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Feb. 3, 2004

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State track and field teams, which competed at home in French Field House the last two weeks, head back to the road Friday and Saturday as competitors in the 2004 Indiana Invitational held at Harry Gladstien Field House in Bloomington, Ind.

LAST WEEK: 20 BUCKEYES PLACE FIRST IN OHIO STATE INVITATIONAL
The Buckeyes dominated the field at the Ohio State Invitational as both men’s and women’s teams combined to post 20 first-place finishes.

The Ohio State throws squad once again led the Buckeyes as reigning Big Ten athlete of the year Dan Taylor continued to dominate the throw events for the men as he posted his seventh and eighth first-place scores of the season in the shot put and in the weight throw. Although Taylor did not eclipse his season best throw of 66-6.5 in the shot put, he still managed to post an NCAA automatic qualifying throw of 65-10 to win the event. Taylor followed his strong performance in the shot with an NCAA automatic throw in the weight with a toss of 76-0.

On the women’s side, junior Keturah Lofton, who provisionally qualified in the weight throw with a 64-3 effort the previous week, automatically qualified for the 2004 NCAA Championships with a throw of 65-1 to win the event. Lofton joins fellow Buckeyes Amarchi Ukabam and Taylor as qualifiers for the 2004 NCAA Championships.

Ukabam helped the Buckeyes sweep the throw events as she posted a first-place effort in the shot put with a throw of 52-09.

In other field events, the Buckeyes received strong performances from a pair of OSU pole vaulters in senior Becky Heintz and sophomore Robyn Mroz, who each set an Ohio State record in the event by topping the field with 11-11.75.

Also posting a strong effort were Rosalind Goodwin and Shayla Moore, both of whom provisionally qualified for the NCAA championships. Goodwin finished first in the event with a leap of 42-2.75, while Moore placed second with jump of 42-1. Goodwin also finished first in the long jump as she posted a season best jump 20-1.

Nosa Ehimwenman posted a first-place finish in the triple jump with a leap of 50-6. Senior Billy Mills recorded his third first-place mark of the season in the high jump with a leap of 6-8. Seth MacCarter posted another strong performance for the Buckeyes as he cleared 15-11 to take first-place in the pole vault. Becky Heintz notched a season best mark in the pole vault with a jump of 11-11.75.

In the distance events, Joe Gourley placed first in the 600-meter run as he clocked a time of 1:21.60. Brian Olinger posted a first-place finish in the 5,000-meter run in a time of 14:45.8.

The sprint events featured contributions from Jenna Harris, who clocked a time of 7.55 to win the women’s 60-meter dash. Harris also clocked a 24.90 to win the 200-meter dash. On the men’s side, John Morris placed first in the 400-meter dash in a time of 49.26.

The Buckeyes concluded the event as both men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relay squads finished first posting times of 3:19.46 and 3:50.85, respectively.

TAYLOR AND UKABAM SCORE BACK-TO-BACK BIG TEN ATHLETES OF THE WEEK JAN. 20 AND 27
Ohio State throwers Dan Taylor and Amarachi Ukabam not only have dominated their competition in the throw events this season, winning 14 of the 16 throw competitions, but the tandem has nearly owned the Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors in 2004 before recipients from other Big Ten institutions claimed the honors Feb. 3.

Taylor garnered his third award in as many weeks Jan. 27 after first-place performances in both the shot put (65-0.75) and weight throw (73-9.75) at the Indiana-Purdue-Ohio State Tri-Meet with NCAA indoor championship automatic qualifying marks in both events.

Ukabam scored her second honor in as many weeks with first placers in the weight and shot put as well. Ukabam’s mark in the weight (65-10.50) served as an automatic national qualifier, while her effort in the shot put (52-8.25) provisionally qualified for the NCAA’s.

Taylor’s weekly honor is his 10th in the last two seasons. The award is the third won by Ukabam in her career.

Last week, the pair claimed the men’s and women’s Big Ten Indoor Athlete of the Week following first-place performances in both the weight throw and shot put at the Kentucky Invitational. Taylor, who garnered the weekly award after setting an American collegiate record in the weight throw in the season-opener Jan. 10, set a Kentucky venue record in the shot put and took first in the weight. On the women’s side, Amarachi Ukabam automatically qualified for the 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships with her effort in the weight throw, while also posting the top mark in the shot put.

Taylor opened the event at UK with an effort of 73-7.25 to capture first in the weight and completed the sweep with a Nutter Field House all-time shot put mark of 66-5.25. Both of Taylor’s efforts served as automatic qualifiers to the NCAA championships.

Ukabam, the reigning conference freshman of the year, recorded an NCAA Indoor championships automatic qualifier in the weight with a heave of 65-7.75. Her 51-4.25 first-place throw in the shot put also served as a provisional qualifier.

BUCKEYE THROWERS 16-FOR-16 SO FAR IN 2004, TAYLOR 8-OF-8
The Ohio State throw squad has competed in 16 total events in the early going in 2004 and has walked away from either the shot put or weight throw with a first-place standing on each occasion.

Taylor has fueled the men’s side with record-shattering first-place finishes in both the weight and shot put in the four meets this season, while Lofton and Ukabam have combined to take top honors in each throw event this season. Ukabam has won the shot put at the Buckeye and Kentucky Invites, the Tri-meet, the Ohio State Invite and was first in the weight at UK and in the tri-meet, while Lofton scored first place in the weight at the Buckeye and Ohio State Invites.

