COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State men’s cross country team held their annual year end banquet Tuesday, where they honored the team’s best from 2007.
Senior co-captains John Ealy and Alex Bailey were honored with the David Brown Leadership award. Ealy a former Big Ten freshmen of the year, finished his cross country career at Ohio State by earning second team All-Big Ten honors and first-team All-Regional honors in 2007.
“There was a time in this program that we couldn’t get runners to be seniors,” head coach Robert Gary said. “It is the toughest job you’ll ever love, being a cross country captain for me. I take it very seriously. In fact in some years I don’t even have captains because I don’t feel anyone is ready to do it. These two seniors were up for the challenge.”
Bailey, a fifth-year senior, battled through injuries for a majority of his career at Ohio State. Finally healthy in 2007, Bailey earned second-team All-Big Ten honors in his final cross country season.
“One thing that I have always liked about our team is that it is small and it is select,” Gary said. “Everyone has a role to play and everyone knows where they stand on the team. Everyone is always training for something. Everyone has a clear and concise goal.”
The John Zimmerly Improvement Award went to Jeff See, who posted his best cross country season as a Buckeye in 2007. See was a first-team All-Big performer and a second-team All-Regional runner this season. See also won two individual meet titles and a Big Ten Runner of the Week Award.
This year’s banquet also featured a new team award given to the member of the squad that gives and sacrifices the most for the team. This new award was given to and named after sophomore Taylor Candella.
“Even though I have really been more a track guy, I have has always had a deep affection for cross country,” Gary said. “When you are out there your character really shines through it has nowhere to hide.”
After being left home from the Dellinger meet in Oregon, Candella turned his season around. He had his two best races this season when the team needed him the most at the Big Ten Championships and the Great Lakes Regional Championships. According to Gary “Every time I have asked him to step up and come through he has.”