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May 18, 2004

Athletes of the Week

Steve Caravati has been named the Big Ten Baseball Player ofthe Week for the third time in five weeks after batting .722(13-for-18) in five games last week and .786 (11-for-14) in the 3-1series win against Northwestern. The junior from Dover, Ohio hadtwo doubles and batted in six runs during the week while scoringonce himself. Against Northwestern, Caravati had a sluggingpercentage of .929 and an on-base percentage of .813. He wasperfect in three at bats in the second game of the series and wasperfect in four at bats in the finale. In game three, Caravatidrove in three runs. In all five games last week, he had at leasttwo hits. Already a two-time Big Ten Player of the Week, Caravatiis now batting .390 overall and .422 in Big Ten play. He iscurrently enjoying a seven-game hit streak. Caravati, who has atleast one hit in 43 of his 51 games this season, also was the BigTen Player of the Week April 19 and May 3. Keturah Lofton, a juniorthrower on the Ohio State track and field team, highlighted thefourth-place finish for the women’s team at the 2004 Big TenOutdoor Championships as she snapped her own Big Ten and Ohio Staterecord in the hammer throw to claim her first career outdoorconference crown. Lofton walked away with the title with a winningheave of 200 feet, 7 inches, breaking the meet record set in 2003by Michigan’s April Phillips.

Lofton, a native of Zanesville, Ohio, topped the Big Ten and Ohio State records in the hammer on three occasions this season, the last coming May 8 at the Campbell-Wright Open in Akron, Ohio. Lofton, the first Buckeye to win the hammer at the Big Ten meet since Katy Craig in 2002, heads to the 2004 NCAA Mideast Regional Championships May 28-29 in Baton Rouge, La. ranked No. 18 in the country in the event.

Athletics Good Stuff

The No. 17 men’s tennis team upset No. 15 North Carolina, 4-3,in a dramatic finish Sunday in second round action at the 2004 NCAAChampionship in Chapel Hill, N.C. With the win, the Buckeyesimproved to 25-4 overall and will make their second-consecutiveNCAA Round of 16 appearance. The Buckeyes retaliated in singles atthe Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 6 positions for the match win. Devin Mullingsput Ohio State’s first point on the board as he tallied straightset wins over Raian Luchici, 6-1, 6-2 at the No. 4 spot. JeremyWurtzman, the third-ranked singles player in the nation, topped No.32 Nicholas Monroe, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, at the No. 1 court. DennisMertens pulled through in three sets as he knocked off Boyd, 6-3,3-6, 6-3. With the match knotted at 3-all, freshman Buckeye ChrisKlingemann secured OSU’s trip to Tulsa as he defeated UNC’s DerekPorter, 6-0, 7-5, at the No. 3 slot. In first round action at theNCAA Championships, the squad shut out South Carolina, 4-0. OhioState will face Virginia (24-3 overall) Saturday in the NCAA Roundof 16 in Tulsa, Okla. The fifth-ranked women’s golf team endedRound One of the 2004 NCAA Championships Tuesday in Auburn, Ala.,with an opening score of 296. Senior Allison Hanna held the earlylead with an opening round 69 (-3). Ohio State continues playTuesday with an afternoon tee time and competition runs throughFriday. Live scoring will be available online atohiostatebuckeyes.com as well as golfstat.com.

The Buckeyes, who are making their eighth-consecutive appearance in the event, are one of 24 teams battling for the national title. The tournament is being held at Auburn’s par 72 Grand National Lake Course. After placing sixth at the NCAA West Reigonal, the Buckeyes slipped from fourth to fifth place in the polls, according to the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Ohio State remains the highest-ranked school from the central district and follows No. 1 Duke, No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 California and No. 4 Vanderbilt in the polls.

In the individual rankings, Buckeye co-captain Hanna is slated at No. 5 in the nation, followed closely by teammate Kristen White at No. 8.