PAIR OF OSU POLE VAULTERS EXCEED PROGRAM RECORD AT OHIO STATE INVITE
Senior Becky Heintz and sophomore Robyn Mroz each posted the top mark in the pole vault event Saturday with a height an Ohio State porgram best 11-11.75. The pair snapped the previous mark held by Mroz, who cleared 11-8 Feb. 14, 2003.

Ironically, both Heintz and Mroz share the outdoor pole vault standard at Ohio State as well at the same height of 11-11.75.

TAYLOR UPS FRENCH FIELD HOUSE WIN STREAK TO NINE AND 11-OF-12
With his victories in each of the weight throw and shot put competitions at the Buckeye Invite, the IU-PU-OSU Tri-meet and the Ohio State Invite, Taylor claimed his ninth straight crown and 11th in 12 total events at French Field House during the past two seasons.

Additionally, Taylor, who scored first place in 12 of 14 indoor throw events last season prior to the NCAA Championships, now has claimed top honors in 18 of the last 20 regular season throw events since the beginning of the 2003 season.

GOODWIN ATTAINS NEW CAREER LENGTHS
Ohio State junior long jumper Rosalind Goodwin has turned in solid NCAA provisional qualifying performances in each of the last two triple jump competitions. The Louisville, Ky. native established a career-bests in both the long jump (20-1) and triple jump (42-2.75) at the Ohio State Invitational to win both events.

HARRIS CONTINUES TO ROLL IN FIRST SEASON
Freshman Jenna Harris has established herself as the squad’s top sprinter on the women’s side as she has posted top times for OSU in the 60m dash and the 200m dash in each of the last three meets. During the UK Invite, Harris posted times of 7.51 and 24.51 to win and added first-place times in both the IU-PU-OSU Tri-Meet and the Ohio State Invite.

Most recently, Harris tallied two first-place times at the Indiana-Purdue-OSU Tri-meet with a 7.52 in the 60m and a 24.90 in the 200m and at the OSU Invite with times of 7.55 in the 60m and 25.15 in the 200m.

ANOTHER WEEK, ANOTHER RECORD
In the competition Jan. 17, senior thrower Dan Taylor once again set a record at the Kentucky Invitational. The senior, who already broke the American collegiate record in the weight throw in the opening event this season, established a Nutter Field House standard at the event Saturday with a throw of 66-5.25 in the shot put.

BUCKEYE MEN RANKED No. 9 BY TRACKWIRE.COM
The Ohio State men’s team was recognized as the No. 9 team in the country by the latest Trackwire.com poll. The Buckeyes are one of six Big Ten squads in the Top 25 as Minnesota is rated the highest at No. 5, with Wisconsin ranked in a tie for 17th. Michigan, OSU, Purdue and Indiana fall in between the Golden Gophers and Badgers. Arkansas in ranked No. 1. Fellow Southeastern teams – Auburn and LSU – completed the Top 3.

TAYLOR SETS AMERICAN COLLEGIATE RECORD AT BUCKEYE INVITATIONAL
Five-time All-American Dan Taylor kicked off the 2004 season in grand fashion as the reigning Big Ten indoor and outdoor athlete of the year established an American collegiate record in the weight throw with a heave of 76-2.25 (23.22 meters), surpassing the previous mark of 74-8.5 held by Kevin Mannon of Wyoming.

Taylor’s performance eclipsed his previous Big Ten and Ohio State weight throw records set March 3, 2003 at 22.35 meters, while falling shy of the NCAA record 24.02-meter mark set by Libor Charfreitag – a native of Slovakia – of SMU March 9, 2001.

Taylor also scored a first-place standing in the shot put with a throw of 66-6.5. His combined efforts in the weight throw and shot put Saturday set the all-time best performance in the two events in the history of indoor track and field. Taylor, whose career-best in the shot put is 69-11, now holds the all-time combined career record between the two events.

TAYLOR DEEMED USATF MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK – JAN. 12
Taylor was named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after setting an American collegiate record in the weight throw Saturday at the Buckeye Invitational in Columbus, Ohio.

Taylor also was named USATF athlete of the week March 16, 2003 after claiming Top 3 marks in both the weight and shot put at the 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.

TAYLOR AND UKABAM REPRESENT OHIO STATE AT PAN AM GAMES
Throwers Dan Taylor, a senior, and sophomore Amarchi Ukabam celebrated their Big Ten championship seasons last year as selections to the 2004 United States Pan American Games members.

Taylor competed in the senior games in the Dominican Republic, while Ukabam scored a junior championship in the discus in Barbados.

OSU’S WARNER NAMED TO U.S. WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS STAFF
Jack Warner, Ohio State track and field assistant coach, was officially named to the 2005 United States World Championships coaching staff in December. Warner will serve as the sprints and hurdles coach at the event held in Helsinki, Finland. Dates for the championships are to be announced in the future.

2003 CROSS COUNTRY WRAP UP
The Ohio State men’s and women’s cross country teams once again posted strong seasons under the direction of men’s head coach Robert Gary and women’s head coach Chad Myers.

This past fall, the women’s team posted its highest finish at the 2003 Big Ten Championships, while the men qualified for the NCAA championships for the third time in four years. Pacing the Buckeyes down the stretch was senior co-captain Rob Myers who earned First Team All-Big Ten honors as he placed sixth at the Big Ten championships.

Leading the way for the women’s team was senior Lyndsi Gay as she paced the Buckeyes during the first four meets of the season before being sidelined with an injury at the end of the year.

UP NEXT
After traveling west to compete at the IU Invite, Ohio State turns around and heads east to State College, Pa. for the Nittany Lion Invitational Feb. 13-14.