Sept. 4, 2015


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State cross country begins its 2015 campaign this Saturday, Sept. 5, at the Dayton Flyer 5k Challenge in Kettering, Ohio.

The men’s 5k race starts at 9:45 a.m. ET, followed by the women’s 5k at 10:15 a.m. A complete recap will be available following the race at

Did You Know?
The Ohio State women have won the Flyer 5k in each of the last three seasons. The men have won the event in two of past three seasons, finishing second in 2014.

What’s New for 2015?
The Buckeye men welcome three freshmen and two transfers to the roster. Junior Jared Fleming, a transfer from Kent State, will make his cross country debut this season with the Buckeyes after winning an 800-meter bronze medal with the Scarlet and Gray last indoor season. He is joined by fellow transfer Evan Stifel, a sophomore from Cincinnati who spent last season at Belmont, where he finished in the Top 50 at the NCAA South Regional and in the Top 25 at the Ohio Valley Championship. The team also welcomes freshmen Jacob Schmeling (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Luke Landis (Norwalk, Ohio) and Nick Jarrell (Toledo, Ohio).

Eight freshmen join the women’s squad: Brittany Atkinson (Liberty Center, Ohio), Izzy Farmwald (Doylestown, Ohio), Jessica Passwater (Columbus, Ohio), Kelsey Sandlin (Gahanna, Ohio), Lilly Saniel-Banrey (Hilliard, Ohio), Emily Stoodley (Columbus, Ohio), Claire Wiles (Powell, Ohio) and Maddie Woods (Mishawaka, Ind.). Atkinson is a two-time Ohio Division III state champion in the 3200-meter run and the 2013 state cross country champion, as well as the 2014 runner-up. Woods was a bronze medalist at the 2014 Indiana State Cross Country Championships.

Top Returners
Sophomore Nick Elswick is the top returner for the Buckeye men’s team. He represented Ohio State at both the Great Lakes Regional and Big Ten championships and was the top finisher for the Scarlet and Gray at three meets in 2014.

The Buckeye women lose their top two runners from 2014, All-American Katie Borchers and All-Regional performer Michelle Thomas, but return several key contributors from last season. Senior Helen Willman was a Top 30 performer at both the Great Lakes and Big Ten championships. Junior Tammy Berger set personal bests in both the 8k and 5k last season, while seniors Sakiko Minagawa and Minori Minagawa were consistent scorers throughout the season.

Buckeyes in the Great Lakes Regional Rankings
The Buckeye women were ranked fifth and the men 10th in the preseason Great Lakes regional rankings by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), released Aug. 31.

Defending national champion and third-ranked Michigan State is ranked No. 1 in the region on the women’s side. No. 11 Wisconsin is second, followed by No. 12 Michigan, No. 21 Notre Dame and Ohio State.

On the men’s side, fourth-ranked Wisconsin is the top team in the region, followed by No. 11 Indiana, No. 12 Michigan, No. 28 Michigan State and Eastern Michigan.

Ohio State Dedicates its 2015 Camp to John Hammond
The Buckeyes ran at cross camp in Hocking Hills, Ohio, last month with former athlete and long-time friend of the program John Hammond in their thoughts. Hammond, an OSU distance runner from 1969-72 and cross country team captain, served as a volunteer coach with the men’s cross country team for several seasons after a 26-year coaching and teaching career in Hilliard.

A native of Granville, Hammond has been a tremendous advocate for the Ohio State track and field and cross country teams and was a key member of the contingent involved in the development of the Jesse Owens statue outside of Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Up Next
Ohio State has a week off before traveling to Nashville, Tenn., for the Commodore Classic, hosted by Vanderbilt on Sept. 19.