Feb. 25, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State track and field team challenges the best of the Big Ten at the 2016 Big Ten Indoor Championships this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26-27, at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
Days: Friday, Feb. 26 (10 a.m. – 6:50 p.m. ET) and Saturday, Feb. 27 (10 a.m. – 4:50 p.m. ET)
Venue: SPIRE Institute – Geneva, Ohio
Television/Web Stream: BTN will air tape-delayed coverage of the Big Ten championships at 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, March 5 with Dean Linke, Reed Connor, Sara Kroll and Kenny McReynolds on the call. Events will be live streamed Friday and Saturday on BTN Plus via BTN2Go.
Twitter: @OhioState_TFXC and @BigTenChamps. Official hashtag: #B1GTF
Buckeye History at the Big Ten Championships
The Ohio State men have won five Big Ten indoor championships and 127 individual/event titles since joining the Big Ten Conference in 1913, the last team title coming in 1993 under Russ Rogers.
Rogers led the track and field program to new heights in the early 1990s as the Buckeyes claimed seven Top-4 finishes at the indoor championships from 1990-1996.
Ohio State’s first title came in 1942 under Larry Snyder. Snyder guided the Scarlet and Gray to three-consecutive titles from 1948-1950.
Three Buckeyes have earned the Big Ten Athlete of the Championships award: Aaron Payne (1991), Andrew Pierce (2001) and Dan Taylor (2003). Pierce still owns the championship record in the 400-meter dash (45.46) set in 2001.
The defending conference indoor champions, the Ohio State women have won two Big Ten indoor titles and claimed 23 Top-5 finishes in 38 seasons.
Three Buckeyes have taken home the Athlete of the Championships award. Donica Merriman earned the recognition in both 2000 and 2001 after winning the 60-meter hurdles and 200-meter dash each season. Bridgette Tate received the award in 1988 after her first-place finishes in the 55-meter dash, 55-meter hurdles and 300-yard run. Christina Manning captured the honor at both the 2011 and 2012 meets after dominating the field in the 60-meter hurdles and short sprints.
Manning owns the current meet record in the 60-meter hurdles (7.95). Two Ohio State indoor championship records have been retired: Diane Dixon’s 300-yard run in 1983 (33.83) and Tate’s 60-yard hurdle performance in 1987 (7.78).
Recapping the 2015 Big Ten Championships
The women of the Scarlet and Gray won the second Big Ten indoor title in school history at the 2015 Big Ten Indoor Championships at SPIRE Institute. The Buckeyes won three gold medals on the final day of competition – four in all – to capture their first conference indoor championship since 2011.
Ohio State slowly pulled away from the field, finishing with 84 team points. Michigan was second with 69 points, followed by Penn State and Purdue in a tie for third with 68.
Katie Borchers and Chesna Sykes won individual titles in the 800-meter run and 60-meter dash, respectively, while the 4×400-meter relay team clinched the team championship with a decisive victory in the final race of the meet. Abie Ehimwenman added won a gold medal in the long jump.
On the men’s side, Ohio State finished sixth overall with 60 team points, the Buckeyes’ highest finish at the conference indoor meet in three years.
Ohio State won five medals during the two-day competition, highlighted by a gold-medal performance in the long jump from Big Ten Freshman of the Year Zack Bazile and LaMar Bruton’s silver-medal sprint in the 400-meter run.
Buckeye Shot Put = No. 1
The Ohio State men’s shot put team – including senior J.C. Murasky, sophomore Max Seipel, junior Dylan Dyke and junior Aaron Zedella – is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s (USTFCCCA) Event Squad rankings for the week of Feb. 22.
With a cumulative average throw of 18.51 meters (60-8.75), Ohio State is more than a foot better than No. 2 UCLA. All four OSU athletes rank in the Top 60 nationally in the event.
In all, six Buckeye event groups are ranked among the Top 20 nationally: men’s shot put (No. 1), women’s 400-meter dash (No. 9), men’s 400-meter dash (No. 15), women’s 200-meter dash (No. 15), women’s 60-meter dash (No. 16) and women’s 60-meter hurdles (No. 17).
Ohio State in the USTFCCCA National Rankings
The Buckeye men were ranked 53rd and the women 63rd in the USTFCCCA Division I Indoor Track & Field Poll, released Feb. 22.
OSU totaled 19.15 points in the Week 4 poll on the men’s side. Four Big Ten teams in all are featured in the Top 50: No. 15 Purdue, No. 17 Penn State, No. 25 Minnesota and No. 41 Wisconsin. Arkansas is the No. 1-ranked team in the nation, followed by No. 2 Oregon and third-ranked LSU.
The women’s rankings include five Big Ten teams in the Top 50: No. 6 Michigan, No. 22 Wisconsin, No. 25 Purdue, No. 27 Penn State and No. 39 Nebraska. Oregon is the top-ranked women’s team, followed by No. 2 Georgia and No. 3 Florida.
Week 6 rankings will be released Feb. 29.
Scarlet and Gray in the USTFCCCA Great Lakes Regional Rankings
Men (Top 5)
1. Akron – 318.48 points
2. Indiana – 301.35
3. Michigan – 293.63
4. Wisconsin – 260.36
5. Ohio State – 225.77
Women (Top 5)
1. Michigan – 393.52
2. Purdue – 349.41
3. Ohio State – 243.74
4. Notre Dame – 242.14
5. Akron – 216.44
Buckeyes in the Individual Top 25
Six Ohio State student-athletes and one relay team have posted among the Top 25 times/marks in Division I this season according to Track & Field Results Reporting System (www.TFRRS.org). A look at where the Buckeyes stand:
Murasky – No. 4, shot put
4×400-meter relay (Antonio Blanks, Nick Gray, Jerry Jackson, Champ Page) – No. 17
Zedella – No. 19, weight throw
Gray – No. 22, 200-meter dash
Page – No. 23, 400-meter dash
Last Time Out
Ohio State athletes claimed wins in 13 events at the Buckeye Tune-Up Feb. 19 at French Field House.
The women of the Scarlet and Gray enjoyed contributions across the board, capturing titles in hurdles, sprints, distance and throws. Walker led an impressive 400-meter contingent for the Buckeyes that placed four athletes in the Top 5. Ray and Franklin finished 1-2 in the 60-meter hurdles, while Buckeye 3000-meter runners, led by senior Minori Minagawa, swept the Top-5 placements.
On the men’s side, Ohio State swept the sprint events, with Gray winning the 60-meter dash, Page capturing the title in the 200-meter dash and Blanks adding a victory in the 400-meter dash.
In the field, the Buckeye men dominated the shot put, placing three athletes in the Top 5. Seipel turned in a personal-best throw of 18.43 meters (60-5.50) to place first, followed by Zedella (second, 17.82 meters/58-5.50) and Dyke (third, 17.79 meters/58-4.50).
Qualifying athletes will compete at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Championships March 11-12 in Birmingham, Ala.