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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s track and field team will divide this weekend for the Dave Rankin Invitational and the Mt. SAC Relays. The sprinters and field event athletes will head to Purdue for the Dave Rankin Invitational April 15-16 while several distance runners travel to the Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, Calif., for the Mt. SAC Relays April 14-16.

The first event for the Buckeyes in sunny California will be the 3000m steeplechase Olympic Division at 9:30pm ET on Thursday. Ellen Birmingham, Sarah Foster, Sarah Lowe, Tori Brink, Meredith Wagner and Jordan Jennewine will all be competing in the Mt. SAC Relays.

McHugh Named Big Ten Athlete of the Week

Distance runner Kelsey McHugh was named Big Ten Athlete of the Week Wednesday by the conference office after her victory in the 5000m run at the Miami Invitational last weekend. The Columbus native shattered her PR with a time of 16:46.83 to earn her first weekly award on her career.

Ohio State in the USTFCCCA National Rankings
The Ohio State women’s track and field team currently sits at No. 41 in the April 12 U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national team rankings.

In the Big Ten, three schools are nationally ranked in the Top 45 including Ohio State. Penn State is ranked No. 23 and Indiana No. 28. Future Big Ten opponent Nebraska sits directly behind Ohio State at No. 42 and Texas A&M currently leads the poll ranked No. 1.

The Buckeyes are again ranked No. 1 in the Great Lakes region where the sit ahead of Big Ten foes No. 2 Indiana, No. 3 Michigan, No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 7 Purdue and No. 9 Michigan State.

Buckeyes in the Individual Top 35 Rankings
Eleven members of the Scarlet and Gray are ranked within the Top 35 nationally in several event areas. A look at where the Buckeyes sit: 
•    Letecia Wright- No. 4 in the 100m hurdles and No. 27 in the 4x100m relay
•    Christina Manning – No. 6 in the 100m hurdles
•    Ashley Galbraith – No. 7 in the high jump
•    Madison McNary – No. 26 in the 200m and No. 27 in the 4x100m relay 
•    Christienne Linton – No. 27 in the 4x100m relay
•    Chesna Sykes- No. 27 in the 4x100m relay
•    Kelcey McKinney – No. 29 in the triple jump
•    Nyjah Cousar – No. 30 in the 400m hurdles
•    Shaniqua McGinnis – No. 31 in the 400m
•    Maggie Mullen – No. 32 in the javelin
•    Alexis Thomas – No. 34 in the hammer throw

Jesse Owens Track Classic Set for April 23-24
Athletes from all levels, including individuals from more than 35 colleges are scheduled to compete at the 26th Jesse Owens Track Classic April 23-24.

Like the “J.O. Classics” of the past, the 2011 edition will serve as a stage for scholastic, collegiate and post-collegiate athletes to perform at their highest levels in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. In its history, the Jesse Owens Track Classic has served as a top venue for many future and former Olympians. Current and past record holders for the Jesse Owens Track Classic include Olympic medalists John Drummond, Michelle Finn, Allen Johnson, Edwin Moses, Dwight Stones and former Buckeyes Diane Dixon, Joe Greene and Butch Reynolds. Others of Olympic fame include Judi Brown, Roger Kingdom, Carl Lewis, Louise Ritter and Calvin Smith, as well as past OSU Olympians Mark Croghan and Stephanie Hightower.

Jesse Owens 75th Anniversary Celebration, April 21-24
The Ohio State University is proud to lead the celebration of Jesse Owens’ legacy on the 75th anniversary of his stellar performance in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany.

The Jesse Owens 75th Anniversary Celebration will take place April 21-24, in conjunction with Ohio State’s spring football game and the 26th Jesse Owens Track Classic. Through this celebration, the University will honor the memory of Jesse Owens and his trailblazing life that links us as Americans and inspires us to achieve greatness.

A scholarship dinner banquet April 21 in the new Ohio Union Archie Griffin Ballroom will gather nationally recognized speakers – including actor/comedian Bill Cosby – prominent corporate and community leaders, members of the Ohio State community and members of Owens’ beloved family. The event will be emceed by ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap, family friend and author of the book Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics. Tickets for the dinner – scheduled for 7:00 p.m. – are available for $125. To purchase tickets online, visit go.osu.edu/jesseowens. A PDF form is available for download that can be printed and mailed back to purchase tickets and sponsorships. All proceeds from the dinner will be used to support the Ruth and Jesse Owens Scholars Program and the Ohio State men’s and women’s track programs.

The University will also host a statue unveiling prior to the scholarship dinner on the 21st at 1:30 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. For more information on all events and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.osu.edu/jesseowens.  

Owens Exhibition at Thompson Library: April 12-May 2
The Ohio State University Archives has created a display of Jesse Owens’ artifacts, photographs, and documents that highlight each stage of the Olympian’s historic life: his youth in Cleveland, his relationship to OSU as a student and life-time Buckeye, his record as an Olympic athlete, and his service as an ambassador to the world. Students, faculty, staff, and the public are invited to come see the limited time exhibition – which includes artifacts such as Owens’ Olympic diary, his bronzed shoe from 1935, and his Congressional Gold Medal – at the William Oxley Thompson Library April 12-May 2.

The exhibition is located in the Thompson Library display area on the first floor outside the Gallery. The library is open Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.; Friday 7:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.

Big Ten Champions!
For the first time in school history Ohio State won the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field championship this season. In addition to top honors on the track, fifth-year head coach Karen Dennis was named Big Ten Coach of the Year by her peers and junior All-American Christina Manning was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Championships.

Madison McNary took home first team all-Big Ten honors while Kelcey McKinney and All-American Letecia Wright were named to the second team. Wright later collected All-American honors for the first time at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships.

Follow the Buckeyes on Facebook!
The Ohio State women’s track and field team is now on Facebook. Visit www.facebook.com/OSUwtrackXC to catch up on the latest Buckeye news and notes.

Last Time Out
Eight Buckeyes competed at Miami University April 9 in the Miami Invitational, including four true freshman.

McHugh (16:46.83) took first in the 5000m run and Molly Jacobson crossed the line just a few spots behind her in 17:41.50 for fifth-place. In 12th-place was Mallory Kreider (18:20.52).

Amanda Henderson threw the javelin 28.26m for a 15th-place finish.

Up Next
The Buckeyes will take another week off before hosting the Jesse Owens Track Classic — their lone home outdoor meet of the season — April 23-24.