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May 12, 2004

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State track and field team heads into postseason competition this weekend at the 2004 Big Ten Track and Field Championships hosted by Purdue University May 14-16.

Rankin Track and Field will serve as the setting where several Buckeyes will seek to successfully defend their 2003 outdoor conference crowns, while numerous others will be in contention for their first Big Ten honor.

The event begins Friday at noon and continues through Saturday and Sunday.

LOFTON LENGTHENS OWN BIG TEN AND OSU HAMMER RECORD
Junior thrower Keturah Lofton broke her own Big Ten and Ohio State record in the hammer throw at the Campbell/Wright Open last week.

Lofton, who won Big Ten Athlete of the Week following the final indoor regular season meet Feb. 24, claimed runner-up in the hammer with her record toss of 200 feet, 2 inches (200-2). The mark bested her previous standard of 200-0, set April 3. Later, Lofton posted Top 10 finishes in both the discus (143-10 for seventh place) and shot put (45-3 for third place).

MAKE IT BUCKEYE BAKER’S DOZEN FOR 2004 BIG TEN ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
In all, five Buckeyes have accounted for the 13 weekly awards as a trio have won multiple honors at points during the indoor and outdoor campaigns.

Leading the way was thrower Dan Taylor and his seven merits, while fellow thrower Amarachi Ukabam took home honors on three occasions. Senior hurdler/sprinter Joel Brown is a two-time winner in the outdoor season, while juniors jumper Rosalind Goodwin and thrower Keturah Lofton have each won female athlete of the week credentials in 2004. 2004 Ohio State Big Ten Track and Field Athletes of the Week:
Indoor season
Dan Taylor Jan. 13, 20, 27 & Feb. 18, 24
Keturah Lofton Feb. 24
Amarachi Ukabam Jan. 20, 27
Outdoor season
Dan Taylor March 29 & April 26
Joel Brown April 12 & May 3
Rosalind Goodwin April 12

SHOT PUT RECORD FALLS INTO UKABAM’S HANDS
Sophomore thrower Amarachi Ukabam etched her name into the Ohio State records book while competing at the Campbell/Wright Open Saturday. Ukabam used a first-place throw in the shot put that covered 53-11.25, to become the first female in OSU annals to eclipse 53 feet. In doing so, Ukabam snapped the previous school record of 52-11, set by senior Alexis McCall at the 2002 Big Ten Championships.

MYERS USED MICHIGAN MEET TO POST TIME AMONG NCAA ELITE
Senior distance man Rob Myers, an All-American who owns the Ohio State record in both the indoor mile and 1,000-meter run, looked to scratch his name in the OSU annals in the outdoor 1,500m Friday at the Len Paddock Invite in Ann Arbor, Mich,. Myers clocked a personal record in a time of 3:41.13, which missed the Buckeye record by less than four seconds. Myers’ time served as a qualifier to the 2004 NCAA Mideast Regional Championships, but fell shy of the 20-year old record set by Tom Byers in 1974 at 3:37.50.

Heading into last week, Myers’ time would have served as the fifth-fastest in the NCAA. Currently, Myers owns the best time in mile among Big Ten runners.

LAST WEEK: SEVERAL SEASON BESTS MARKED AT CAMPBELL/WRIGHT OPEN
Seven Buckeyes used the final regulation meet to record season bests at the Akron Saturday. On top of the shot put and hammer standards recorded by Lofton and Ukabam and one of the nation’s top times in the 1,500 meters by Myers, four other Buckeyes established highs for the season.

Junior sprinter John Morris clocked a 47.40 to win the 400 meters, while the field events saw seniors and former Big Ten champions George Hoover (209-1) and Nosa Ehimwenman (48-5.50) also recorded Buckeye bests for 2004.

Two more seniors equaled their top performances as high jumper Billy Mills hit 6-10.75, while pole vaulter Becky Heintz cleared 11-9.75.

IN DEFENSE – 2003 CONFERENCE WINNERS SEEK REPEAT IN EVENTS
A quartet of 2003 Big Ten champions return for Ohio State this weekend as each heads into their title defenses peaking at the right time.

