Morning State Sports Briefs: UW harriers win 13th straight Big Ten titleWisconsin Sports
-- The University of Wisconsin men's cross country team won its 13th straight Big Ten Conference title yesterday and 45th in school history.
CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, Ill., - The University of Wisconsin men's cross country team won its 13th straight Big Ten Conference title yesterday and 45th in school history.
The Badgers had five of the six top finishers at the league meet at the University of Illinois. Wisconsin scored 17 points. That's was the second-best in Big Ten history, and it was well ahead of second-place Indiana with 60. Michigan was third, and Minnesota fourth. Junior runner Mohammad Ahmed became the ninth Badger in the last 13 years to win the individual men's title. Maverick Darling was second, Elliot Krause third, Reed Connor fifth, and Ryan Collins sixth. Ahmed, Darling, and Krause received all-conference honors for the third striaght time.
On the women's side, Wisconsin finished fourth with 89 points -- the Badgers' best showing since 2008 when they finished second. Michigan State won the crown with 55 points, followed by Michigan and Penn State. It's MSU's second straight title. Senior Caitlin Comfort placed second, and was the only Badger runner in the Top-10. She was the first Wisconsin runner since Bethany Brewster in 2001 to earn four straight all-Big Ten honors.
Jake Reilly of UW-Milwaukee made the All-Horizon League men's cross country first team. And Laurel Mauel of UW-Green Bay made the women's all-league second team. Butler swept the season awards for runners and coaches, after the Bulldogs won both men's-and-women's conference meets on Saturday in Cleveland. Butler also won the individual races for both genders. Callum Hawkins won the eight-kilometer men's race with a time of 25:43. Shelbi Barnett won the women's five-"K" event in 18:40. The Milwaukee men's team placed fourth, and Green Bay was ninth-and-last. The Green Bay women placed sixth, and Milwaukee was 10th-and-last.
The Marquette University women's soccer team has been eliminated from the Big East Tournament, after losing a home quarter-final match to Notre Dame 1-0 yesterday. Melissa Henderson scored the game's only goal in the ninth minute, as the Golden Eagles ended a 19-game home winning streak.
The University of Wisconsin men's soccer team lost its home season regular finale yesterday, 2-0 to Ohio State. Brothers Chris and Parenell Hegngi scored for the Buckeyes, who improved to 4-1 in the Big Ten. Wisconsin fell to 3-2 in the conference and 8-7-2 overall.
There were no upsets yesterday in the first round of the Northern Athletics Conference women's soccer tournament. Third-seeded Edgewood College topped No. 6 Dominican 1-0. Katie Pampuch scored the game's only goal. Fourth-seeded Milwaukee School of Engineering edged No. 5 Concordia-Mequon by the same 1-0 verdict. Jamie Janczak scored for Milwaukee Engineering, which plays at top-seeded Aurora in the semi-finals on Wednesday. Edgewood plays at No. 2 Marian on Wednesday. Those winners will advance to the title game on Saturday.
The University of Wisconsin men’s-and-women’s rowing teams won all 10 of their races at a regatta on the University of Iowa campus. The Badger men took the top four places in all six of their events at the “Head of the Iowa” regatta on the Iowa River. The Wisconsin women took home titles in the remaining races – and the Badgers had more than one of the top places in all events except one. They competed against Minnesota, Iowa State, Colorado, Drake, and Creighton as well as against the Hawkeyes.
Sophomore guard Ben Brust scored 22 points yesterday during the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team’s annual Red-and-White Scrimmage. Brust led the Red team to a 72-56 victory over the White. The 6-1 guard made 9-of-15 shots form the floor, including 2-of-5 from three-point range. He also had five rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes, while committing just two turnovers. Junior forward Mike Bruesewitz and junior center Jared Berggren both scored 18 for the Red squad. Senior guard Jordan Taylor had 16 points and four assists for the White team.
The Marquette University volleyball team is now 10-0 in the Big East, after a three-games-to-none victory at West Virginia yesterday. Ashley Beyer had 13 kills for Marquette, which won its 20th overall match for the second year in a row and just the third time since joining the NCAA's Division-One. Evyn McCoy and Michelle Kopecky had seven kills for West Virginia, which dropped to 4-7 in league play and 6-16 overall.
