Cody Walton won the heptathlon title on Saturday at the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships in Geneva, Ohio, but the Husker men couldn't quite put the finishing touches on a third straight title.
Walton, the lone Husker Big Ten champion, finished with a personal-best 5,672 points to top Wisconsin's Trent Nytes by nearly 150 points. His total was the third-highest in school history. After entering the final day with the lead, he separated himself from the pack by winning the pole vault with a personal best of 16 feet, 4¾ inches.
Walton set personal bests in two more of the seven events, shot put and high jump. He entered the weekend with the sixth-best heptathlon score in the Big Ten, but the field was weakened with a few of the top athletes out with injuries.
“It was a tough fight,” Walton said. “Some of the good guys had a few injuries, so that opened the door and I just stepped up. I had an awesome two days and a lot of good PRs.”
NU junior Noah Gabel was fourth in the heptathlon with a personal best of 5,497, just seven points shy of third.
Indiana won the men's title with 112 points, with Penn State (84) and Wisconsin (75½) rounding out the top three.
Nebraska's Moujtaba Mohammed was fourth in the 600 meters and Andrew Neal and Jake Bender were fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 400. Kaiwan Culmer also was fourth in the triple jump. The NU 4x400 relay team added a third in the meet's final event to give Nebraska 72 points.
The Husker women, after a fast start Friday, finished eighth. Tierra Williams was the conference runner-up in the triple jump, hitting 43-3 on her final jump.
NWU women claim title
The relay title was just icing on the cake for the Nebraska Wesleyan women's track and field team.
The Prairie Wolves capped their first Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference indoor track and field season by holding off Wartburg for the 4x400-meter relay title to put an exclamation point on their team championship Saturday in Dubuque, Iowa.
NWU had the title wrapped up barring a disqualification in the final race, but the relay team of Elizabeth Jones, Devine Gines, Abigail Hunke and Kaylee Jones left no doubt by winning in 3:53.23. They finished just six-tenths of a second ahead of Wartburg and topped Wartburg 193-183⅓ in the team standings.
The Prairie Wolves ended Wartburg's run of 14 straight conference titles.
The NWU women won six titles, including the 4x200 relay. Katie Krick won the 200 (:25.42) and the 400 (:57.31). Toree Hempstead won the high jump and Hannah Manley won the triple jump. Krick was named track athlete of the meet and NWU coach Ted Bulling was named women's coach of the year.
The NWU men were third. Craig Timmons was the 55 runner-up and Malik Morris added a second in the high jump.