May 11, 2017
Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State track and field team will begin its postseason this weekend, Friday through Sunday (May 12-14), in University Park, Pa., at the Big Ten Championships. The three-day meet will be hosted at the Nittany Lion Outdoor Track.
Beginning at 1:20 p.m. ET on Saturday, all field events finals will be streamed at btn2go.com. Sunday’s coverage will begin at 11:30 a.m. ET and continue until the end of the meet on btn2go.com. A tape-delayed broadcast of the track finals will be aired on the Big Ten Network at 7 p.m. ET Sunday evening.
Buckeye History at the Big Ten Championships
The women have the two most recent conference titles for the Buckeyes; they won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. Ohio State has finished in the Top 5 at Big Ten’s in 24 of the 36 women’s outdoor championships. All in all, the women have captured 88 event/relay titles since 1977.
Four athletes have won Athlete of the Championship honors: Christina Manning (track, 2011) and Alexis Thomas (field, 2012) were the driving forces of those two team titles. Dominique Calloway (1999) and Donica Merriman (2000) garnered the awards in back-to-back years for their efforts on the track.
The men own four team titles, 53 top-five finishes and 154 combined individual/relay titles since the inception of the conference meet in 1913. The Scarlet and Gray dominated the Big Ten in the early 1990s under longtime coach Russ Rogers, winning back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993 while taking second in both 1991 and 1994. Rogers was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1993.
You can follow Ohio State track and field team on Twitter @OhioState_TFXC for live updates throughout the meet.
Big Ten Primer
The sprint trio of Deshawn Marshall, Champ Page and Nick Gray find themselves intertwined in the Top 10 of the conference is several events. Marshall comes into the conference meet with the fastest 200m dash (20.53) and second-fastest 100m dash (10.28) in the conference. Page ranks third and fifth in the 200m dash (20.81) and 400m dash (46.30), respectively. Gray, the reigning Big Ten 100m and 200m dash champion from 2016, is right behind Marshall in the 200m dash with a season-best time of 20.72.
The women have just as good of a chance to tally some points in the short sprints as the men. Senior Aaliyah Barnes leads the way with No. 4 ranking in the 200m dash (23.22) and 100m dash (11.63). In the quarter mile, Maggie Barrie and Beatrice Hannan have the capability of collecting double digit points between the two; Barrie’s best time of the season (52.82) currently is the second fastest in the conference. Bliss Soleyn, who scored in the 60m dash at indoors, will have a very good chance to do the same in the 100m dash this weekend. Karrington Winters, who won the indoor conference title in the 600m run, is entered in the 400m dash.
All of the aforementioned sprinters from the women’s and men’s sides will play a huge role in the relay portion of the meet as well. The women enter the meet with the top 4x400m relay time of the season and the men’s season best of 3:04.38 ranks No. 2.
Nick Demaline will look to win his first career Big Ten title of his career in the shot put on Saturday. The junior transfer took second at Big Ten indoors and currently has the best outdoor throw of the season in the conference with a 19.62m (64-4.50) heave at the Florida Relays. Sade Olatoye will have a chance to score in three throwing events: the discus, hammer throw and shot put. Her season bests in the hammer throw (61.47m) ranks third in conference and shot put of 16.03m (52-7.25) is the sixth best in the B1G.
The distance crew will be paced by Rachel Weber and Jared Fleming. Both seniors, Weber and Fleming own top-five times in program history in the 800m run, in which they will both be competing this weekend. Emily Stoodley (10,000m run), Mitch Leitch (10,000m run), Alex Lomong (800m run) and Sarah Kanney (3,000m steeplechase) have positioned themselves to run well and score some points for the Buckeyes.
In the jumps, the Buckeyes return three point scorers from the 2016 Big Ten Championships. Mikaela Seibert placed fourth at last year’s championship in the triple jump, and she currently ranks sixth in the Big Ten this year. 2016 All-American Zack Bazile earned silver in the long jump a year ago and will look to replicate or better that performance. Last but not least, DaJuan Seward tallied points in multiple events last season as a freshman. He scored in the 110m hurdles and triple jump; Seward is entered in both of those events this weekend.
The school record holder in the pole vault, Madison Roberts, enters the conference meet with the fourth-best mark in the conference (4.08m/13-4.50) that she recorded at the Ashland Alumni Open two weeks ago. The men’s pole vaulting duo of Cole Gorski (5.22m) and Coty Cobb (5.16m) enter the meet ranked fourth and sixth respectively amongst conference foes; Cobb earned an eighth-place finish at the 2016 Big Ten Championships.
Record Book Rewrites
Eleven individuals have registered Top 5 program marks in program history during the 2017 campaign. Rachel Weber, who was competing at the Jesse Owens Track and Field Classic, the last home meet of her career, clocked a 1,500m run time of 4:21.08 to move into sole possession of the No. 2 spot in program history
Madison Roberts (4.08m/13-4.50) and Megan Hoffman (3.85m/12-7.50) rank first and second in program history with their clearances. Not to be outdone, men’s pole vaulter Cole Gorksi’s season-best clearance of 5.22m (17-1.50) at the Florida Relays is the second best Ohio State mark of all-time. Coty Cobb’s personal-best clearance of 5.16m (16-11.00) at the Jesse Owens Track and Field Classic moved him into a tie for No. 5 all-time.
Sarah Kanney notched the third-fastest 3,000m steeplechase time by a Buckeye at the Raleigh Relays with a readout of 10:30.62, and graduate transfer Alyssa Kopp’s season-best javelin throw of 44.89m (147-3) is No. 3 all-time.
A trio of athletes have recorded the fourth-best mark in school history in their respective events: Nick Demaline (shot put/19.62m/64-4.50), Anthony Johnson (800m run/1:48.56) and Sade Olatoye (shot put/15.96m/52-4.50). Mikaela Seibert launched a huge personal best at the Tennessee Relays with a bound of 12.86m (42-2.25) in the triple jump to move into No. 5 in program history.
The women’s 4x400m relay of Beatrice Hannan, Karrington Winters, Barnes and Maggie Barrie registered the second-fastest time (3:29.04) at the Florida Relays. The sprint medley relay of Hannan, Winters, Halimah Barlow and Weber clocked the third-fastest time in program history with a 3:52.54 at the Florida Relays.
Event Squad Rankings
Ohio State has seven foursomes that rank inside the Top 20 nationally in the Event Squad Rankings. The men’s 800m run group of Anthony Johnson, Alexander Lomong, Jared Fleming and Dominik Seitzer rank eighth in the nation with a group time of 7:17.95 (1:49.49 average).
The women’s 400m dash crew of Maggie Barrie, Beatrice Hannan, Karrington Winters and Tamani Wilson rank eighth nationally as well; they average a time of 53.56 in the one-lap sprint. The men’s shot put foursome of Nick Demaline, Jared Ballenger, Max Seipel and Reggie Browley have the 10th-best average in the nation (17.18m/56-4.25).
The women’s hammer throw crew had a personal-record party at the Jesse Owens Track and Field Classic, with all four throwers recording personal bests, and that propelled them all the way up to No. 9 in the nation. The quartet of Sade Olatoye, Kate Deaton, Grace Azenabor and Alexis Dowdy has an average of 56.41m (185-00).
The final group is the men’s 100m dashers, three of whom clocked wind-aided season bests at the Jesse Owens Track and Field Classic. Marshall (10.28w), Nick Gray (10.47), James Clark (10.48w) and Duan Asemota (10.56w) used the comfort of running on their home track to average a time of 10.48; that time is the 14th best average in the nation. Gray’s time of 10.47 was run at the Drake Relays two weeks ago.