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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Badgers men’s track and field team claims Big Ten Title

The Wisconsin Badgers track and field team found success across all events en route to a second consecutive indoor Big Ten championship.

A well-rounded performance from the Wisconsin Badgers men’s track and field team led to a first-place finish at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, crowning the Badgers back-to-back conference champions. 

The team had a drought following the 2014 championship until last season’s 2023 championship. After a strong showing Friday and Saturday in Geneva, Ohio, the team returned to Big Ten supremacy, joining Michigan with the most indoor track championships at 26.

The championship effort commenced Friday when a handful of Badgers claimed individual titles and several more punched tickets to the finals Saturday.

Jackson Sharp was the first to be crowned champion of his event. The redshirt senior won the 5000 meters with a time of 13:56.28 to defend his 2023 title. Badgers teammates Bob Liking, who finished runner-up, and Micah Wilson, who finished seventh, joined Sharp in the top 10. 

Teammates Adam Spencer, Abullahi Hassan, Elliot Harris and Benjamin Nibbelink notched another win Friday in the distance medley relay. The team finished in 9:43.95, sneaking by Michigan with one-hundredth of a second to spare.

Wisconsin qualifiers included Jalen Williams in the 400 meters, Spencer and Joe dosReis in the mile, Hassan and Andrew Casey in the 800 meters and Giovanni Wearing in the 60-meter hurdles.

The momentum carried into Saturday where the team saw significant success, headlined by three more individual champions.

Spencer built on his Friday success and claimed his second win of the weekend in the mile. The junior ran a time of 4:05.9 for the win, his second consecutive Big Ten title in the mile.

Sharp’s success also carried over from Friday to Saturday as he defended a 2023 individual title for the second time in two days. He ran a time of 7:46.42 to win the 3000 meters. Sharp once again placed just one spot ahead of Liking, who finished runner-up, as well as Rowen Ellenberg, who finished seventh.

Wearing was the third Badger champion of the day. The sophomore earned the top spot in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.69 seconds.

Joining Liking as runners-up in their respective events were Hassan in the 800 meters and Williams in the 4000 meters. Williams recorded a school-record time of 46.33 seconds.

Contributing to the team victory with third-place finishes were Jason Swarens in the shot put and Cade Amborn in the heptathlon. 

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After a great weekend with an always-exciting Big Ten championship, the team awaits field announcements for the NCAA Indoor Championships, which will be held in Boston on March 8 and 9. This will be the last time the Badgers compete for the 2024 indoor season.

The outdoor track and field season begins Saturday, March 23 at the Luriline Struppeck Invite in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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