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Ohio State looks for third-consecutive victory over Michigan in “The Dual”

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The greatest rivalry in college sports returns to the track this Saturday, January 15 as the Ohio State men’s track and field team hosts rival Michigan in “The Dual” at French Field House.

Saturday marks the first time the Buckeyes have hosted the Wolverines indoors since the inception of “The Dual” in 2008. After sweeping the two meet season series in 2010, Ohio State owns a 4-2 advantage in the series rivalry. However, Michigan leads the all-time series with the Buckeyes 48-16, including a 20-5 edge in indoor meets.

Action from French Field House gets underway with field events at noon ET, followed by running events at 1:00 p.m. Admission is free. Live results can be found at www.finishtiming.com, and a complete recap will be available after the meet at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

Scouting Michigan
The Wolverines are led by third-year coach Fred LaPlante, a 12-year veteran of the program. Before taking the head coaching position in Ann Arbor, LaPlante spent 11 seasons as the associate head coach, responsible for the development of the sprint and hurdle program. Here’s a quick look at the Wolverines’ top athletes headed into the 2011 season:

Carl Buchanon – Buchanon, the 12th-place finisher in the 400m hurdles at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships and a former Big Ten champion, should be the favorite in the 60m hurdles this weekend … holds collegiate-best times of 7.97 (60m hurdles), 14.27 (110m hurdles) and 48.11 (400m), and 50.66 (400m hurdles).

Robert Peddlar – A jumps specialist, Peddlar won the long jump at the 2010 Big Ten Indoor Championships in the long jump and has finished in the Top 10 in the triple jump at the last four conference meets. The battle between Peddlar and Buckeyes Korbin Smith, Michael Hartfield, and Derek Blevins in the long jump Saturday should be one of the more tightly contested events … holds PRs of  7.34m/24-1.5 (long jump) and 15.34m/50-4 (triple jump).

Craig Forys – An emerging distance star, Forys finished fourth in the steeplechase at the 2010 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, and as a freshman in 2009, Forys captured a pair of Top 5 finishes at the conference championships.  A native of Howell, N.J., Forys is a two-time All-Big Ten selection in cross country and a three-time national championship participant … owns PRs of 8:04.31 (3000m), 8:48.18 (3000m steeplechase) and 13:54.48 (5000m).

Watch the Meet Live on FloTrack!
FloTrack.com, a website devoted entirely to the sport of track and field, will be in Columbus this weekend covering the OSU-Michigan Dual. For a live broadcast of the game, player interviews and more, visit the meet page at http://www.flotrack.org/coverage/237962-The-DUAL-2011-Ohio-State-vs-Michigan.  

2010 Outdoor “Dual” – Ohio State 116, Michigan 84
The Ohio State men’s track and field team put on a dominating performance against rival Michigan at “The Dual” April 10, 2011 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, defeating the Wolverines 116-84, the largest margin of victory since the renewal of the rivalry three years ago.

OSU’s win at the 2010 outdoor meet marked the first time either team has completed a season sweep in the three year history of “The Dual,” as the Buckeyes also defeated the Wolverines in Ann Arbor during the indoor campaign, 92-70. In all, the Scarlet and Gray captured wins in 13 of 19 events.

French Field House
Completed in November 1956 at a cost of $1,010,000, French Field House was designed for indoor track and field meets but is also used as a practice facility for a number of varsity squads at Ohio State.

A $1.3 million renovation project inside the field house was completed in October 2009. Renovations include:

  • An all-new 200-meter state-of-the-art track and indoor field competition surface
  • Brand new bleachers along the south side with a capacity of 800
  • New long jump/triple jump pits
  • Permanent throws area
  • Re-painting of interior roof, steel beams and walls

The field house was named in honor of Prof. William E. French, who was the Western Conference faculty representative for The Ohio State University for 32 years.

Buckeyes No. 31 in USTFCCCA Preseason Rankings
The Ohio State men’s track and field team checks-in at No. 31 in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country preseason rankings.

Six Big Ten teams are featured in the Top 40, with No. 8 Penn State leading the way, followed by No. 10 Indiana, No. 16 Minnesota, Ohio State, No. 36 Wisconsin, and 40th-ranked Illinois.

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

Join the Olympian Club
A fund-raising initiative created by head coach Robert Gary, the Ohio State Olympian Club hopes to generate financial support for track and field/cross country projects that are beyond the budget but extremely valuable in enhancing the experiences of the program’s student-athletes.

Besides supporting the members of the Ohio State track and field/cross country teams both on and off the track, donations will afford the Buckeyes the opportunity to continue to operate in a first-class manner, while setting a new standard for Division I programs.

For information visit the men’s track and field home page at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.  

Head coach Robert Gary
Robert Gary, now in his fifth season as the head men’s track and field coach and 15th coaching the cross country team, has elevated both programs to new heights and has established himself as one of the nation’s elite coaches.

Gary’s teams constantly strive for Top 3 finishes at the Big Ten championships in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field. And for the second time in three years, the Buckeyes did just that during the 2009-10 campaign. Gary led the cross country team to a second-place finish at the Big Ten championships as Jeff See took third overall among individuals. The Buckeyes went onto place third at the NCAA regionals before taking 21st at the NCAA championships behind See’s All-America finish. On the track, Gary led the Buckeyes to a second-place finish at the Big Ten indoor championships and a third-place showing during the outdoor season. See (mile/1500m) and Matt DeChant (shot put) earned All-America honors during the indoor and outdoor seasons while Thomas Murdaugh earned All-America honors in the 400m during the indoor. In addition, the Buckeyes swept their rival Michigan in “The Dual” by winning both indoor and outdoor meets.

Coach Gary continues to train the best each year for the USA Track and Field championships and Olympic trials. In June 2010, he helped train Dan Huling, who took first place in the 3000m steeplechase at the 2010 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. In addition, Huling, along with former Buckeye greats Rob Myers (1500m), Brian Olinger (steeplechase) and Jeff See (1500m) trained under Gary while preparing for the 2008 Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.

Gary ended a decorated running career in 2005. A two time member of Team USA at the 1996 and 2004 Olympics, Gary placed second in the men’s steeplechase at the 1996 Olympic Trials with a career-best time of 8:19.46. Eight years later, his third-place finish at the trials gained an automatic bid on the U.S. team headed to Athens, Greece for the 2004 Games.  Gary also earned honors as a cross country athlete, competing on a total of 11 U.S. national teams.

As a student-athlete at Ohio State from 1992-1995, Gary was a six-event All-American, winning the Big Ten outdoor 3000m steeplechase title in 1994, where he set the Ohio State and Big Ten record in the event. He was a three-time all-Big Ten selection and member of three Big Ten championship teams (1992 outdoor, 1993 indoor and outdoor).

A 2009 inductee into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame, Gary received a degree in English education from Ohio State in the fall of 1996.

Last Time Out
The Ohio State men’s track and field team opened its 2011 season January 7 inside French Field House with a strong team showing at the Buckeye Classic.

Junior Matt DeChant was the star of the day for the Buckeyes, setting a personal record of 18.93m (62-1.25) in the shot put – an event in which he is a two-time All-American – to capture first-place honors.

Aside from DeChant, highlights included a PR in the weight throw from Max Mays (20.59m/67-6.75) and a 60m sweep by freshman sensation Demoye Bogle.

Up Next
Ohio State will compete next weekend at the All-Ohio championships in Kent, Ohio.