MADISON, Wis. -- After eight months and 22 days, Japheth Cato is back.
The senior, competing in his first meet since rupturing his Achilles tendon on a routine approach in the pole vault at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational last April, notched a pair of victories in the pole vault and high jump to score 10 points and help No. 4-ranked Wisconsin defeat Missouri 86-61 in a dual meet Saturday at the Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center.
“It was a little difficult last year hurting it outside, [I] didn’t get to finish my outdoor season,” Cato said. “But it means a lot to me right now to get back on the track. I worked real hard all offseason -- it was a real mental and physical struggle -- but I feel good.”
Cato began the day by winning the vault with a clearance of 16 feet, 4 3/4 inches and followed up his performance with another victory in the high jump, leaping 6-11, just half an inch from tying his personal best in the event.
No. 5 Texas A&M at TAMU Invitational
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- A school record in the 60 meters by senior Prezel Hardy, Jr. highlighted the Texas A&M 10-Team Invitational on Saturday as the Aggies swept the team titles in front of 2,072 fans at Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium. Texas A&M recorded 14 victories on the day and broke meet records in half of those wins.
With 209.5 points the A&M men topped the field by a wide margin as Baylor finished second with 91.5 points. Texas-Arlington (73) placed third and they were followed by TCU (51), Texas-San Antonio (50), Texas State (42), Abilene Christian (30), Louisiana Tech (30) and Rice (25).
No. 6 Penn State at Nittany Lion Invitational
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State track and field had another excellent day at the Nittany Lion Challenge, highlighted by five performances that placed Nittany Lions in the NCAA top-5. Redshirt-senior Evonne Britton placed fourth in the NCAA with her meet-winning performance in the 60 meter hurdles, posting an 8.22.
Sophomores Brannon Kidder and Za'Von Watkins finished second and third in the 800 meter run. They hold the same positions in the NCAA standings.
Junior Robby Creese won the 1,000 meter run with a time of 2:20.65. He was 1.12 seconds shy of his meet, school, and facility record that he set in 2012.
No. 7 Florida State at Auburn Invitational
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A pair of freshmen shot putters led Florida State. In just their second meet, Austin Droogsma and Chadrick DaCosta advanced to the final and finished seventh and eighth respectively, each recording new career-bests. Droogsma uncorked the 11th-best indoor throw in FSU history at 16.72 meters (54-10.25), while DaCosta checked in with the 13th-best mark (16.61m/54-6).
A pair of sophomores turned in the top performances among Seminole middle-distance runners. Otniel Teixeira, a transfer from USF, placed ninth in his first collegiate mile race (4:11.02). Jacob Burton, who was eighth as a freshman at the ACC Indoor Championships in the 800, opened his second season of competition by placing 10th in 1:53.43. That time was one second faster than he ran a year ago in his collegiate debut in the same meet.
No. 8 Nebraska at Holiday Inn Invitational
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska closed the opening weekend of competition with 11 event titles at the Holiday Inn Invitational in front of 2,180 fans at the Devaney Center Indoor Track on Saturday.
Christian Sanderfer won the pole vault as he notched a personal-best vault of 17-0 3/4 (5.20). Tess Merrill then completed the Nebraska sweep of the pole vault with a mark of 12-9 1/2 (3.90).
Oladapo Akinmoladun notched his first title of the 2014 season with a first-place finish in the men’s 60-meter hurdles. Akinmoladun recorded a time of 7.92 in the event. Tibor Korknai finished third in the event with a time of 8.09, while Sean Pille was fifth with a time of 8.20. Mila Andric finished sixth for the women with a time of 8.83.
No. 9 Minnesota at Northwest Open
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota won seven titles in its season opener on Saturday at the Minnesota Fieldhouse as part of the Northwest Open. Gophers alum and All-American Travis Burkstrand also added an individual title at the meet.
Reigning Big Ten outdoor pole vault champion Zach Siegmeier started his senior season off with an individual title, picking up the win on Saturday in the pole vault with a height of 5.12 meters (16-09.50 ft.) while three other competitors with ties to Minnesota finished in the top five. Competing unattached, program alum Jack Szmanda came in second at 4.92 meters (16-01.75 ft.), junior Logan Markuson finished third at 4.92 meters (16-01.75 ft.) and Nick Sgarbossa came in fifth at 4.47 meters (14-08.00 ft.).
No. 10 Oklahoma State at KSU Wildcat Invitational
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Nick Miller picked up where he left off in his record-setting 2013 campaign, breaking his own school record in the weight throw, as Oklahoma State wrapped up competition at the KSU Wildcat Invitational on Saturday.
Miller, who finished fourth at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships in the weight throw, launched a throw of 21.94m/71-11.75 on just his third throw of the season, winning the event and showing he is primed for another big year.
However, he wasn’t the only Cowboy to put together an impressive performance.
Four other Cowboys won their respective events. John Teeters (6.73) took the 60 meter dash, All-American Tyler Payton won the 600 yard run, with a 1:11.88, Shane Moskowitz (2:24.48) won the 1,000 meters and Brian Gohlke (4:13.05) took first in the mile.