June 16, 2012
• USTFCCCA Program of the Year Final Standings
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin’s best-ever finish in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s program of the year standings also marked the top showing by a Big Ten school this season.
The Badgers finished 12th in the final Terry Crawford Program of the Year Award standings -- which were released this week by the USTFCCCA -- after putting together a strong year across the board, from cross country to indoor track and field to outdoor track and field.
UW’s finish led the way for the Big Ten, with Michigan State finishing 13th as the league’s other representative in the top 15.
"We're excited about the direction our program is headed, and this illustrates why," UW head coach Jim Stintzi said."Being able to consistently score solid team points in NCAA competition is what we strive to do, and we did a good job of that this year.
"On top of that, we all know the Big Ten is an extremely competitive conference, so to finish as the highest-ranked team says a lot about what we were able to accomplish this year."
Oregon claimed the program of the year award, which is named for former Tennessee and Texas coach Terry Crawford. The Ducks scored top-five finishes in all three NCAA championship events in 2011-12. Stanford was second, with Washington, Florida State and Texas rounding out the top five.
Wisconsin opened the running season with a 24th-place finish at the 2011 NCAA Cross Country Championship, a performance that came on the heels of UW’s fourth-place showing in the NCAA Great Lakes Regional. The Badgers had four athletes earn All-Great Lakes Region honors.
From there, the Badgers finished 21st at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships on the strength of All-America performances from senior Dorcas Akinniyi in the pentathlon and freshman Kelsey Card in the shot put. In all, Wisconsin qualified five athletes for the NCAA meet.
UW concluded the year with a 40th-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships when Jessica Flax took fourth and Akinniyi eighth in the heptathlon. The pair were among the Badgers’ eight qualifiers for the national meet, the program’s highest total in a decade.
The Badgers also set a program record by qualifying 16 athletes for the NCAA West Preliminary Round.