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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s track and field hits the road once again this Friday and Saturday when it heads north for the Akron Invitational.

Following their best all-around performance of the season, the No. 27 Buckeyes will look to showcase some of their up-and-coming talent this weekend at Stile Field House. Several veterans will also make the trip to Akron to compete against top competition from Penn State, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Auburn, Dayton and Akron.

Heath Nickles will open the meet for the Buckeyes Friday in the Gold Division heptathlon at 5:00 p.m. ET. He will be joined by Ohio State volunteer assistant Patrick Woods, the 2009 Big Ten decathlon champion. The rest of the Buckeyes will compete Saturday beginning at 10:00 a.m.  

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Accepted Entries
60m dash (Gold) – Stephen Robinson, Blake Callahan, Alaun Morrow
200m (Gold) – Robinson, Callahan, Thomas Murdaugh
400m (Gold) – Korbin Smith, Marvel Brooks
400m (Blue) – Jason Reineck
800m (Gold) – Daryl Murphy, Jared Hall
Mile (Gold) – Taylor Candella, Chris Fallon, Will Knickel
Mile (Blue) – Skyler Schmitt
5000m (Gold) – Adam Green, Taylor Williams, Jake Edwards, Christopher Olinger, Paul Shivers
High Jump (Gold) – Ryan Blake
Pole Vault (Gold) – Alan Dague, Anthony Amore
Long Jump (Gold) – Smith, Steve MacDonald, Derek Blevins
Triple Jump (Gold) – Blevins
Triple Jump (Blue) – Ryan Blake
Weight Throw (Gold) – Jared Collier
Weight Throw (Blue) – Thomas Davis
Shot Put (Blue) – Collier
Heptathlon (Gold) – Heath Nickles
4x400m relay team (Gold)

Distance Runners Set to Compete at GVSU Big Meet
Several members of the Buckeye distance program will be Allendale, Mich. Friday and Saturday for the Grand Valley State Big Meet.

Cory Leslie, Chad Balyo, Daniel White and volunteer assistant coach Brian Olinger will compete Friday evening in the mile invitational. On Saturday, seniors Jeff See and Patrick Sovacool will represent Ohio State in the 3000m invitational.

Visit www.GVSUlakers.com for more information.

See Named Big Ten Athlete of the Week
Jeff See was named the Athlete of the Week for track and field Monday by the Big Ten Conference after running a sub-four minute mile at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational.

See used an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 3:58.82 to finish in first-place in the prestigious Meyo Mile Saturday in South Bend. A three-time All-American, See recorded the second-best time in the NCAA this season and the second-best run in Ohio State indoor history. The Middletown, Ohio native is only the second Buckeye to ever run a sub-four minute mile – indoor or outdoor – while donning the Scarlet and Gray.

Buckeyes Move Up in USTFCCCA National Rankings, Remain No.1 Regionally
Ohio State shot up 14 spots to No. 27 in the weekly United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association national indoor rankings after an impressive performance at the Meyo Invitational over the weekend.

The Buckeyes remain No. 1 in the USTFCCCA Great Lakes regional rankings with a score of 404.95, fourth-best in the nation. The regional rankings – a new concept for the 2010 season – are designed to measure a team’s overall depth, whereas the national poll places greater emphasis on national championship contenders on a team’s roster.

Nationally, seven Big Ten teams are ranked within the Top 50, led by No. 13 Indiana. The Hoosiers are followed by No. 15 Penn State, No. 17 Minnesota, Ohio State, No. 31 Michigan State, No. 44 Wisconsin and Michigan, ranked 49th.

OSU Posts Five Top 15 Times Nationally
While the Buckeyes move up the polls as a team, four individuals (and a relay team) find themselves ranked within the Top 15 in several event areas. A look at where members of the men’s track and field team sit:

Jeff See – No. 2 in the mile (3:58.82)
Daniel White – No. 3 in the 800m (1:48.26)
Thomas Murdaugh – fifth in the 400m (46.43)
Cory Leslie – No. 15 in the mile (4:03.14)
4x400m relay (Woodard, Simms, Robinson, Murdaugh) – No. 9 (3:08.22)

Last Time Out
See’s sub-four mile time was one of several highlights for the Buckeyes at the Meyo Invitational. Other notable performances:

  • Sophomore All- American Thomas Murdaugh recorded a season-best time of 46.43 in the 400m dash, the seventh-best time in the NCAA this season. He also helped anchor Ohio State’s 4x400m relay team to yet another first-place finish in 3:08.22, an NCAA provisional qualifier and the seventh-best in the NCAA this season.
  • Cory Leslie set the Ohio State indoor record in the 1000m run with his second-place time of 2:22.48. The next day, Leslie finished in eighth-place in the 800m run with a time of 1:50.27, the fourth-best indoor time in school history. Leslie’s time was also an NCAA provisional qualifier and the 10th-best in the Big Ten this season.
  • Curtis Leuenberger took home the title in the 200m dash with an NCAA provisional run of 21.50, the best in the Big Ten on the year.
  • Freshman Marvel Brooks won the 500m dash with a personal record time of 1:02.87. Senior Elon Simms (1:03.46) was third, while Marcus Brooks was sixth in 1:03.79.
  • Not to be outdone, Patrick Sovacool ran a fourth-place time of 14:13.40 in the 5000m, the second-best run in the Big Ten this season and three seconds off of an NCAA provisional time.

Up Next
The Buckeyes return to Columbus to play host to the Buckeye Tune-up Feb. 19 at 4:00 p.m. inside newly-renovated French Field House.

For more information on the event, contact meet director Lori Baldwin at baldwinl@buckeyes.ath.ohio-state.edu.