Jan. 9, 2017
Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s track and field team is ranked No. 21 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason poll that was released Monday afternoon.
Ohio State is credited with 40.33 points in the initial rankings. No. 20 Penn State (42.55 points) and No. 18 Minnesota (46.34 points) are the only Big Ten foes ranked ahead of the Buckeyes. The USTFCCCA mashes together the top times of key returners and newcomers that could have an impact on the national scale come March at the NCAA Championships in order to predicate the preseason rankings.
This is the highest preseason indoor ranking for Ohio State since it was tabbed as the No. 4 team in America back in 2012. The Scarlet and Gray finished 24th at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Championships by accumulating nine points.
Nick Gray is the only returning scorer from last year’s NCAA meet; the sophomore finished sixth in the 200m dash with a time of 21.11. Gray was also a member of the 4x400m relay team that placed 11th at NCAAs, but did not register any points; Jerry Jackson is also a returnee of that relay squad that will be active in 2017.
Donovan Robertson factors into the point totals with two previous indoor All-America honors. In 2014 as a freshman, he placed seventh at the NCAA Championships in the 60m hurdles with a readout of 7.69, and then as a sophomore, he finished 13th at NCAAs.
Zack Bazile has never scored at the NCAA indoor meet, but he was a First Team All-American at the 2016 outdoor championships in the long jump.
The Buckeyes opened up their 2017 season last Friday and were stellar. Although it’s early in the season, 10 Ohio State athletes rank inside the top 10 nationally in their respective events: Deshawn Marshall (No. 9 – 60m dash – 6.74), Gray (No. 4 – 400m dash – 47.71), Dominik Seitzer (No. 1 – 800m run – 1:51.79), Luke Landis (No. 3 – mile – 4:06.55), Jared Fleming (No. 4 – mile – 4:06.60), Kevin Blank (No. 9 – mile – 4:09.35), Robertson (No. 6 – 60m hurdles – 7.87), Bazile (No. 6 – long jump – 7.58m), DaJuan Seward (No. 9 – triple jump – 15.24m) and Nick Demaline (No. 6 – 18.14m – shot put).
The Buckeyes return to action this Saturday (Jan. 14) at the Kentucky Invitational in Lexington, Ky.