The No. 6-seed softball team (34-23) will take on No. 3-seedSouth Florida (57-12) at 10 a.m. Thursday in Region No. 4 of the2004 NCAA Softball Tournament at Tallahassee, Fla., the NCAASoftball Committee announced Sunday. Ohio State, who was one of the64 teams selected form around the nation, will be participating inits second NCAA tournament in the last three years under head coachLinda Kalafatis. Prior to the Buckeyes’ first trip under Kalafatisin 2002, an Ohio State team had not made the NCAA postseasontournament since 1990. The men’s golf team returns to actionThursday in West Lafayette, Ind., to compete in the 2004 CentralRegional Championships. The Buckeyes are coming off an impressivefirst-place finish at the 2004 Big Ten Championships and look tocontinue their season by qualifying for the 2004 NCAAChampionships. To qualify for the event, the Buckeyes must finishin the Top 10. Purdue University will play host to the 54-holeevent at the par 72, 7,259-yard Kampen Course at the BirckBoilermaker Golf Complex. The Baseball Buckeyes clinched a spot inthe Big Ten Tournament with the 8-4 victory over NorthwesternSunday. They are one of four teams to have locked down a spot inthe tournament, joining Minnesota, Michigan State and Penn State.Ohio State, which trails the Golden Gophers by one game in theconference standings, must win three of four games this weekendagainst Minnesota if it wants to win the championship and return toBill Davis Stadium to host the tournament. The Buckeyes are 18-10in the Big Ten after taking three of four games at home againstNorthwestern. Ohio State lost to the Wildcats 4-1 in the seriesopener before rebounding to win the last three games of the series,4-2, 9-1 and 8-4. Steve Caravati batted .786 (11-for-14) againstNorthwestern to earn Big Ten Player of the Week honors for thethird time in five weeks. Caravati leads Ohio State and is secondin the Big Ten with his .390 batting average, up from .356 afterthe Penn State series May 10. In conference games, the averageswells to .422, which leads all batters in the league. After a thefinal home game of the regular season Wednesday against ClevelandState (6:35 p.m. first pitch), the Buckeyes will play a four-gameset at Minnesota beginning Friday. The teams play a single game at7:35 p.m., EDT, Friday before a doubleheader Saturday at 3:05 p.m.The series concludes Sunday at 2:05 p.m. All four games will bebroadcast on NPR 820 (WOSU-AM). The men’s and women’s track andfield teams turned in Top 4 performances for the second straightseason at the 2004 Big Ten Outdoor Championships as seven Buckeyesclaimed individual titles. Ohio State placed third on the men’sside with 105 team points, while the women took fourth at 85points.

Thrower Keturah Lofton got things rolling for the Buckeyes Friday night as the junior broke her own Big Ten and OSU record to win the women’s hammer at a measure of 200 feet, 7 inches (200-7). Also turning in a record-setting length was junior jumper Rosalind Goodwin, who won the women’s long jump with an Ohio State all-time best 43-2.50. Senior Molly Logan used a time of 13.36 to win a title on the track for the women’s in the 100-meter hurdles.

The men were led by successful 2003 event championship defenses by seniors Joel Brown in the 110-meter hurdles and Dan Taylor in the shot put. Brown breezed to a first-place mark in the 110m hurdles in a time of 13.88 before claiming runner-up times in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes. Taylor, who placed in the Top 3 in both the hammer and discus events on the weekend, won his third consecutive Big Ten crown in the shot put with a throw covering 66-8.50. Overall, Brown accounted for 26 team points, while Taylor turned in 24.

The men also received high marks in the distance events as junior Aaron Fisher, the 2003 Big Ten winner in the 5,000 meters, claimed the No. 1 spot in the 3,000-meter steeplechase Saturday night in a time of 8:44.59. On Sunday, fellow junior Brian Olinger claimed the 5,000-meter title for Ohio State for the second straight season as he timed a 14:09.80.

