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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s track and field team is set to host the 26th Jesse Owens Track Classic April 23-34. Athletes from all levels, including individuals from more than 35 colleges, are scheduled to compete.

Meet Quick Facts
Days: Saturday, April 23 (6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.) and Sunday, April 24 (Noon – 5:00 p.m.)
Venue: Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium
Live Stats: www.finishtiming.com
Admission: Free
Special Events: Jesse Owens’ family will be honored at 11:45 a.m. on Sunday and there will be an Easter egg hunt for children 10 and under on the infield at 1:15 p.m.

Scouting the Field
Ohio State will face several conference rivals at this meet. Big Ten teams scheduled to compete are No. 28 Penn State, Purdue, Michigan State and Michigan. Other teams descending on Columbus this weekend include Kentucky, Kent State, Akron, Miami (Oh), Ashland, the Venezuelan National Time, the Indiana Invaders and the Columbus Running Company.

The Buckeyes currently sit at No. 47 in the April 19 U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national team rankings.

Three Big Ten schools are nationally ranked in the Top 50 including Ohio State. Indiana is No. 26 and Penn State is No. 28. Texas A&M remains on top of the poll.

Ohio State has fallen to No. 2 in the Great Lakes Region. No. 1 Indiana has taken the top spot. The Buckeyes still sit ahead of Big Ten foes No. 3 Michigan, No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 6 Michigan State and No. 8 Purdue.

This weekend’s meet will allow the Scarlet and Gray to test the Big Ten competition that will be heading into the conference championships later in the season as well as test themselves against some of the best in the world.

Buckeyes in the Individual Top 35 Rankings
Ten members of the Scarlet and Gray are ranked within the Top 35 nationally in several event areas. A look at where the Buckeyes sit:

•    Letecia Wright – No. 4 in the 100m hurdles and No. 31 in the 4x100m relay
•    Christina Manning – No. 7 in the 100m hurdles 
•    Ashley Galbraith – No. 9 in the high jump
•    Maggie Mullen – No. 26 in the javelin
•    Tori Brink – No. 29 in the 3000m steeplechase
•    Kelcey McKinney – No. 31 in the triple jump
•    Christienne Linton – No. 31 in the 4x100m relay
•    Madison McNary – No. 31 in the 4z100m relay
•    Chesna Sykes – No. 31 in the 4x100m relay
•    Nyjah Cousar – No. 35 in the 400m hurdles

About the JOTC
Like the “J.O. Classics” of the past, the 2011 edition will serve as a stage for scholastic, collegiate and post-collegiate athletes to perform at their highest levels in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. In its history, the Jesse Owens Track Classic has served as a top venue for many future and former Olympians. Current and past record holders for the Jesse Owens Track Classic include Olympic medalists John Drummond, Michelle Finn, Allen Johnson, Edwin Moses, Dwight Stones and former Buckeyes Diane Dixon, Joe Greene and Butch Reynolds. Others of Olympic fame include Judi Brown, Roger Kingdom, Carl Lewis, Louise Ritter and Calvin Smith, as well as past OSU Olympians Mark Croghan and Stephanie Hightower.

Jesse Owens Statue Unveiling
Under picture-perfect skies, The Ohio State University Thursday paid tribute to the “Buckeye Bullet” by unveiling the Jesse Owens Memorial Statue outside Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The unveiling is part of the 75th Anniversary Celebration of Owens’ memorable performance at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany where he won four gold medals: one each in the 100 meters, the 200 meters, the long jump and 4×100 meter relay.

Hundreds of family members, Ohio State staff members, media, friends, fans and Ohio State track and field team members took part in Thursday’s celebration. Special guest speakers taking part in the celebration was the Owens family, including daughter Gloria Owens Hemphill, benefactor David E. Reese, sculptor Alan Cottrill and track and field alumnus, John Hammond.

Jesse Owens Celebration Dinner
A Celebration Dinner honoring Jesse Owens took place Thursday night at the Ohio Union Archie Griffin Ballroom. This proceeds from the sold out event will be used to support the Ruth and Jesse Owens Scholars Program as well as the Ohio State men’s and women’s track and field programs.

The evening was highlighted by prominent guests including actor/comedian Bill Cosby, members from Ohio State and the community and members from Jesse Owens’ family. ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap, a family friend and author of the book Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics, served as the emcee.

For more information on the University’s Jesse Owens 75th Anniversary Celebration events go to www.osu.edu/jesseowens.  

Jesse Owens Exhibition at Thompson Library: April 12-May 2
Seventy-five years ago, Jesse Owens became an American icon after winning an amazing four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Before he left for this historic event, Owens was a student-athlete competing at Ohio Stadium; after he returned, he was the guest of honor riding in a ticker tape parade in New York City. In honor of his accomplishments, The Ohio State University Archives has created a display of Owens’ artifacts, photographs, and documents that highlight each stage of Owens’ life: his youth in Cleveland, his relationship to OSU as a student and life-time Buckeye, his record as an Olympian, and his service as an ambassador to the world. Students, faculty, staff, and the public are invited to come see the exhibition which includes artifacts such as Owens’ Olympic diary, his bronzed shoe from 1935, and his Congressional Gold Medal.

The exhibition is located in the Thompson Library in the display area on the first floor outside the Gallery. The Thompson Library is open Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.; Friday 7:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.

Big Ten Champions!
For the first time in school history Ohio State won the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field championship this season. In addition to top honors on the track, fifth-year head coach Karen Dennis was named Big Ten Coach of the Year by her peers and junior All-American Manning was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Championships.

McNary was also named as a First Team All-Big Ten performer. McKinney and Wright were named to the Second Team. Wright later collected All-American honors for the first time at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships.

Follow the Buckeyes on Facebook!
The Ohio State women’s track and field team is now on Facebook. Visit www.facebook.com/OSUwtrackXC to catch up on the latest Buckeye news and notes.

Last Time Out
Several distance runners ran at the Mt. SAC Relays April 14-16 in Walnut, Calif. Sophomore Tori Brink competed in the 3000m steeplechase shaving 11 seconds off of her PR to cross the line in 10:27.45. Her time is No. 29 in Division I this season and a new school record.

Ellen Birmingham ran the 10000m race at the Mt. SAC Relays and set a new PR in 35:18.61. Also setting a new PR was Meredith Wagner (16:37.47) who competed in the 5000m race and recorded the fourth-best time in school history.

At the Dave Rankin Invitational at Purdue the Buckeyes collected four first-place finishes. Freshman Chesna Sykes captured first in the 100m dash in a time of 12.34. Christina Manning hurdled her way to victory in the 100m hurdles. The All-American crossed the line in 13.08.

Leading the Buckeyes in the long jump was Kelcey McKinney who leaped 5.67m (18-7.25) for the win. Maggie Mullen had a dominating showing in the javelin where she used a mark of 47.77m (156-9) to take first.

Madison McNary (12.50) placed third in the 100m dash. All-American Letecia Wright finished the 100m hurdles directly behind Manning in 13.44 for second.

The 4x100m relay team of Wright, McNary, Sykes and Adenike Pedro finished second in 47.55.

Alana Gray finished in second place in the long jump with a mark of 5.65m (18-6.50) just behind McKinney. In the triple jump Rachael Mack used a leap of 11.58m (38 ft.) for a runner-up finish. Also capturing a silver medal was Ashley Galbraith (1.64m/5-4.5) in the high jump.

With a mark of 54.19m (177-9), Alexis Thomas finished third in the hammer throw.

Up Next
The Scarlet and Gray will head to Des Moines, Iowa for the Drake Relays, their last regular season meet, April 28-30.