(Over the course of the summer we will be unveiling the 50 Greatest Badgers of All-Time every Monday – Friday)
When you think of Wisconsin Badgers athletics, how often do you think about Track & Field? If you grew up in the 1980’s or 1990’s (and were as fanatical as this guy was about sports already), having Badgers teams compete for and win championships was nearly a yearly thing.
Recently, Big Ten indoor and outdoor titles have become a thing for the Badgers men’s track & field program. One of the catalysts for indoor and outdoor titles has been our No. 48 #GreatestBadgers of all-time.
So, let’s take a look at the player with that honor.
No. 48 — Michael Lihrman, Men’s Track & Field
Teddy Roosevelt liked to talk about speaking softly and carrying a big stick. While he was talking foreign policy, speaking softly and throwing the crap out of discuses and weight balls (stop your laughing, five-year old inner self) is what Michael Lihrman does best.
What you may not know is that in the long and decorated history of men’s track & field at UW, Lihrman (who is graduating this weekend & just comes in under the requirements of our list) is perhaps the most decorated single member of this program.
He’s a two-time NCAA champion and national collegiate record-holder in the indoor weight throw as well as owner of the school and Big Ten Conference standard in the outdoor hammer throw. All that has eluded Lihrman in his career has been an NCAA outdoor crown in the hammer throw.
Oh, and did we mention Lihrman has the top weight throw of all-time…not just the NCAA record, or the American Record — but no one in the history of track & field has ever topped Lihrman’s throw that happened earlier in 2015. That’s a pretty special accomplishment indeed.
Just how well respected is he by his peers?
Of all the names on the male side of the ledger to chose from, Lihrman was named the male athlete of the year at the annual Buckingham’s just a few weeks ago. Not record-setter Melvin Gordon, not national player of the year Frank Kaminsky…you get the point.
We’ll see if Lihrman can make his final dream come true at the NCAA championships (which he’s very likely to qualify for).
Don’t be shocked to see him making moves to potentially be an Olympic-level athlete at the hammer throw in the not-too-distant future.
Full 50 Greatest Badgers List: