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Feb. 27, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s and women’s cross country teams announced the addition of five student-athletes who have signed NCAA National Letters of Intent for the 2004 cross country season. Braden Martinez of Straker, Ohio, and Matt Buzek of Akron, Ohio, comprise the class that will enroll at Ohio State at the beginning of the 2004 fall season for the men’s squad, while Sara Wiseman of Gallipolis, Ohio, and Laura Piper of Chesterfield, Mo., represent the women’s recruiting class.

Martinez comes to Columbus after a successful senior season at Stryker High School. During his senior campaign, Martinez was crowned state champion at the 2004 Ohio High School Athletic Association state cross country meet and was named all-state four times. On the track, Martinez was just as impressive as he posted times of 9:23 in the 3,200-meter run, 4:27 in the mile and 1:57 in the 800-meter run.

Buzek also boasts an impressive resume as he was selected 2003 Fall Male Athlete of the Year by the Akron Beacon Journal and was named Runner of the Year by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. During his time at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School, Buzek placed first at the Division II State Cross Country Meet.

“These three are the best seniors in Ohio,” Robert Gary Ohio State men’s cross country coach said. “I have always believed that if Ohio State can keep the very best distance runners in the state, we can compete for the Big Ten title year in and year out.”

On the women’s side, Wiseman, a three-time All-Ohio honoree at Gallia Academy, was state runnerup in the 2002 Division II State Cross Country Meet, while sporting a personal best of 18:29 in the 5-kilometer run. Wiseman also was a two-time state runner-up in the 3,200-meter run with a personal best of 10:54.

Piper comes to the Buckeye state after a successful high school career at Marquette High School (Mo.) where she was state runner-up in the 2002 Missouri State Cross Country Meet with a personal best of 18:44.

“We are very excited that both Sara and Laura have signed with Ohio State,” Chad Myers Ohio State women’s cross country coach said. “Both are very good athletes as well as students and will be capable of stepping in and contributing next fall and in track as well. They fit in so well with the current team members on their visits. They both just knew this was the place. I am looking forward to working with both of them over the course of their careers.”