COLUMBUS, Ohio – One of the more memorable editions of the Jesse Owens Track Classic went out in style Saturday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Among the highlights from Saturday’s action was a stadium record in the 4x400m relay, an exciting battle in the 400m and an unexpected upset in the 4x100m. A look at all the action from the 25th Jesse Owens Track Classic:
The day’s most anticipated race witnessed a bit of drama at the starting line. Alabama freshman Kirani James, the 2010 NCAA indoor runner-up in the 400m, was disqualified for a false start, taking a bit of luster off of what would have been a tightly-contested battle with Mississippi State freshman Tavaris Tate and Ohio State sophomore Thomas Murdaugh. Tate, second nationally in the 400m this outdoor season, took advantage of the mistake by James, claiming the title in 45.26, third-fastest in Division I. All-American Murdaugh, the defending Big Ten champion, would finish second in a season-best time of 45.96, a Big Ten-best and Top 15 national time.
James was allowed to run in the race’s third flight, but his time of 45.31 was not included in the final standings.
Mississippi State set the Jesse Owens Stadium record (3:05.70) in the 4x400m relay during a tightly contested race with Ohio State. The Bulldogs, who own the fifth-best 4×4 time in the nation this outdoor season, managed to pull away from the three-time defending Big Ten champion Buckeyes down the stretch. The Scarlet and Gray’s second-place time of 3:06.69, a season-best, is a Top 20 time nationally and the second-best in the Big Ten.
Akron pulled off the upset in the finals of the 4x100m relay, taking home the title in a time of 40.42. Indiana finished second with a time of 40.58 – third-best in the Big Ten this season – and Kent State third (40.64). Ohio State’s team of Jonathan Francois, Stephen Robinson, Curtis Leuenberger and Matt Terrell ran a season-best and fourth-place time of 40.69, fourth-best in the conference.
Chris Fallon used an impressive kick down the stretch to win the mile in 4:12.99. Virginia Tech’s Jared Berman finished second for the Hokies with a time of 4:13.31, while Donny Roys took third for OSU (4:14.80).
Rondel Sorrillo of Kentucky finished first in the 100m dash, sprinting past the finish line in 10.33 seconds, a Top 20 DI outdoor performance. Mississippi State senior Dwight Mullings was second in 10.38, 24th nationally, with Johnie Drake third in 10.45. Ohio State freshman Matt Terrell ran a collegiate-best time of 10.63, sixth-best in the Big Ten, to finish ninth.
Findlay’s Lyndon Johnson emerged as the champion of a competitive 200m dash, posting a winning time of 21.16. Akron’s Phil Ferguson finished second in 21.21, while Mississippi State sophomore O’Neal Wilder placed third in 21.32. Curtis Leuenberger was top Buckeye finisher, using a season-best time of 21.83 to take 10th.
James O’Brien of the Indiana Invaders Track Club was the first-place finisher in the 800m run with a time of 1:49.05. Kent State’s Destin Heasley was second in 1:49.17, followed by Michigan State junior Stephen Humes (1:50.17). Ohio State redshirt freshman Jared Hall finished 10th in 1:51.75.
Keenan Michael of Michigan State posted the top time in the 400m hurdles, taking home the win in 52.12, seventh-best in the Big Ten this season. Alexander Gill was second (52.33), with Edinboro’s Jason Borst (52.33) and Buckeye Aaron Roberts (52.40) rounding out the Top 4. Roberts’ time is a PR and Top 10 conference performance.
Unattached runner Jeff Porter won the 100m hurdle competition with a time of 13.85 seconds. Akron sophomore Tyshaun Peoples was second (14.14), just ahead of Dane VanBuren (14.20). Ohio State’s top finisher was senior Jonathan Francois, who finished 10th with a time of 14.55.
Purdue swept the Top 3 spots in the high jump, with senior Lance Moe leading the way at 2.13m (6-11.75), followed by senior Adetayo Adesanya and freshman Geoff Davis. OSU junior Ryan Blake finished fifth, clearing the bar at 2.07m (6-9.50).
The discus title went to unattached competitor Eric Bildstein at 54.93m (180-02). Jake Deiters of Southern Illinois was second with a mark of 54.17m (177-09), while Bill Hardcastle of Purdue took third (53.53m/175-07). Matt DeChant set a personal record with his 10th-place toss of 50.57m (165-11).
Jamie Adjetey-Nelson of Windsor Legion Track Club conquered the field in the long jump with a winning leap of 7.68m (25-2.50). Akron’s Collister Fahie finished second at 7.48m (24-6.50), while Miami junior Michael McCarty third at 7.37m (24-2.25). Buckeye freshman Korbin Smith was the 12th-place finisher at 7.03m (23-0.75).
Kurt Roberts, a junior from Ashland, won the shot put competition with an 18.76m (61-6.75) heave. Penn State’s Blake Eaton finished second at 17.99m (59-0.25), the top mark in the Big Ten this season, with Jason Jones of N.C. State taking third (17.92m/58-9.50).
Kentucky junior David Banks was the winner in the triple jump at 15.68m (51-5.50). Sam Okantey settled for runner-up at 15.15m (49-8.50), while the bronze went to Indiana’s Rex Parker (14.98m/49-1.75).