MADISON, Wis. — Two members of the Wisconsin men’s track and field team were recognized with Big Ten Conference awards after the Badgers won the 2023 Indoor Championships last weekend.
Redshirt junior Jackson Sharp was named the Track Athlete of the Championships while Badgers’ head coach Mick Byrne was named Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Sharp received his first Track Athlete of the Indoor Championships award after winning in the 5000 meters last Friday and the 3000 meters on Saturday.
In the 5000 meters, four Badger runners were part of the lead pack of nine athletes before Bob Liking took the lead with five laps remaining. With four laps to go, Liking and Sharp were 1-2 with Rowen Ellenberg and Evan Bishop in sixth and seventh places, respectively. The UW runners remained in the same positions until the final lap when with approximately 200 meters to go, Sharp kicked past all other runners for his first Big Ten title, crossing in 14 minutes, 7.80 seconds.
In the 3000 meters on Saturday, four Badgers were part of a breakaway group of six with Sharp in the lead with three laps remaining. Indiana’s Jake Gebhardt took the lead with two laps remaining but with approximately 200 meters left, Liking and Sharp overtook Gebhardt to sit first and second, respectively. Sharp used his kick to move past his teammate over the final 100 meters, winning in 7:51.53.
Behind Sharp, Wisconsin scored 24 points in the 5000 meters and 23 points in the 3000 meters. The 3000 meters was the second-to-last event of the championships, giving the Badgers a 15-point lead, an advantage no other team could surpass. Wisconsin won the Big Ten title with 110 points, nine points ahead of second-place Nebraska.
Byrne’s earned his second Men’s Coach of the Year accolade and his first since 2014, guiding the Badgers to the 2023 title. It was UW’s first Big Ten indoor track championship since 2014 and Wisconsin’s second Big Ten title of the season after winning the 2022 cross country championship last fall.
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