The University of Wisconsin men’s track and field team got All-America performances from junior Japheth Cato and sophomore Zach Ziemek in the heptathlon and sophomore Austin Mudd in the mile to finish third Saturday at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
The Badgers scored 33 points — their most since winning the 2007 national title — to secure their first podium finish since then and their third top-three showing in the past nine years.
Arkansas (74 points) won the team title on its home track and Florida (59) was second.
Cato finished runner-up for a second consecutive year and scored a career-best total of 6,165 points, which ranks him No. 4 all-time among collegians. Arkansas’ Kevin Lazas won the national title with 6,175 points, making for the closest finish in NCAA history.
Cato also became the first collegian to top 6,000 points four times in a career and, for the second consecutive year, set a record for the highest non-winning score in NCAA meet history.
Ziemek earned honors in his first NCAA championships appearance with a personal-best 5,937 points. The highlight came when Ziemek matched the collegiate record in the heptathlon pole vault by clearing 17 feet, 81⁄2 inches. He narrowly missed three tries at 18-03⁄4, which would have broken the American record in the heptathlon vault.
Mudd became the fifth Badger to earn All-America honors in the mile by racing to a school-record time of 3 minutes, 57.93 seconds in the fastest race in NCAA meet history.
Arizona’s Lawi Lalang won in a meet-record time of 3:54.74. Mudd lowered his school record of 3:58.98 and has now clocked in under 4 minutes in three of his four collegiate mile races.
UW sophomore Kelsey Card finished 13th in the women’s shot put with a throw of 53 feet, 2.25 inches.