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Three local Badgers qualify for NCAA Championships

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MADISON (WKOW)- Three homegrown Badgers are advancing to the NCAA outdoor championships for the first time in their career.

"Butterflies," Redshirt Junior Josie Schaefer said. "This is like the big show."

"It's a pretty good feeling," Sophomore L.O. Johnson said. "You know it's a lot of hours. It's a lot of work put in."

"I'm excited," Graduate Student Olin Hacker said. "I'm a little bit nervous. I guess I'm hungry."

Hacker can taste a championship. He finished second overall in his heat of 5,000 meters.

Johnson is coming off a personal best in the 100 meters. That put him at ninth overall.

"You see the numbers, and they continue getting smaller. and now it's just 24 people in the country," Johnson said.

After qualifying in the shot put, Schaefer recorded a personal best in the discus to add another event to her resume.

"I think it's all the good people surrounding this sport," Schaefer said. "I mean the coaching staff we have here is incredible."

The trio of athletes have less than a week to prepare for a trip to Eugene Oregon, but at this point it's less about training physically, and more mentally.

"You can mess that up or really get that right, but really you just have to be confident going into the race."

At the end of the day, medals won't be the only thing that leaves these athletes feeling accomplished.

"I just want to be able to represent the state well, represent my family well, and hopefully make a lot of people happy with the performance."

It's almost time to shine. The NCAA Championships run from June 9-12.

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Karley Marotta

Weekend Sports Anchor

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