As the 2016 Olympic Games are coming to a close, we recap the accomplishments of past, present and future Wisconsin Badgers competing in Rio.
Track and Field:
Gwen Jorgensen: Class of 2009
Team USA: Triathlon
Jorgensen won the gold medal in the women’s triathlon, becoming the first American woman to ever win the event.
Mohammed Ahmed: Class of 2014
Team Canada: 10,000m, 5,000m
In his Rio debut, Ahmed placed 32nd overall after finishing with a time of 29:32.84 in the 10,000m race.
In spite of not qualifying to continue, Ahmed was able to finish sixth in his heat of the 5,000m race with a time of 13:21.00. His time allows him to advance to the final which will take place on Saturday.
Ahmed finished 4th overall in the 5,000m final. Mo Farah (Great Britain) won the event.
Team USA: 3,000m steeplechase
In the preliminary heat of the 3000m steeplechase, Jager won the race with a time of 8:25.86—an entire 25 seconds faster than his personal best. His time qualified him for the finals and gave him the opportunity to be the first medal recipient for Team USA in the men’s steeplechase since 1984.
Previously finishing sixth at the 2012 London Olympics, Jager adjusted and finished second with a time of 8:04.51. Not only did he earn Team USA a medal, but he placed higher than any American in this event since Horace Ashenfelter in 1952.
Hilary Stellingwerff: Class of 2004
Team Canada: 1,500m
Stellingwerff finished seventh in her heat with a time of 4:12.00, narrowly missing her ticket to the semifinal.
The top six competitors from each heat automatically advanced to the semifinal in addition to six additional time-qualifying spots for which Stellingwerff also did not qualify.
Stellingwerff finished 31st overall to conclude her second Olympic games.
Kelsey Card: Class of 2016
Team USA: Discus
Card narrowly missed qualifying for the discus finals despite her best efforts. On her first attempt in the preliminary round Card fouled, requiring her next throws to be above average in order to continue in the competition. Her second throw traveled 167 feet, 8.4 inches. Card would need to throw at least a 197.60 on her final attempt to qualify for the final, but fell short at 185.07.
Card finished 25th overall, but was the top American in the competition.
Zach Ziemek: Class of 2016
Team USA: Decathlon
Ziemek represented UW-Madison as the university’s first athlete to compete in the Olympic decathlon.
Ziemek’s results are listed below:
Final standing: 7th, 8,392 points
- High Jump
- Rank: 5 (2.10m)
- Shot Put
- Rank: 13 (13.44m)
- Long Jump
- Rank: 6 (7.49m)
- Rank: 3 (10.71s)
- Rank: 21 (49.83s)
- 110m Hurdles
- Rank: 2 (14.77s)
- Discus Throw
- Rank: 3 (49.42m)
- Pole Vault
- Rank: 3 (5.20m)
- Javelin Throw
- Rank: 8 (60.92m)
- Rank: 12 (4:42.97)
Taking 7th place, Ziemek is the highest-ranking collegiate athlete in the Olympic decathlon since Mount St. Mary’s William Motti in 1984.
Matt Hutchins: Class of 2017
Team New Zealand: 400 freestyle, 1500-meter freestyle
Hutchins competed in the 400 freestyle and finished second in his heat. He swam a personal-best time of 3:48.25, finishing 19th overall.
Completing his 2016 Olympic run, Hutchins finished the 1500-meter freestyle with a time of 15:32.60. Despite finishing third in his heat, he ranked 38th overall.
Cierra Runge: Class of 2019
Team USA: 4x200m freestyle relay
Runge swam the anchor leg in the 4×200 preliminary heat as a part of the star-studded team that included Missy Franklin. The preliminary team finished first and qualified for the final with a time of 7:47.77.
Despite her strong performance, Runge did not race in the final. The team of Allison Schmidt, Leah Smith, Maya Dirado and Katie Ledecky swam in the final and finished first with a time of 7:43.03.
Having taken first place, athletes who swam in both the preliminary and final competitions were given a gold medal—Runge included. According to a report, Runge is the first Wisconsin Olympic gold medalist since 2004.
Runge swam at the University of California-Berkeley for the past two seasons and will begin as a redshirt sophomore with the Badgers this season.
Alev Kelter: Class of 2015
Team USA: Rugby sevens
A dual-athlete at UW-Madison (hockey and soccer), Kelter scored the team’s only try against Fiji in a 12-7 loss. Kelter’s goal was the first try for the United States in the history of the Olympics.
Later that day, Kelter scored twice in a 48-0 victory against Colombia. This is the first year that rugby sevens has appeared at the Olympics, making this victory the first win in United States history at the Olympics.
Following this victory, the USA was paired against Australia and tied with a score of 12-12. Australia scored with only seconds left in the match.
Team USA played against New Zealand in the quarterfinals. Kelter kicked the restart, and, despite having multiple scoring chances and a power play, the United States was eventually shut-out by New Zealand 5-0.
Out of medal contention, Kelter and the rest of the team fought for the opportunity to finish fifth overall. Defeating Fiji 12-7 in the consolation bracket, they avenged their prior defeat against Fiji and moved on to play France.
With a score of 19-5, Kelter helped lead the USA’s Sevens team to a win against France. Kelter ended her 2016 Olympics run with the team-high five tries.
Grace Latz: Class of 2010
Team USA: Rowing, quadruple sculls
In her Olympic debut, Latz and the rest of the women’s quadruple sculls team raced in the second and final heat of the first day of the Olympics. With a time of 6:40.78, the USA team took third, unable to catch heat-winner Germany (6:30.86), and second-place Poland (6:33.43).
Placing third did not automatically advance Team USA into the finals, but put them in the repechages for another chance at qualifying for the final.
In the final qualifying heat, Latz and the rest of the USA’s crew snagged the final qualifying spot and took fourth place, falling behind China by 0.05 seconds and beating Australia by 0.06 seconds.
Racing in the final, the Germans passed Poland in the last 500 meters to take first place with a time of 6:49.39. Latz and Team USA took fifth with a time of 6:57.67.