WIS 23:43
5.
Elliot Krause
WIS 23:43
6.
Maverick Darling WIS 23:51
12.
Reed Connor
WIS 24:02
26.
Drew Shields
WIS 24:26
33. Phil Thomas
WIS 24:33
48. Alex Brill
WIS 24:53
70. Michael Brice
WIS 25:28
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VERONA, Wis. -- Landon Peacock wouldn't be denied, and neither would his Wisconsin men's cross country team.

Peacock out-leaned Indiana's Andrew Bayer in a fantastic finish to claim his first-ever individual conference title and, in the process, powered the Badgers to an unprecedented 12th-consecutive Big Ten crown Sunday in front of a large home crowd at the Zimmer Championship Course.

"A big part of this was that it was my last time out here for Big Ten cross country. I'm a senior and this is all I've got," said Peacock, who became Wisconsin's 27th individual Big Ten champion. "I saw an opportunity to win on the home stretch and I knew I'd never forgive myself if I didn't give it everything I have to win it."

 Fast Facts
• Badgers claim 12th-consecutive Big Ten team title
• Peacock becomes UW's 27th individual Big Ten champion
• Overall, UW has won 29 of last 34 Big Ten team titles

In an outstanding individual effort, Peacock hunted down Bayer over the final 30 meters and managed to step across the line just a half-second ahead of the Hoosier, clocking in at 23 minutes, 40.8 seconds.

"The lean at the end of the race was about all I had left," Peacock admitted.

It was part of a tremendous team performance that saw the Badgers post a winning score of just 28 points to earn the program's Big Ten-record 44th team title. UW has claimed 29 of the last 34 Big Ten championships.

The Badgers' 12th-straight title also is tied as the fourth-longest championship streak in conference history, regardless of sport.

Led by Bayer's time of 23:41.3, Indiana was second with 75, followed by Minnesota at 101 and Penn State at 128.

Badgers sophomore Mohammed Ahmed, who led heading into the finishing chute before being picked off by Bayer and Peacock, came home fourth in 23:42.7.

Junior Elliot Krause, the Big Ten runner-up a year ago, was fifth in 23:43, with sophomore Maverick Darling sixth in 23:50.8.

Peacock, Ahmed, Krause and Darling each earned first-team All-Big Ten honors, with 12th-place finisher Reed Connor taking a spot on the all-conference second team. The Badgers can boast four first-team all-conference honorees for the second-consecutive year.

"That was unbelievable," said UW head coach Mick Byrne, who won his third Big Ten title in three years with the Badgers. "There was a lot of pressure on our kids coming into this race. This is a great weekend for our program and a great weekend for Wisconsin."

"It's awesome," Krause added. "It's keeping the tradition and we definitely wanted to continue the streak, but this is a new team with a new synergy. It's one of 12 in a sequence, but we really take pride in this being our title."

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After a slow start that saw the pack cover the first mile in 4:55, Darling took it upon himself to pick up the pace and help the Badgers string out the field.

"The first mile was so slow and it gave everybody an opportunity to get into the race," Byrne said. "It was a real brave move from Maverick Darling just past the mile mark to go on his own. That was unbelievable and it took a lot of courage for him to do that. He really did that for the team. That was huge for our team."

Still, the group remained tightly-bunched at the front even after six kilometers were in the books.  The Badgers had five of the race's top 10 at that point, something they nearly held until the finish.

After plenty of lead swapping through the late stages, it was Ahmed who paced the leaders around the final turn and into the finishing chute. Bayer made his move and had the lead with 50 meters to go, but Peacock charged past both Ahmed and Minnesota's Ben Blankenship to pull into the second spot with 30 meters left.

From there, it was a drag race to the finish, with Peacock finishing just a step ahead to give the Badgers their first individual Big Ten champion since Matt Withrow took the title in 2007.

Wisconsin now heads to the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championship on Nov. 13 in Rochester, Mich.

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