COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Jesse Owens Track Classic has come to an end after two days of exciting competition at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Several members of Jesse Owens’ family were on hand today to witness the action on the track.
“The Jesse Owens Classic is a meet we always enjoy because it’s a chance to perform at home in front of our friends, and families,” said head coach Karen Dennis. “This year was more special to have the chance to perform with members of the Owens family in attendance. The women were motivated to do well after having attended the banquet on Thursday. They felt like VIP’s being in the same room with the mayor, our University president, athletic director, olympians, community sponsors and, of course, Mr. Bill Cosby.”
The Buckeyes collected three victories on Sunday. Leading off a 1-2-3-4 sweep in the 100m dash, knocking off two-time defending Big Ten champion Shavon Greaves of Penn State in the process, was All-American Christina Manning. Manning posted the fastest time in the Big Ten and the fifth-best in school history, crossing the finish line in 11.58 for first place.
“We had some really good performances in areas like the 4x100m relay and the 100m dash where we dominated going 1-4,” said Coach Dennis. “Our sprinters and hurdlers are healthy and showing improvement weekly.”
Kelcey McKinney made her presence known in the triple jump where she claimed first with a leap of 12.41m (40-8.75). McKinney posted her top distance on her final jump to best Penn State freshman Marlene Ricketts, who settled for second with a 12.28m (40-3.50) mark.
“Our jumpers Kelsey McKinney, Adenike Pedro and Ashley Galbraith are at status quo which is fine for this time of year,” Coach Dennis said. “They’re healthy and should improve as the weather improves.”
Ohio State’s 4x100m relay team, anchored by Manning, blew away the field in the 4×100 with a Top 30 national mark of 44.52, the second-fastest time in school history. Joining Manning were teammates Letecia Wright, Madison McNary and Chesna Sykes who set the pace in the first three legs to set up the easy victory. Defending Big Ten champion Penn State was the runner-up in 46.49, followed by Purdue (46.90).
Other highlights from Day Two:
Junior Madison McNary, another Buckeye All-American, took second place in a season-best time of 11.62, while Sykes and Christienne Linton finished third and fourth, respectively. Greaves settled for fifth in 11.84.
West Virginia’s Chelsea Carrier upset Manning and All-American Wright in the 100m hurdles, posting a top 10 national time of 12.97 to take the win. Manning was the runner-up in 13.05, followed by Wright in 13.37. Senior Alana Gray won the second heat and finished ninth overall with a time of 13.84.
Greaves, with a time of 23.70, earned a bit of revenge in the 200m dash, edging McNary (23.72) in a down-to-the-wire race. Sykes and Wright finished third and fourth, respectively.
Ijeoma Iheoma (54.00) of Penn State narrowly edged Shaniqua McGinnis for the win. McGinnis placed second with a time of 54.10.
Evonne Britton of Penn State posted the top time in the Big Ten on the season (57.69) to take first place in the 400m hurdles. Teammate Megan Duncan was second in 58.21.
A time of 2:10.19 helped Penn State freshman Rebecca Simko finish first in the 800m. Steph Tinney of Ashland was second in 2:11.64, followed closely by Findlay’s Lindsay Schmitmeyer (2:11.74).
Penn State junior Caitlin Lane used a meet and stadium record time of 4:49.20 to capture first place in the mile. Purdue finished 2-3 in the event, led by second-place finisher Camille Buscomb (5:00.30).
Purdue’s Emily Breslin and Ohio State junior Ashley Galbraith battled for the top spot in the high jump, with Breslin using a 1.79m (5-10.50) jump to edge Galbraith (1.75m/5-8.75) for the title. Third place went to Katelyn Williams of West Virginia (1.70m/5-7).
Purdue swept the top 2 spots in the long jump, with Leah Eber taking the title at 6.18m (20-3.50) and Nikki Nunn finishlng second at 5.90m (19-4.25). Adenike Pedro and McKinney finished third and fourth, respectively, for the Scarlet and Gray.
Purdue’s Stacey Wannemacher won the shot put at 16.21m (53-2.25), the second-best toss in the Big Ten this season and a top 20 national performance. Unattached competitor Ashley Muffet was the runner-up at 16.20m (53-1.75), followed by Dani Bunch at 15.37m (50-5.25). Norianna Brown was the top Buckeye finisher, taking sixth with a 14.61m (47-11.25) effort.
The title in the hammer throw went to Megann Rodhe with a mark of 64.03m (210.01). Alexis Thomas came in fourth with a throw of 58.55m (192-01).
Purdue’s Elizabeth Stover cleared the bar at 3.85m (12-7.50) to take the win in the pole vault. Penn State juniors Jocelyn Witmer and Amanda Palenchar finished second and third, respectively, for the Lady Lions.
Penn State claimed the final race of the day in a time of 3:39.67. Purdue was second in 3:43.41, while Ohio State’s team was a last minute scratch.
The Buckeyes will compete in the Drake Relays April 28-30 in Des Moines, Iowa.
More thoughts from Coach Dennis
“I’m really pleased with where we are with Christina Manning, Letecia Wright, Madison McNary and Chesna Sykes. Alexis Thomas continues to improve in the hammer and she’s looking strong. We had some personal best performances with Norianna Brown and Madeline Hurdt in both the discus and shot. Kelsey McHugh led our distance group with a fourth-place finish in the the 5k behind some good unattached people including OSU alumni Katie Williams. It was good to see Sarah Foster back on the track running a competitive 5k and Molly Jacobson ran onto the top 5 all-time list in her steeplechase debut. The Big Ten championships are a short three weeks away and we still have some areas that need a lot of attention. I hope the weather breaks for spring sport programs as that may be the cure for all of our ills.”