Three of the defending crownees have topped Ohio State records in recent weeks. Joel Brown established an OSU record in his last meet at the Jesse Owens Track Classic with a wind-aided 13.56 to win the 110-meter hurdles and better his previous best time of 13.58 set last season. Brown won the 110m hurdles at the 2003 Big Ten meet.

Last week, Ukabam, the defending Big Ten champ in the discus, became the first Buckeye to eclipse 53 feet in the shot put to win at Akron.

Taylor, two-time defending shot put champion in conference action, seeks his third title two weeks after a season-best 67-8 at the Jesse Owens. Taylor will look for his first Big Ten crowns in the hammer and discus. Taylor owns both all-time records in the disc and hammer at Ohio State.

Finally, distance man Aaron Fisher will enter the Big Ten steeplechase fray as the owner of the NCAA’s top time in the event at 8:37.33, set at the Owens Classic. Fisher won the 5,000-meter run at the conference meet last season.

TAYLOR, GOODWIN AFTER INDOOR-OUTDOOR DOUBLES
Three conference champions in the indoor season will seek to complete an indoor-outdoor sweep at Big Ten’s this weekend.

Taylor will vie for an indoor-outdoor “double” in the shot put for the second straight season, while Goodwin, who won both the indoor triple and long jump events in early March, will battle for her second titles in each jump in 2004.

PAST BIG TEN CHAMP BUCKEYES TO COMPETE
Several former Big Ten champions from the 2002, 2001 and 2000 seasons will be on hand this weekend as well. Two-time Big Ten javelin champ senior George Hoover will be after crown No. 3, while 2002 shot put winner Alexis McCall will compete as well. Rob Myers, the 2001 Big Ten Champion in the 1,500 meters, will seek another winning medal this weekend in the event. Finally, senior jumper Nosa Ehimwenman will vie for his second Big Ten triple jump crown after winning the event his freshman season in 2001.

FISHER BLAZES TO NATION’S BEST TIME IN 3,000m STEEPLECHASE
Junior distance runner Aaron Fisher set the Ohio State season best in the steeplechase two weeks ago at the Mt. SAC Relays at 8:52.35. The next week, his time was eclipsed by teammate Brian Olinger at 8:50.02 at the Penn Relays.

A week later at the Jesse Owens Classic, Fisher answered the call as he shattered the Olinger’s mark with a first-place time of 8:37.33, which fell less than a second behind the Jesse Owens Stadium record of 8:36.55, set by OSU assistant coach Robert Gary in 2001.

The 8:37.33 is the fastest time in the steeplechase so far this season in the NCAA.

BROWN BOUNCES 110m HURDLES MARK, NAMED BIG TEN ATHLETE OF THE WEEK FOR MAY 3
Joel Brown was awarded by the Big Ten for a busy and successful weekend on the track at the 2004 Jesse Owens Classic. The Baltimore native not only broke his own OSU record to win the 110-meter hurdles, but also clocked a season best in the 200-meter dash, took fourth in the 100 meters and ran a torrid anchor leg to boost the men’s 4×100-meter relay team to season-best mark after a shaky handoff in turn No. 3.

Brown’s winning time of 13.56 in the 110m hurdles bested his former mark of 13.58 set last season as the runner-up at the 2004 NCAA Mideast Regional Championships. Later Saturday, Brown moved past his career best mark of 20.99 in the 200 meters to claim second place in a time of 20.74. Brown was defeated in the 200-meter by a Jesse Owens Stadium record 20.42, timed by Leshaunte Edwards of Roos Track Club. Friday, Brown ran in the men’s 100-meter dash and raced to a time worthy of fourth place at 10.60.

The times posted by Brown in both the 110m hurdles and 200m stand among the best nationally as his hurdles mark ranks within the Top 3 in the country, while the 200m figure qualifies for a Top 10 standing. Both times rank atop the Big Ten performance lists. Brown also owns the second-best time in the 100m dash in conference action at 10.53, set April 3 at the OSU Relays.

