April 20, 1999
COLUMBUS, Ohio – With the majority of the team getting a weekend off to rest and practice due to the cancellation of the Indiana State Invitational, Ohio State now looks ahead to the historic Penn Relay Carnival, held this weekend in Philadelphia. This meet will be a foreshadowing, of sorts, of the upcoming Big Ten Championships hosted by Purdue on May 21-23, as the Buckeyes join Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Penn State at the Relays. The remainder of the Big Ten will compete at the Drake Relays.
PENN RELAY CARNIVAL HISTORY
This year marks the 105th running of the Penn Relays, what is regarded as “America’s greatest track and field meet.” In its 104 year history, the Penn Relay Carnival has provided competition for more athletes than any other track meet in the world. Last year, more than 20,000 competitors and more than 90,000 spectators came to Penns historic Franklin Field. This year, more than 350 races will be run, at an average of one race every five minutes. That includes more than two dozen distance races which require 10 minutes or more for their actual running.
LAST YEAR AT THE PENN RELAYS
Last year in Philadelphia, Ian Connor won the college steeplechase (8:55.20). The men’s 4×400 meter relay of Sekou Smith, Winston Tidwell, Marlon DeLeon and Andrew Pierce was fifth (3:11.26) and the men’s distance medley of Ian Connor, Andy Greicius, Sekou Smith and David Gonzalez was sixth (9:51.16). On the women’s front, Ayanna Reece won the 400 meter hurdles (61.41) while Donica Merriman was fourth in the 100 meter high hurdles (13.65) and Dominque Calloway was eighth (13.81).
Once again, several Buckeyes are ranked among the nations best on the weeks NCAA Performance List. Andrew Pierce is tenth in the 400 meters (45.86). Dominque Calloway is second in the 400 meter intermediate hurdles (56.83) and tenth in the 100 meter high hurdles (13.30). Donica Merriman is 21st in the 100 meter high hurdles (13.59) while Ayanna Reece is 11th in the 400 intermediate hurdles. The womens 4×100 meter relay stands 21st (45.06) and is comprised of Cathy Rejouis, Dominque Calloway, Monique Coleman and Donica Merriman.
CLOSING IN ON A LEGENDARY MARK
When Dominque Calloway recorded her times at the Florida Relays, her 400 meter hurdles time (56.83) was a new Ohio State record. Perhaps more importantly, her time in the 100 meter hurdles (12.95) was only .05 away from Buckeye legend Stephanie Hightower’s mark.
THE REMAINDER OF THE SEASON
Ohio State has two meets remaining before heading into the postseason. On May 8 the Buckeyes are at Michigan for the Michigan Invitational and the following weekend are in Bloomington, Ind. for the Billy Hayes Invitational. After traveling to Purdue for the Big Ten Championships, the NCAA Outdoor Championships are slated for June 2-5 at Boise State in Boise, Idaho. The USATF Championships are June 18-19 in Eugene, Ore.