12 In A Row: Badger Men Do It Again

They’re at an even dozen, and next fall the Badgers will be in pursuit of a baker’s dozen. That’s right, the Wisconsin men’s cross country team claimed its unprecedented 12th straight Big Ten Men’s Cross Country Championship on Sunday in Verona, Wis. Landon Peacock took top honors, finishing the eight-kilometer race in 23:41 to pace the Badgers. Wisconsin finished with 28 team points, followed by Indiana with 75 and Minnesota with 101.

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Michigan State Women Win Big Ten Crown

The Michigan State women’s cross country team won its third Big Ten title Sunday at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course in Verona, Wis. Emily MacLeod won the event (19:54) to lead the Spartans to the title, their first since 2001. Four Spartans finished in the top 25 as the team tallied 74 points, 14 fewer than runner-up and in-state rival Michigan.

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Big Ten Icons: Otto Graham

Lynn “Pappy” Waldorf obviously had his Northwestern football team in mind when he spotted a strong-armed freshman throwing feathery-soft spirals in an NU  fraternity football league in the fall of 1940. Waldorf suggested the youngster might want to give the Wildcat varsity a try the following season. He did, and football’s gain was something of a loss for basketball, baseball and music. Otto Everett Graham Jr. was Waldorf’s discovery. Few athletes have ever been as accomplished, not to mention as versatile. Graham would win eight varsity letters in three sports at Northwestern and make All-America in football and basketball. He won a total of eight championships in the two sports as a professional and is a member of the College and Pro Football halls of fame.

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Big Ten Icons: Dave Winfield

Dave Winfield had never played a down of college football at the University of Minnesota, but the Minnesota Vikings thought they knew an athlete when they saw one. They drafted Winfield in 1973, envisioning a pass-catching, stretch-the-field tight end. They also knew that signing Winfield might involve outbidding the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and the Utah Stars of the rival ABA, who had seen enough of him on the basketball court to believe Winfield had a future at forward in the pro game. Winfield was a complementary player for the Gophers’ 1972 Big Ten champions, but Bill Musselman, his coach at Minnesota, called him “the best 6-6 rebounder I’ve ever had.”

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Big Ten Icons: John Cappelletti

Penn State being Penn State, it was inevitable that some of the records John Cappelletti set in his two remarkably productive seasons as the Nittany Lions’ starting tailback would fall as the assembly line kept churning out newer models. But the proud Italian kid from suburban Philadelphia remains the only Heisman Trophy winner in Penn State history.

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Big Ten Icons: Steve Alford

Steve Alford may well have been the quintessential Indiana basketball player. He grew up in New Castle, a town that reveres the game, and learned it from his father, Sam Alford, a Hall of Fame high school coach at New Castle Chrysler. Under his father’s tutelage, Alford developed the fundamental skills, the shooting touch, the court sense and the toughness that constitute the preferred style of play in the land where basketball is king. A two-time all-state selection, Alford was the state’s leading scorer as a senior with 37.7 points per game and won the coveted title of Indiana’s Mr. Basketball in 1983.

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