Men’s Track Dominates Big Ten Awards

The second-ranked Wisconsin men’s track and field team dominated the 2007 Big Ten Conference indoor awards, released by the conference office today.

Senior Demi Omole was named the Big Ten Athlete of the Year and the Athlete of the Championships. Senior Joe Detmer was named the Field Event Athlete of the Year while Craig Miller was named the Freshman of the Year. Ed Nuttycombe rounded out the awards, earning his fifth straight indoor Coach of the Year honor.

Omole, a native of Milwaukee, was named the athlete of the year after setting a Big Ten record in the 60-meter dash at the Meyo Invitational on Feb. 3. He won in 6.55 seconds, which is the second fastest collegiate mark in the nation and tied for the fifth fastest time in the world this indoor season.

Omole was also named the athlete of the championship after winning his second consecutive Big Ten indoor title in the 60 meters. He set a meet record of 6.63 seconds in the final. Omole also finished fourth in the 200-meter dash.

Detmer won the Big Ten indoor title in the heptathlon and finished third in the 600-meter run. The Lodi, Wis., native set the UW record and recorded an NCAA automatic qualifying mark in the heptathlon at the Wisconsin Elite Invitational on Jan. 26, scoring 5,651 points. He won the heptathlon 1,000 meters in an American record of 2:30.86, earning Big Ten Field Event Athlete of the Week honors. Detmer was also named the Badgers’ Sportsmanship Award winner.

Miller is only the second Badger to earn indoor freshman of the year honors. He was the highest freshman finisher at the Big Ten indoor championships, placing second in the mile run in 4:04.27. The Lancaster, Pa., native was also a member of the second-place distance medley relay.

Nuttycombe, who led the Badgers to the 2007 Big Ten indoor title, received his ninth indoor coach of the year award and his 18th overall (indoor and outdoor combined). The Big Ten win was the 22nd title for Nuttycombe, tying him for the most track and field championships ever won by a Big Ten coach. Nuttycombe is also only one win away from the all-time Big Ten record of 23 championships won by Indiana men’s swimming coach James Counsilman from 1958-90.

The Big Ten also announced its all-conference teams, honoring 22 athletes on the first team and 21 athletes on the second team. Third-place Michigan had the most first-team members with five, while Minnesota had four. Ohio State and Wisconsin each had three.

Wisconsin Athletic Communications Diane Nordstrom

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