COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 26th Jesse Owens Track Classic and 75th anniversary celebration of Owens’ historic 1936 Berlin Olympic performance came to a close Sunday afternoon at a surprisingly rain-free Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Despite the Easter holiday and threat of bad weather, fans turned out in droves to celebrate Owens’ legacy and enjoy one of the Midwest’s top collegiate track meets. Host Ohio State entertained its supporters by posting four wins on the day, including a meet-closing victory in the 4x400m relay.
“It was a terrific weekend on and off the track,” Ohio State head coach and Jesse Owens meet director Robert Gary said. “I believe our program and University honored the greatest athlete of all time in superb fashion.”
Take a look at the final day event-by-event:
Shane Crawford ran the fastest time in the Big Ten so far this season (10.37) to claim first place in the 100m dash. Chris Burrows was the runner-up in a time of 10.55, while Buckeyes Blake Callahan and Demoye Bogle placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
Former Michigan Wolverine Jeff Porter won the short hurdles in a time of 13.60. Barron Witherspoon was the top finisher for the Buckeyes, taking fifth in 14.36.
Michigan State’s Yury Ratomski captured the 200m title with a first-place time of 21.34. Shane Crawford of Purdue earned a second-place finish in 21.36, while Callahan won his heat and finished third overall in a PR of 21.37.
Unattached competitor Antione Drakeford won the 400m dash in 47.09, with Omar Longart of the Venezuelan National Team finishing second in 47.53. OSU sophomore Korbin Smith used a season-best time of 47.97 to finish sixth overall. All-American Thomas Murdaugh did not compete in the event due to a minor hamstring injury.
Ohio State placed 1-2 in the 400m hurdles, with sophomore Marcus Brooks (52.41) overtaking Bogle (52.42) at the finish line for first place. Third place went to Lake Erie College’s Ethan Snyder (52.66).
The Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium record fell in the 800m run, as Penn State sophomore Casimir Loxsom’s first-place time of 1:46.45, the third-fastest in Division I this season, bettered the previous mark set by Oregon’s Simon Kimata in 2002 (1:47.25). Akron’s Willie Brown was the runner-up in 1:48.13, followed by Buckeye Dan White (1:48.86), who ran the race unattached.
Ohio State school record holder Cory Leslie lived up to his billing, taking first place in the mile in a time of 4:02.57. Purdue’s Ladd Mercer was second in 4:11.59, just ahead of Buckeye Adam Green (4:12.47).
Kibwe Johnson and A.G. Kruger dueled for first place in the hammer throw, with Johnson capturing the title with a 75.74m (248-6) heave. Kruger settled for second place at 74.98m (246 ft.), well ahead of third-place finisher Matt Pfleger (63.13m/207-1). Max Mays, Tyler Branch, and Thomas Davis finished 4-5-6 for Ohio State.
Unattached competitor Justin Rodhe posted a first-place finish in the shot, using a throw of 19.36m (63-6.25) to secure the win. Penn State All-American Joe Kovacs was the runner-up at 17.40m (57-1).
Junior All-American Michael Hartfield won the long jump with a top 10 national mark of 7.87m (25-10). Nafee Harris of IUPUI was second at 7.57m (24-10), while Stephan MacDonald placed third for the Buckeyes with a 7.34m (24-1) leap.
Purdue’s Geoff Davis set a Jesse Owens stadium record with his first-place height of 2.21m (7-3) in the high jump, a top 10 Division I performance this season. Runner-up honors went to Sean Reilly of Penn State at 2.07m (6-9.50).
First place in the triple jump went to Hanif Johnson of Penn State at 15.09m (49-6.25). Purdue’s Nomando Harris was second with a 14.35m (47-1) effort.
Action in the pole vault was moved to French Field House due to the threat of inclement weather. Purdue’s Chris Toman would take the title at 5.05m (16-6.75), with OSU freshman Cody Marshall clearing the bar at 4.90m for second (16-0.75).
Ohio State, led by anchor Blake Callahan, won the 4x100m in a season-best time of 40.63. Purdue was the runner-up in 41.20, followed by Indianapolis in third (42.14).
Murdaugh, despite nursing a nagging hamstring injury, anchored Ohio State’s 4x400m relay team to a season-best and top 20 national time of 3:07.13, tops in the Big Ten on the season. The Venezuelan National Team finished second in 3:09.53, followed by Kent State (3:09.71).