June 4, 2012
• USTFCCCA Regional Awards
MADISON, Wis. -- Two of the individuals most responsible for the Wisconsin women’s track and field team’s success in the combined events have been recognized as the best in the Great Lakes Region.
Assistant coach Nate Davis and senior multi-event star Jessica Flax both were named regional award winners Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
In a vote of his coaching peers, Davis was named Great Lakes Region Assistant Coach of the Year for the third time in his five years at UW. He swept the same award for both the indoor and outdoor seasons in 2010.
Flax was named Great Lakes Region Field Athlete of the Year after winning a second-straight Big Ten title in the heptathlon.
Davis, who coaches the Badgers’ sprints, hurdles, jumps and multi-event groups, has five qualifiers for this week’s 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships -- including a nation’s best three qualifiers in the heptathlon. UW is the first program since 2001 to advance three athletes to the NCAA championships in the heptathlon.
That trio, Flax, junior Dorcas Akinniyi and sophomore Deanna Latham, swept the awards podium at the Big Ten championships with a 1-2-3 finish. They made UW the first program in league history to finish 1-2-3 in both the indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon.
Davis also coached five qualifiers to the NCAA West Preliminary Round, including Akinniyi, the lone Division I athlete to qualify for NCAA competition in four events this season.
Flax claimed her second-consecutive Big Ten title in the heptathlon with a school-record score of 5,772 points, a total that has her ranked No. 5 heading into this week’s NCAA championships.
She also qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Round in the 100 hurdles and the javelin.
Flax opened her outdoor season with a runner-up finish in the heptathlon at the Mt. SAC Relays Combined Events, scoring a then-school record total of 5,662 points.
On the year, Flax has set personal-best marks in six of the seven events that make up the heptathlon.
The Badgers open competition at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships on Wednesday in Des Moines, Iowa.