When Joe Detmer entered the Wisconsin track and field program, the coaches saw him as a nice runner with a fair amount of athletic ability. UW head coach Ed Nuttycombe says he was simply a “very good little high school athlete” who became a solid contributor for the Badgers in running events.Detmer turned into much more than that at the Wisconsin Elite Invitational this past weekend. The fifth-year senior won the heptathlon 1,000-meter race with a time of 2:30.86, which broke a 22-year-old American record. Detmer’s effort also fell just six tenths of a second short of the world record and only .12 seconds off the collegiate mark.Detmer struggled to put his feelings about the milestone into words directly following the historic run. For the time being, he said he was thrilled that his third-place finish in the overall heptathlon event was good enough to automatically qualify him for the NCAA Championship meet.”I’m obviously really happy with it,” said Detmer, finishing with 5,651 points in the heptathlon. “I [automatically qualified], that was pretty much the main goal was to qualify for Nationals. I can’t really have too many complaints when I had a whole bunch of good marks — obviously, there’s things to work on, but I’m really happy with it for the time being.”Detmer was clearly humbled by the ovation he received after his record-breaking time was announced to the Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center crowd. Part of this was attributed to his inability to immediately appreciate the magnitude of the record.”I’m sure it won’t sink in for a couple years, how I hold an American record,” Detmer said. “But it’s nice to just be able to run that time for the points I earned.”Detmer, interestingly enough, hadn’t been aware of what the actual record time was going into the meet.”The funny thing is, I’ve heard so many different stories about what the actual record was that I had no idea what it was,” said Detmer, a native of Lodi, Wis. “So it’s kind of funny to actually find out that I broke it and I didn’t know it before, but obviously, it’s pretty cool to have.”Nuttycombe praised Detmer not just for his accomplishment Saturday, but mainly for the work ethic he has shown in the past four years on the road to participating in the heptathlon, something Nuttycombe never thought Detmer capable of doing.”As a sophomore, he was a Big Ten champion in the 600 [meter run], but he kept talking to us and wanting to do the multi, and we wouldn’t let him,” Nuttycombe said. “We said, ‘Joe, you’re too good in the running.’ He finally convinced us to, and of course, we’re glad he did.”He’s an extremely hard worker, and I couldn’t be prouder … you give Joe the near-impossible, and he finds a way to make it happen.”Detmer’s next opportunity to compete in the heptathlon 1000 won’t come until the national meet in Fayetteville, Ark., in March.Is it a goal of Detmer to shave enough time off his 1000 and shatter the world record?”Now that I actually know what the record is, of course, it’s a goal,” Detmer said. “We’ll try to do it at Nationals.”Meet notes: Senior sprinter Demi Omole won the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.62, the fastest recorded time in the country so far this indoor collegiate season. Senior Melissa Talbot was the pentathlon champion Friday, breaking her own Wisconsin record with a NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 4,048 points. Minnesota State senior and Fond du Lac native Jim Dilling bested his own Shell record, with a high jump of seven feet, six inches that beat his 2006 record by more than three inches. Both the UW men’s and women’s track squads are back in action next weekend at the Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Ind.