Wisconsin's largest high schools will have a new state football champion next month. Waukesha West, the defending champ in Division-One, lost over the weekend in the second round of the playoffs. West fell to Sun Prairie, 17-14. All five other defending champions which made the playoffs won their games -- Waunakee, West De Pere, Kewaunee, Edgar, and Brillion. Edgar, the Division-Six titlist, crushed Kickapoo/La Farge 49-0 and has now out-scored its first two playoff opponents 113-0. In Division-Five, defending champion Brillion eliminated the top seed in its bracket, Tigerton-Marion. Six other Number-one seeds were also upset this past weekend -- Manitowoc Lincoln, Monona Grove, Jefferson, Mosinee, Racine Saint Catherine's, and De Soto. Fifteen-of-the-28 top seeds are still alive going into next weekend's divisional quarter-finals on Friday night and Saturday.
It’s back-to-work today for the Green Bay Packers. Their bye week ended yesterday, and they’ll start practicing for their Sunday matchup at San Diego. The Packers are 7-0, and they’re only the fourth defending Super Bowl champion in NFL history with that record. The Packers will get to scout the Chargers tonight, when they appear on ESPN’s Monday Night Football against the Chiefs in Kansas City. It’s expected to be a rough-and-tumble AFC West divisional battle – just like the one the Packers went through last week when they hung on to beat the Vikings at Minnesota. San Diego is 4-2 going its contest tonight. Kansas City is 3-3.
Green Bay now has a one-and-a-half game lead in the NFC North Division. Detroit crushed the Broncos in Denver 45-10, and Minnesota won at Carolina 24-21. The Packers remain atop the division at 7-0, while the Lions improved to 6-2. Chicago is still in third place at 4-3, after having its bye. Minnesota improved to 2-6. Matthew Stafford had three touchdown passes for the Lions, and the Detroit defense scored twice as the Lions improved to 4-0 on the road. Calvin Johnson had his league-leading 11th touchdown catch for Detroit, which broke a two-game losing streak.
Ex-Packer Ryan Longwell won Minnesota's game with a 31-yard field goal with under three minutes to play. Christian Ponder threw for 236 yards and a touchdown in his second NFL start. Adrian Peterson had 162 all-purpose yards with a rushing TD and a receiving score. Cam Newton had three touchdown passes for Carolina.
The University of Wisconsin football team tumbled down the polls again yesterday, after their second straight road loss at Ohio State. The Badgers slipped from 15th place to 20th in the BCS Standings. Wisconsin dropped six spots to 17th in the coaches' poll, and they fell six places to 18th in the AP media poll and Harris Interactive survey. The Badgers are also two-and-a-half games behind first-place Penn State in the Big Ten Leaders’ Division. Wisconsin is now tied with Purdue and Ohio State at 2-2. The Nittany Lions are 5-0. Wisconsin is 6-2 overall, and will host Purdue next Saturday with the kick-off at 2:30 p.m. UW Head Coach Bret Bielema says it will be on his shoulders to quote, “give the lead for where we go from here.” He’ll try to avoid a repeat of 2008, when the Badgers had a four-game losing streak which began with an upset loss at Michigan.
UW-Oshkosh dropped out of the Top-25 yesterday in the national small college poll from D3football.com. That leaves No. 1 Whitewater as the only ranked school in Division-Three. Oshkosh was 15th last week, before losing to La Crosse 30-24 in overtime on Saturday. Oshkosh still got enough votes to be five spots out of the Top-25. Whitewater remains atop the poll with an overall mark of 8-0. The Warhawks received 20-of-the-25 first place votes, after a 31-16 home win over Stevens Point on Saturday. Mount Union remains second in the poll. The Purple Raiders received the other five first-place votes.
Tony La Russa – who led the Saint Louis Cardinals to an amazing World Series title – announced his retirement this morning. The Cardinals were 10-and-a-half games behind Milwaukee in the National League Central Division before they won the Wild Card, eliminated both Philadelphia and the Brewers in the playoffs, and then beat Texas in seven games to win the Fall Classic. La Russa called it a career at a news conference, just one day after the Cardinals were honored with a victory parade in Saint Louis. The 67-year-old La Russa won World Series titles in both leagues, with Oakland in the AL in 1989 and twice with the Redbirds in the NL in 2006 and this year. He’s third in total Major League victories with 2,728, behind John McGraw and Connie Mack. La Russa and the Brewers had intense rivalries over the years. In 2007, critics said La Russa strategized the Brewers out of the National League Central title by getting into a bean-ball battle with ex-manager Ned Yost in a crucial game in the final week of the season. This year, La Russa tried to get into the Brewers’ heads again by claiming that a Miller Park strip light was darker when the Cardinals batted. Such moves caused Brewer fans to heavily boo La Russa almost every time he came out of the dugout in Milwaukee for the rest of the season.