TAYLOR LAUNCHES OUTDOOR BEST TO WIN SHOT PUT AT JESSE OWENS
Dan Taylor used a career best in the outdoor shot put to successfully defend his 2003 Jesse Owens Track Classic title Saturday. Taylor measured 67 feet, 8 inches (67-8), a shade better than his previous best of 67-7.75 set at the Penn Relays last week.

Taylor also finished among the top in the discus and hammer as the senior took third in the discus with a toss of 184 feet, 1 inch and sixth in the hammer at 218 feet, 9 inches.

BUCKEYES IN NATIONAL RANKS
In addition to Fisher’s No. 1 time on the national list in the steeplechase (8:37.33), several more Buckeyes rank among the NCAA leaders heading toward postseason.

Taylor ranks in the Top 4 in both the shot put and hammer throw, while J. Brown (13.60/13.56 wind-aided) currently owns the No. 3 spot nationally in the 110m hurdles. Brown also ranks No. 17 in the country in the 200m, while Taylor sits at No. 19 in the discus.

Last week, Myers clocked a time worthy of a Top 5 standing in the 1,500m at 3:41.13 at the Paddock Invite in Ann Arbor, Mich. Also in distance events, junior Brian Olinger trails Fisher in the steeple at the No. 16 position with a time of 8:50.02.

The women’s side boasts a pair of Top 10 performers in junior Rosalind Goodwin and sophomore Amarachi Ukabam. Goodwin (20-11.75) rates No. 10 in the long jump, while Ukabam (178-0) sits at No. 9 in the discus. Ukabam also holds the No. 15 spot in the shot with her school record 53-11.25 set last week.

Also ranked in the women’s Top 20 are Molly Logan and Keturah Lofton, who each rank 18th in the 110m hurdles and hammer throw, respectively.

FISHER, MYERS AND TAYLOR RATE IN U.S. TOP 5, BROWN TOP 15
Not only do Brown, Fisher, Myers and Taylor find themselves in the top ranks in the NCAA in their respective events, but also among the best marks in the United States in 2004.

Fisher’s steeple time of 8:37.33 at the Jesse Owens Classic qualifies for fourth in the U.S., while Taylor also used his outdoor personal record of 68-7 in the shot at the Owens to claim the No. 4 slot in U.S. event lists. Taylor also hold a No. 19 ranking in the hammer.

With his indoor times, Myers rates in the Top 10 in the trackandfieldnews.com comprehensive lists in both the 1,500m and mile run. Myers clocked both his 3:40.80 in the 1,500m, which ranks seventh, and his 4:00.17 in the mile, good for ninth, in February. The 1,500m time came at the Indiana Invite Feb. 6. The four-minute mile came at the Kentucky Invite Feb. 28.

Brown’s time of 13.60 in the hurdles set at the Ohio State Relays stands at No. 13 in the U.S.

GOODWIN TOPS 20 FEET IN LONG JUMP FOR THIRD TIME IN 2004, SHOWDOWN WITH ADUBA UP NEXT
With the Big Ten championships looming, Ohio State junior Rosalind Goodwin and Penn State senior Chi Chi Aduba continue to jockey position among the Big Ten and national long jump and triple jump standings.

Goodwin rested atop the Big Ten performance lists in both events before Aduba topped the PSU record in the long jump (21-6) at the Jesse Owens Classic and also claimed the triple jump crown with a leap of 43-2.

The current conference standings show Aduba atop both events, with Goodwin close behind in second in the long jump and third in the triple.

TAYLOR EARNS BACK-TO-BACK ATHLETE OF THE PENN RELAYS HONORS
Dan Taylor defended his 2003 titles in both the hammer throw and shot put championships of America events April 22-24 at the 2004 Penn Relay Carnival in Philadelphia, Pa. The victories helped Taylor claim outstanding male athlete of the event honors for the second consecutive season. He became the first to win both the hammer and shot put events in back-to-back seasons in the 110-year history of the carnival.

