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Men’s and women’s track and field teams combine in dance number to take title

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After battling each other the last two seasons, the Ohio State men’s and women’s track and field teams combined forces in a dance number that was deemed “the best of the night” by judge and event sponsor Michael Redd Tuesday night at the “SafeAuto, Michael Redd and the Student-Athlete Advisory Board present Buckeyes Got Talent.”

More importantly, the event raised $9,797.76 for the Boys & Girls Club of Columbus bringing the four-year total donation to more than $15,137 with all ticket proceeds going directly to the organization.

Along with Redd, who is former a Buckeye basketball letterwinner and current guard with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, guest judges included SafeAuto’s Justin Case, Columbus Blue Jackets’ Mike Commodore, WCMH Channel 4’s Mindy Drayer and Allison Pegg from Easy Columbus. Also at the judges table was Shaquan Brown, a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Columbus. Emceeing the event for the second-consecutive year was Kelsey Webb, a 2004 Ohio State grad, from WNCI’s Morning Zoo.

“It’s fun and it’s Ohio State,” Redd said about his involvement with Buckeyes Got Talent. “My wife and I are excited to be involved with anything Ohio State, especially a charity event, and it’s great to have a little fun while doing it.”

“I heard about this last year and watched the videos – it seemed like a great time,” Commodore added. “It’s a great cause and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

There were eight acts performed in St. John Arena that included lots of music and dancing. Highlights of the night included the rifle team doing a montage of famous “YouTube” dances, a compilation of Disney tunes by the men’s track and field team and a step show by the women’s soccer team that included a song and rap by Tiffany Cameron.

Bringing a laugh to the audience was softball’s Sam Marder who gave her best in a rhythmic gymnastics performance to Miley Cyrus’ “It’s the Climb.” She stated prior to her act this was her attempt to get into the Olympics after softball was cut as an Olympic sport.

The third-place act was a version of Canon in D rocked out by men’s volleyball’s Eric Dates on his electric guitar. Deemed a rock star by Justin Case, Redd noted his swagger and called him “hot, hot, hot.”

Evan Blankenship, an offensive lineman on the football team, was runner-up for the second year in a row. After wooing the crowd with “Me and Mrs. Jones” last year, he was back with Luther Vandross’ “If Only for One Night.”

“Ladies love Evan,” Pegg said after his performance, with Redd adding he was, “Passionate and very talented.”

But bringing the crowd to their feet with a dance off were the track teams. The women showed off their skills, followed by the men before the two combined for a final number.

A grinning Shaquan Brown summed it up with, “That was sweet.”