first_imgThis year’s Big Ten Indoor Championship in the 60-meter dash was more than just a trophy for junior sprinter Demi Omole.The 6.70-second victory marked an entire season’s comeback attempt.In last season’s Big Ten Indoor Championship, Omole pulled up in the 60-meter dash with a hamstring injury, disqualifying him from the event and allowing then-freshman Anthony Cole of Ohio State to win the event.Omole was still affected by the injury at the NCAA Indoor Championships in 2005, causing him to finish in fourth place. Had he been healthy, he feels as though he easily could’ve competed for the top spot.Sure, Omole bounced back in the outdoor season last year and won the Big Ten title in the 100-meter dash, but it was that indoor 60-meter dash event Omole had his eyes on.”The team was giving me a lot of crap about not getting the Big Ten title [last year],” Omole said. “I was just trying to get that hump off of my back.”Now healthy, Omole recaptured the 60-meter event title from Anthony Cole this year, but he felt as though a pair of freshman were really his top competitors.Dominique Worsley of Illinois and Adam Harris of Michigan stepped on the scene this year in their freshman seasons to challenge Omole with times of 6.75 and 6.83 seconds, respectively.But as a junior with plenty of Big Ten Championships under his belt, Omole simply wasn’t having it.”There were two freshmen who were pretty good,” Omole said. “But I had to show them the ropes.”Omole also had a huge advantage on the freshmen, as he has developed his 60-meter technique to near perfection.”It’s all about just getting out hard,” he said. “If you get beat off the block, you’ll never be in contention, but you’ve got to hold on to your acceleration without looking back, too, and get out as far as you can.”In the 200-meter dash, however, his technique didn’t work, as he finished in fourth place at this year’s Big Ten Indoors.”It wasn’t as high as we expected for me to place,” Omole said. “But outdoor I’m much better running the 200.”While Omole will seek to improve his 200-meter dash mark during the outdoor season, all of his work in practice will now be concentrated solely on the 60-meter dash as he begins to prepare for the NCAA Indoor Championships come March 10.”I’m just working on a lot of acceleration stuff because I’m only running the 60 at [National Championships], and I have a pretty good shot at winning,” he said. “So we’re just working on a lot of acceleration and making sure my blocks are on point.”In just his third season on campus, Omole has made quite the name for himself at UW and found himself in a situation he didn’t necessarily see himself being in.Omole originally had decided to attend the University of Florida due its great sprinters’ program, but the Milwaukee, Wis., native decided to transfer after one semester due to being homesick.He even toyed with the idea of going out for the football team when first arriving to Wisconsin.”I went out for [football] the spring of my freshman [year], but they wanted me to put on more weight, and I wasn’t really up for that,” Omole said. “So I decided to focus more on track.”But now, Omole has found his niche alongside track and field head coach Ed Nuttycombe, racking up Big Ten title after Big Ten title.”Being in five Big Ten championships and winning all five, I just don’t know what it’s like to lose in those situations,” Omole said. “I really like this feeling of being a part of a winning tradition here.”last_img

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