Athletics News

Big 10 Men — Nebraska Wins With Field Power

Big 10 Men — Nebraska Wins With Field Power

As Nebraska took the team crown with field points, Matthew Wilkinson delivered a distance double for runner-up Minnesota. (CAROL CHEN)

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA, May 12–14 — It was a field (events) of dreams come true for rookie head coach Justin St. Clair of Nebraska as the Huskers scored 151 points — 99 in six field events — to win their first Big 10 outdoor title since 2016.

Minnesota was 2nd with 122 points and Iowa 3rd with 120, scores that in most years would be good enough to win. Wisconsin (72) and Michigan (56) rounded out the top 5 among the 13 teams.

Nebraska has always had a very strong field event presence, but the Huskers took it to new levels at this meet, with 1–2 finishes in the high jump, javelin throw, shot put and discus. The latter two included Jonah Wilson and Maxwell Otterdahl trading 1st- and 2nd-place finishes as junior Otterdahl repeated his ’22 DT win.

Nebraska’s long jump champ Till Steinforth (25-7¼/7.80) also found time to win the decathlon with a PR 8064 points. Michigan State’s Heath Baldwin (PR 8084) opted out of the 10-eventer but grabbed 4th in the HJ and 5th in the javelin and ran in two others for kind of a 40 percent multi.

“Winning the title is a great thing, just with the feeling of the team coming together and cheering each other on and supporting each other,” St. Clair said. “Our objective was to win, but to win in the fashion we won in as a group and as a family was very special to me. There were tremendous results across the board and multiple champions, facility records, conference records, even a Swedish national record [on the women’s side].”

Steinforth and Matthew Wilkinson were the only individual event double winners as the Minnesota steeple specialist claimed that title on Saturday night in 8:38.40. He returned fewer than 24 hours later to outlast his rivals in a humid death march 5K in 13:51.31 that saw 10 runners of 38 starters fail to finish.

Collegiate leader Kostas Zaltos of the Gophers won his third hammer title in 245-10 (74.93). With 100 champ Kion Benjamin (10.18) on the second leg, Minnesota’s 4 x 100 squad clocked a meet record 38.87, fourth-best mark in Big 10 history.

Darius Luff won Nebraska’s only track title, taking the 110H in 13.32 over Michigan’s Josh Zeller (13.40). Wisconsin’s Jackson Sharp led the 1500 wire-to-wire for a 3:42.72 win. And Indiana’s Camden Marshall pulled off an 800 win (1:46.57) for retiring coach Ron Helmer.

Iowa was strong as…

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