The men?s and women?s track and field teams proved this past weekend why Wisconsin is consistently one of the top track programs in the nation. Both teams excelled in the Loras Open on Saturday in Dubuque, Iowa, while the men also competed in the prestigious Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.
The women produced one of their most dominating performances of the year as the team won a total of 15 events, including three double event winners in sophomores Lisa Oikarinen and Jamae Gjermo and senior captain Greta Bauer.
Gjermo set the pace for the Badgers, winning the shot put with an NCAA Regional qualifying mark of 47'1 3?4'. Her throw was not only a personal best, but also vaulted her into fourth on Wisconsin?s all-time list. Gjermo wasn?t finished, as she won the discus with a personal best of 151'2', which also ranks fourth on the all-time UW list.
Oikarinen was victorious in both the 100 and 200 meters with times of 12.40 and 25.36 seconds respectively. Bauer won the 100-meter hurdles in a season?s best of 14.90 and also won the 400-meter hurdles in 1:05.10.
The balanced attack of the women was evident as they nearly accomplished a clean sweep of the field events. Victories in only the pole vault and hammer throw were the events that eluded the Badgers. Sophomore Melissa Talbot tied for first in the high jump at 5'3 3?4', while Junior Christina Taylor won the long jump at 18'10 3?4' and senior Yael Peled won the triple jump at 35'10 3?4'.
Also garnering victories at the meet were Tara Halls in the 400 meters (57.49), Heidi Lane in the 1500 meters (4:48.50), Megan Thomas in the 10,000 meters (37:04.71) as well as the 4x100-meter relay in 46.78. Promising Freshman Venus Washington was third in the 100 in 12.67 and fourth in the 200 in 26.19 as she continues to display her potential as the season progresses.
The men came away with five NCAA regional qualifying marks at the two meets in Iowa. Freshman Demi Omole continued his success at Drake Relays, winning the 100 meters in a personal best of 10.29 seconds. Omole also led the Badgers? 4x100-meter relay to a third-place finish as he teamed with Levonne Rowan, Jvontai Hanserd and Gustin Smith, finishing with a time of 40.74 in the invitational race.
Like the women, the men continued the success at the Loras Open claiming victory in seven events. Freshman Paul Hubbard paved the way as he was a double winner, taking the long jump in a personal best and regional qualifying mark of 24'5 3/4'. Later in the day he won the 100 meters in 10.66 and was third in the triple jump at 46'5 1?2'.
Freshman standout Joe Thomas won the shot put with a personal best of 58'5 3/4'. His toss moved him into fourth on the UW all-time list and also raises his regional qualifying mark by over a foot. The 6'8', 287-pound Thomas has been balancing his time, as he is also penciled in as the back-up left tackle for the Wisconsin Badgers? football team.
Other event winners were Jon Mungen in the 110-meter high hurdles (14.45), Ryan Tremelling in the pole vault (15'2 1?4') and Rick Bellford in the triple jump at 50'2'.
Both teams are in action again this weekend at the Iowa Musco Twilight Event at the University of Iowa, and Wisconsin?s final home meet, the Wisconsin Twilight, the following weekend.