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Streak snapped: Schrobilgen takes title, Badgers' record run ends

2013 Big Ten Championship
Boilermaker Cross Country Course • West Lafayette, Ind. • Distance: 8 Kilometers

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 Team Results
1. Indiana 51
2. Michigan 66
3. Wisconsin 71
4. Minnesota 136
5. Illinois 140
6. Purdue 163
7. Michigan State 170
8. Ohio State 182
9. Penn State 209
10. Iowa 275
11. Nebraska 314
 Individual Results
1. Malachy Schrobilgen WIS 24:16.9
2. Matt McClintock PUR 24:17.9
3. Matt Fischer PSU 24:19.7
4. Caleb Rhynard MSU 24:21.0
5. Jason Crist IND 24:24.9
13. Michael Van Voorhis WIS 24:40.1
14. Alex Hatz WIS 24:43.7
20. Alex Brill WIS 24:51.2
23. Jacob Naylor WIS 24:56.0
36. Rob Finnerty WIS 25:17.7
49. Jacob Erschen WIS 25:28.8
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Nov. 3, 2013

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Malachy Schrobilgen ran Badger Tough on Sunday, just as his head coach demands. Unfortunately for Wisconsin, it wasn't enough to make a little more history.

The redshirt freshman captured the individual title at the 2013 Big Ten Championship in 24 minutes, 16.9 seconds, but the No. 7-ranked Wisconsin men's cross country team finished third overall with a team score of 71 points.

"I didn't expect the pace to be so pedestrian for the first five kilometers," said Wisconsin head coach Mick Byrne. "The pace picked up between five and six kilometers and it was a massive injection of pace. We handled the initial burst but we fell apart during the last 800 meters.

"We did a good job for seven kilometers of racing, but unfortunately the race isn't 7K, it is an 8K race. Our guys gave it a good shot. We didn't hand the title over to Indiana, we just lost the meet in the last few kilometers. The last two kilometers were vicious."

That halted the Badgers' streak of 14 consecutive Big Ten titles that began in 1999 and was the longest run in conference history.

 Fast Facts
• Badgers' Big Ten title streak ends at record 14 straight
• Schrobilgen gives UW third individual champ in four years
• Schrobilgen, Van Voorhis, Hatz earn first-team All-Big Ten

"It was an unbelievable streak that our school had going," Schrobilgen said. "We had a lot of new guys stepping into some big shoes. We were all there, we ran tough, but we didn't close it out. I don't think we ran as smart as we could have and it is tough to swallow.

"All good things must come to an end, but next year we will be back and ready to start a new streak."

Schrobilgen became the third Badger to win the Big Ten individual crown in the last four seasons, and the first since Mohammed Ahmed claimed victory in 2011.

"I accomplished my goal," Schrobilgen said. "At the beginning of the season, I wanted to win the team title, but at the back of my mind, if I wanted to give it my all, I wanted to win this race."

No. 24 Indiana won the Big Ten title with a team score of 51 points, placing four runners in the top 10. With the victory, the Hoosiers earned their first conference championship since 1980, when they scored 44 points to share the crown with Michigan. Indiana last won the title outright 40 years ago, in 1973.

No. 16 Michigan finished second overall with 66 team points, while Minnesota (136) and Illinois (140) rounded out the top five behind the Badgers.

Wisconsin's total of 71 points marks its highest team score since 1980, when the Badgers finished fourth with 99 points.

Schrobilgen's effort marked the second time in as many meets he crossed the line first for UW, as he finished 20th overall to lead the Badgers to a fourth-place finish at the competitive Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Oct. 19.

"He is the team leader," Byrne said. "He took the team on his shoulders. With 800 meters to go Malachy decided he wanted to win the race, that was it, and he went for it. For him to win as a redshirt freshman is awesome. He has three more years left and it is great to see a young kid doing so well. It's exciting."

Junior Michael Van Voorhis, who finished 21st overall and second for UW at the adidas Invite, was once again the second Badger to cross the finish line on Sunday. He placed 13th overall in 24:40.1. Junior Alex Hatz finished right behind Van Voorhis in 14th in 24:43.7.

Schrobilgen, Van Voorhis and Hatz each earned first-team All-Big Ten honors for the first time in their collegiate cross country careers.

Seniors Alex Brill and Jacob Naylor rounded out the top five for UW, finishing 20th and 23rd, respectively, in 24:51.2 and 24:56.0.

Sixth-year senior Rob Finnerty finished 36th in 25:17.7, while junior Jacob Erschen placed 49th in 25:28.8. Sophomore Sam Hacker crossed the line in 55th (25:29.6) and senior Drew Shields finished 82nd (26:02.8).

While "The Streak" is no longer intact, the Badgers must now turn their attention to the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, a meet in which UW has won 11-consecutive regional titles.

Wisconsin will host the event Nov. 15 at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course.

"The message is that this is just one race," Byrne said. "We still have two races to run and we can either hang our hats up or we can come out fighting. Like all Badger teams in the past, you have to come out fighting.

"We don't quit. Good teams can handle adversity, and good athletes rise in the face of adversity."

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