Taylor is the first to repeat as male athlete of the meet since TCU sprinter Kim Collins accomplished the feat at the 2000 and 2001 carnivals. In 2003, Taylor claimed the hammer and shot titles with marks of 209-8 and 65-0.50, respectively, to gain his first athlete of the meet honor.

OSU ASSISTANT GARY CONTINUES PREP FOR 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES
Robert Gary, head coach of the men’s cross country team and track and field assistant coach at Ohio State, turned in the top time on the U.S. team at the 2004 Cross Country World Championships in Brussels, Belgium in the men’s short race, placing 33rd in a time of 12:12.

Gary qualified for the world championships at the 2004 United States Cross Country Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., where he highlighted the field as he placed third in the men’s open 4-kilometer and second in the 12-kilometer divisions, posting times of 11:15 and 35:07, respectively, to earn his spot on the world cross country team.

MYERS RUNS AT 2004 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN HUNGARY
Ohio State senior Rob Myers, who exhausted his eligibility in the 2004 indoor season and will return in the outdoor season, competed in the 2004 World Indoor Track and Field Championships in Budapest, Hungary. During the event, Myers placed seventh in preliminaries heats of the men’s 1,500-meter run, finishing in a time of 3:43.73.

The Rushville, Ohio native qualified for the world event while competing at the 2004 United States Indoor Track and Field Championships, as he posted a time of 3:40.80 to finish first in the in the 1,500-meter run.

OHIO STATE’S TAYLOR FIRST TO ACCOMPLISH INDOOR THROWS SWEEP IN NCAA HISTORY
Ohio State senior thrower Dan Taylor completed the sweep of the throw events at the 2004 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. with a first-place measure in the weight throw Saturday afternoon. Taylor, who holds the American collegiate record in the weight at 78 feet, 9 Ľ inches (78-9.25), tossed a mark of 77-7.50 to top runner-up Keith McBride of Purdue (71-2.75) by more than 6 feet.

Friday at the event, which was held at the University of Arkansas’ Randall Tyson Indoor Track Center, Taylor bested the field in the shot put to claim Ohio State’s first NCAA indoor title since 2001. With the wins, Taylor becomes the first student-athlete to win both competitions at the national indoor meet in NCAA history.

Taylor, a native of Middlefield, Ohio, won the shot put Friday, recording a throw of 66-7.25 (20.30m) in his fifth and final attempt.

TAYLOR SETS AMERICAN COLLEGIATE WEIGHT MARK THREE TIMES IN ’04
Dan Taylor eclipsed his own American collegiate record in the weight throw for the second time in three weeks Feb. 21 at the Scarlet and Gray Invite in French Field House. The senior posted a winning mark of 78 feet, 9 1/4 inches (78-9.25/24.01 meters) as he narrowly missed setting a NCAA record in the event by a mere centimeter. Taylor fell shy of the NCAA mark of 24.02 meters set by Leibor Charfreitag of Southern Methodist at the 2001 NCAA Championships. The 78-9.25 defeated his previous standard of 76-3, which he set at the Indiana Invite.

Taylor initially set the American collegiate record figure of 76-2.25 Jan. 10.

TAYLOR AND UKABAM REPRESENT U.S. AT PAN AM GAMES
Throwers Dan Taylor, a senior, and sophomore Amarchi Ukabam celebrated their Big Ten championship seasons last year as selections to the 2004 United States Pan American Games.

Taylor competed in the senior games in the Dominican Republic, while Ukabam scored a junior championship in the discus in Barbados.

OSU’S WARNER NAMED TO U.S. WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS STAFF
Jack Warner, Ohio State track and field assistant coach, was officially named to the 2005 United States World Championships coaching staff in December. Warner will serve as the sprints and hurdles coach at the event held in Helsinki, Finland. Dates for the championships are to be announced in the future.

WHAT’S AHEAD
The postseason schedule will adjourn for a week leading up to the 2004 NCAA Mideast Regionals in Baton Rouge, La. LSU will serve as host of the second -annual event, which took place at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Stadium in 2004.