Posted-May 12, 2012 11:06 pm
MADISON, Wis. -- Saturday's competition began with an image familiar to the Badgers, but probably not to the packed fans at the Dan McClimon Memorial Track/Soccer Complex.
Crowded on the top of the podium, smiling for the cameras, was the Wisconsin women's track and field team's multi-events trio. The heptathletes -- Jessica Flax, Dorcas Akinniyi and Deanna Latham --completed the second day of the event to sweep the podium positions for the second time in a matter of months.
"I would definitely say we dominated'" said Flax, a senior who claimed her second-consecutive crown. "We did what we had to do. We took 1-2-3."
And Flax would know best of all. The defending champion did just that, protecting her title and leading the Badgers to a sixth-consecutive Big Ten crown in the multi-events. UW has swept the league's indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon titles in each of the last three seasons.
Thanks to Akinniyi, Flax and Latham, the Badgers became the first Big Ten team to record the impressive feat of sweeping the top three spots in both the pentathlon and heptathlon in the same year.
The performance -- good for 24 team points -- also has the Badgers staked to the lead in the team race after two days of competition after they racked up 52 altogether. Purdue stands second in the team standings with 32 points heading into Championship Sunday.
Flax took the crown with a Wisconsin school-record total of 5,772 points, ranking her fourth in the nation based on results entering into the weekend.
Lifting Flax to her winning score was a fantastic close to the seven-event competition, punctuated by a winning throw in the javelin and a second-place finish in the 800 meters -- the final two events.
Flax threw for a mark of 146 feet, 5 inches in the javelin -- nearly 15 feet farther than her nearest competitor. Clocking in at 2:15.97, was second-fastest in the 800, improving her personal best by three seconds.
Flax also leapt for a mark of 17-9 1/2 in the long jump to secure 677 points towards her total.
"We push each other to do the best that we can do," Flax said. "When we get to the meet we want to go 1-2-3 as that is our ultimate goal."
"When two great athletes are pushing you can expect nothing but the best. "