The fifth-ranked rowing team tallied 391 points overall to winthe 2004 Central Regional Championships on the final day ofcompetition at Lake Melton in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Ohio State finishedsecond in the overall standings 15 points behind first placeVirginia, who won the south region and 2004 Lexus Cup title. Next,the Buckeyes will travel to the 2004 NCAA Championships May 28-30in Sacramento, Calif. The No. 8-ranked men’s lacrosse team endedits season with a 13-6 loss to North Carolina in the opening roundof the 2004 NCAA Championship in Chapel Hill, N.C. OSU was 12-4 onthe year and went 5-0 in the Great Western Lacrosse League to winthe outright title. The women’s tennis team won its NCAA tournamentopener, beating host Harvard, 4-2, before falling in the secondround to No. 17 Kentucky, 4-0. The squad was making its sixthconsecutive, and seventh overall, appearance in the nationaltournament. OSU, which finished second in the Big Ten finalstandings by virtue of reaching the conference tournament finals,was 14-14 on the year. The wrestling team celebrated perhaps itsfinest season on two separate occasions last week. The five teammembers that earned All-America status at the 2004 NCAAChampionships were invited to be honored by the Ohio Senate at theColumbus Statehouse Tuesday before joining the team for the annualseason banquet Saturday afternoon at The Blackwell. 2004All-Americans John Clark, J.D. Bergman, Blake Kaplan and JeffRatliff and 2004 NCAA HWT champion Tommy Rowlands received”Resolutions of Recognition” by several Ohio districtrepresentatives Tuesday, while all five were handed theirAll-America plaques at the banquet Saturday.

Team awards also were passed out at the banquet as Clark, Kaplan and Rowlands were named 2004 team captains following a postseason vote by the team. Rowlands also was awarded as 2004 Outstanding Wrestler, Most Dedicated Wrestler and team leader in takedowns, team points and victories. Kaplan was honored for most back points, while Bergman was rewarded for his squad-best 12 falls.

Senior Jesse Leng also was recognized with a plaque dedicated to his Buckeye career and freshman Alex Picazzo was deemed the team’s scholar-athlete winner with a grade-point average of 3.89.

This week, Bergman, Ratliff and Rowlands will travel to Indianapolis for the 2004 United States Olympic Team Trials May 21-22. Rowland will vie for a bid to the Athens Games at 211 pounds in freestyle, while Bergman seeks a spot at 211 in the Greco division. Ratliff will wrestle at 145 pounds.

Ohio State Athletics Schedule
Wednesday, May 19 – Sunday, May 23
All Times Eastern

Wednesday, May 19
Baseball vs. Cleveland State
6:35 PM – Bill Davis Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

Women’s Golf at NCAA Championships
Auburn, Ala.

Thursday, May 20
Softball vs. South Florida
NCAA Tournament (Region No. 4)
10 a.m. – Tallahassee, Fla.

Women’s Golf at NCAA Championships
Auburn, Ala.

Men’s Golf at NCAA Central Regional
West Lafayette, Ind.

Friday, May 21
Baseball at Minnesota
7:35 p.m. – Minneapolis, Minn.

Softball vs. TBA
NCAA Tournament (Region No. 4)
TBA – Tallahassee, Fla.

Women’s Golf at NCAA Championships
Auburn, Ala.

Men’s Golf at NCAA Central Regional
West Lafayette, Ind.

Saturday, May 22
Men’s Tennis vs. Virginia
NCAA Championship Round of 16
10 a.m. – Tulsa, Okla.

Baseball at Minnesota
3:05 and 6:05 p.m. – Minneapolis, Minn.

Softball vs. TBA
NCAA Tournament (Region No. 4)
TBA – Tallahassee, Fla.

Men’s Golf at NCAA Central Regional
West Lafayette, Ind.

Sunday, May 23
Baseball at Minnesota
2:05 p.m. – Minneapolis, Minn.

Softball vs. TBA
NCAA Tournament (Region No. 4)
TBA – Tallahassee, Fla.