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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s track and field team heads to the Des Moines, Iowa this Friday and Saturday, April 23-24, for the 101st edition of the Drake Relays.

The relays – “America’s Athletic Classic” – have long been considered one of the top track and field meets in the United States. The nation’s top high school, college and professional talent flock to the campus of Drake University each year for the historic event. This year, more than 7,200 athletes will be in attendance.

Ohio State’s 4x100m relay team will kick off the Buckeyes’ weekend in Iowa with preliminary action Friday at approximately 10:30 a.m. ET. Visit www.godrakebulldogs.com for up-to-date meet information.

Accepted Entries
Letecia Wright – 100m, 100m hurdles
Christina Manning – 100m, 100m hurdles
Christienne Linton – 100m hurdles
Latoya Sanderson – 400m
Nyjah Cousar – 400m
Ashley Caldwell – 800m
Ashley Galbraith – High jump
Kelcey McKinney – Long jump, triple jump
Maggie Mullen – Hammer throw, javelin
4x100m Relay
4x100m Shuttle Hurdle
4x200m Relay
4x400m Relay
1600m Sprint Medley

Wright Named Big Ten Athlete of the Week
Ohio State junior Letecia Wright was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week by the conference office April 21 after an impressive performance at the Mt. SAC Relays last Saturday.

Wright claims her first career outdoor AOW honor after posting a Top 10 time nationally and second-place in the 100-meter hurdles at the relays. The junior set two personal records, including her time of 13.17 in the hurdles, which is the best in the Big Ten this season and seventh-fastest in the NCAA. It is also the fifth-best time in Ohio State history, while her time of 11.85 in the 100-meter dash is eighth-best in the conference this season. The Baltimore native wrapped up her career day by helping the Buckeye 4x400m team to a fourth-place finish and Top 20 Division I time.

Ohio State Checks in at No. 2 in Great Lakes Regional Rankings
OSU checks in at No. 2 in the April 20 edition of the Great Lakes Regional Track and Field by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

With 602.18 team points, the Buckeyes trail only Indiana (671.64) in the region. Rounding out the Top 5 are Big Ten rivals Wisconsin (560.89) and Michigan State (469.67), along with Notre Dame (413.55).

The regional rankings – a new concept for the 2010 season – are designed to measure a team’s overall depth, whereas the national poll places greater emphasis on national championship contenders on a team’s roster. Based on this formula, Ohio State ranks among the Top 15 teams nationally at this point in the season.

Six Buckeyes Represented on National Top 25 Lists
Six members of the Ohio State women’s track and field team find themselves ranked among the Division I Top 25 in individual event areas. A look at where the Buckeyes sit:

Letecia Wright – No. 7 in the 100m hurdles; No. 17 4x400m relay
Christina Manning – No. 10 in 100m hurdles
Maggie Mullen – No. 25 in the javelin
Christienne Linton – No. 17 in the 4x400m relay
Ashley Caldwell – No. 17 in the 4x400m relay
Shaniqua McGinnis – No. 17 in the 4x400m relay

Buckeyes Ink Seven for 2010-2011
Seven talented student-athletes are set to join the Ohio State women’s track and field team for the 2010-2011 school year, head coach Karen Dennis announced March 8. A look at the newest additions to the Buckeye family:

Adenike Pedro // Sprints/Hurdles – Bladensburg, Md. – Elizabeth Seton
Pedro finished third in the long jump last season at the 2009 Nike Outdoor Track & Field Championships. As a senior, Pedro is currently ranked fifth in country in the long jump and is also one of the top rated sprinters in the country in the 55m, 100m and 200m dashes

Chesna Sykes // Sprints/Hurdles – Columbus, Ohio – Bishop Hartley
One of the top ten 100m runners in the country, Sykes is the 2009 OHSAA Division II state champion in both the 100m and 200m dashes. She placed fourth last year at the 2009 USATF World Youth Track and Field Trials and will look to make a quick impact in Columbus.

KaChay Hullum // Sprints/Hurdles – Akron, Ohio – Firestone
A versatile athlete that will be able to cover a wide range of events, Hullum is a two time OHSAA track and field championship qualifier. Ohio State will be look to use Hullum’s talents in everything from the 100m to the 600m. 

Madeline Hurdt // Throws – Boerne, Texas – Boerne
The 2009 Texas state champion in the shot put, Hurdt was also the sixth-place finisher in the discus. Named the 2008 and 2009 Boerne Field Athlete of the Year, Hurdt took home an impressive first-place finish in the shot put at the prestigious Texas Relays this past year.

Meredith Wagner // Distance – Sylvania, Ohio – Northview
Wagner won the 2009 OHSAA Division I cross country championship. She is a two time state qualifier in cross country and 2009 state track qualifier in the 3200m.

Mallory Kreider // Distance – Kingsville, Ohio – Edgewood
Kreider was the 2009 OHSAA Division II indoor and outdoor state champion in the 3200m and is a three-time state qualifier in cross country as well as track and field. 

Angela Williams // Distance – Hudson, Ohio – Hudson
A two-time OHSAA championship qualifier in cross country, Williams is also an accomplished track athlete, having qualified for competition in the 1600m at the 2009 OHSAA DI championships.

Jesse Owens Track Classic Set for April 30
Athletes from all levels, including individuals from more than 35 colleges are scheduled to compete at the 25th Jesse Owens Track Classic Friday April 30th and Saturday, May 1.

Like the “J.O. Classics” of the past, the 2010 edition will serve as a stage for scholastic, collegiate and post-collegiate athletes to perform at their highest levels in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. In its history, the Jesse Owens Track Classic has served as a top venue for many future and former Olympians. Current and past record holders for the Jesse Owens Track Classic include Olympic medalists John Drummond, Michelle Finn, Allen Johnson, Edwin Moses, Dwight Stones and former Buckeyes Diane Dixon, Joe Greene and Butch Reynolds. Others of Olympic fame include Judi Brown, Roger Kingdom, Carl Lewis, Louise Ritter and Calvin Smith, as well as past OSU Olympians Mark Croghan and Stephanie Hightower.

For more information, visit www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.  

Last Time Out
Two meets made last weekend a busy one for Ohio State as the Buckeyes split up for the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational in Louisville, Ky., and the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif.

While Wright led the Scarlet and Gray at Mt. SAC, several other Buckeyes turned in notable performances.

Senior Latoya Sanderson ran a PR of 54.36, sixth-best in the Big Ten this season, to finish second in the open section of the 400m dash

Sarah Foster posted the third-best time in Ohio State outdoor history in the 10000m invitational, finishing 13th in 35:21.17, No. 6 in the Big Ten this season.

All-American Christina Manning finished seventh in the 100m invitational with a time of 11.75, fifth-best in OSU outdoor history and sixth-best in the Big Ten.

Victoria Brink was the top performer for OSU in Louisville — recorded the sixth-best time in Ohio State history (4:35.89) on her way to first-place in the 1500m run. 

First-place in the long jump went to Ohio State freshman Rachael Mack, who set a PR and Top 10 Big Ten mark of 5.86m (19-2.75) to capture the win.

Up Next
Ohio State returns to Columbus April 30 for the 25th Jesse Owens Track Classic at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.