June 14, 2012
As part of its year-end look back, UW Athletics profiles 10 candidates this week leading up to the announcement of the 2011-12 Athlete of the Year awards this Friday. Today, we profile Athlete of the Year candidate Dorcas Akinniyi of the women’s track and field team.
MADISON, Wis. -- Asserting herself as one of the nation’s multi-event athletes, Dorcas Akinniyi made history multiple times in 2012.
The Wisconsin junior was part of the Badgers’ historic sweep of the Big Ten podium in both the indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon. She secured her third-consecutive conference title in the pentathlon and then scored the runner-up spot outdoors in the heptathlon.
Together with teammates Jessica Flax and Deanna Latham, Akinniyi helped UW finish 1-2-3 in both the pentathlon and heptathlon -- a first for a Big Ten team
Akinniyi also was an All-American in both events, beginning with her school-record effort of 4,299 points at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships, where she finished second for the Badgers’ best-ever finish in the pentathlon -- and her third-straight All-America award in the event.
Outdoors, she secured a third-straight All-America nod in the heptathlon with an eighth-place finish as UW became just the third team in NCAA history to place three athletes in the top 10 of the heptathlon at the national meet.
Beyond the combined events, Akinniyi enjoyed a strong season in individual disciplines, as well.
She achieved the USA Olympic Trials in the high jump with her mark of 6 feet, 1/2 inches at the NCAA indoor championships and was the only athlete -- male or female -- to qualify for NCAA postseason competition in four events outdoors.