March 7, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- For four members of the Wisconsin women’s track and field team, three months of hard work will be put to the test this weekend.
The Badgers’ championship season ends with its biggest highlight, the 2013 NCAA Championships. Wisconsin will be represented in three different events, when the Badgers send four athletes to Fayetteville, Ark., for the meet this Friday and Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
The Badgers are the only program in the nation to qualify multiple athletes in the combined events. UW’s Jessica Flax and Deanna Latham qualified as the only set of teammates in the pentathlon, which will take place on Saturday beginning at 11:45 a.m.
A 2012 second-team All-American, Flax enters the meet as the No. 11 seed in the pentathlon behind a lifetime-best score of 4,078 points, which she earned in winning the Big Ten title on Feb. 22.
Latham enters the meet in the final qualifying position as the 16th seed. The sophomore posted a career-best score of 4,024 earlier this season and scored a third-place finish at the Big Ten championships for the second-consecutive year.
In addition to the pair of Flax and Latham, another duo will be competing for the Badgers in the throws.
Senior Taylor Smith will compete in the weight throw, while sophomore Kelsey Card returns for a shot at a second-consecutive All-America performance in the shot put.
This weekend marks Smith’s third-consecutive trip to the NCAA championships, after she took 17th at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships and 14th in 2011. She enters the weekend as the No. 9 seed and will look to improve her school-record mark of 70 feet, 6 1/2 inches, which she recorded in her third-place finish at the Big Ten championships two weeks ago.
Card enters the meet as the No. 14 seed after propelling herself into a qualifying position with a throw of 55-3 1/2 at last weekend’s Wisconsin NCAA Qualifier in Madison.
Card has the opportunity to earn her second-straight All-America honor after she recorded a sixth-place finish as a freshman at last year’s championships.
The meet is set to begin with Smith in the women’s weight throw at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, followed by races on the track at 5:30 p.m. The competition resumes at 11:45 a.m. with Flax and Latham in the pentathlon, while Card throws in the women’s shot put at 4 p.m.
A live stream is available at ArkansasRazorbacks.com both Friday and Saturday mornings, while ESPN3 will carry the evening sessions live, with the live webcast beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday.