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COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State men’s track and field team welcomes some of the nation’s top athletes to Columbus this Friday and Saturday, May 1 and 2, for the 24th Jesse Owens Track Classic.

Athletes from all levels, including individuals from more than 35 colleges are scheduled to compete in the two-day event. Colleges will get the action underway on Friday, May 1st at 2:00pm with the Men’s followed by Women’s Hammer. The running events will open Friday with the Women’s Steeplechase at 8:00pm under the lights. Saturday’s events will start at 11:00am. Admission is free.

Live results will be available throughout the invitational by clicking on the above link. 

About the JOTC
Like the “J.O. Classics” of the past, the 2008 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.

Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium
The 10,000-seat Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium arguably is one of the finest multi-sport facilities in the country, hosting track and field and lacrosse in the spring and soccer in the fall.

It serves as a cornerstone to the surrounding Ohio State athletic complex that features the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, softball’s Buckeye Field, the field hockey North Turf Field, Bill Davis Stadium and the 19,200-seat Jerome Schottenstein Center.

JOTC on BTN
The Big Ten Network will broadcast the meet on tape-delay beginning Sunday May 10 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Brent Stover and former Buckeye track and football star Butler By’Note will have the call. Complete programming information can be found at www.bigtennetwork.com.

Scouting the Field
Several of the Big Ten’s top teams will join Ohio State this weekend as a preview for the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, an event the Buckeyes will play host to May 15-17.

Michigan will make their second trip to Columbus this season, having defeated the Buckeyes in the Outdoor “Dual” April 11. The Wolverines are led by All-American Adam Harris, one of the nation’s top sprinters.

No. 39 Penn State joins Ohio State and Michigan, led by 800m star Ryan Foster and shot put specialist Joe Kovacs. Michigan State, Purdue and Illinois round out the Big Ten contingent.

SEC power and 16th-ranked Kentucky and Rashaud Scott make the short drive north to Columbus. Scott is the nation’s top-ranked collegiate in the discus and is 14th in the shot put.

Other teams of note include in-state foes Kent State, Akron and Miami, Big 12 power Oklahoma and local teams Otterbein and Capital.

Last Time Out
Relays were the name of the game for Ohio State Friday and Saturday at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.

The 4x400m relay team of Matt Comer, Stephen Robinson, Brandon Woodard and Thomas Murdaugh led the way for the Buckeyes, finishing second with an NCAA provisional time of 3:07.65, the Big Ten’s second-best time this season.  Baylor, a traditional power in relay events, took the title with a run of 3:05.11.

Baylor again got the best of the Buckeyes in the 4x200m. The Bears won the event in 1:22.01, followed by Texas-El Paso, Texas-Arlington and Ohio State at 1:22.01.

The distance medley saw a seventh place finish from the Buckeyes — Jeff See, Brandon Woodard, Daniel White and Chad Balyo finished in 9:50.37.

See, competing for the first time this outdoor season, also contributed to the Buckeyes’ 10th-place finish in the 4x800m relay. Their time of 7:32.15 bested rivals Iowa and Minnesota, but was not enough to challenge Wisconsin, the first-place finisher at 7:21.10

Cory Leslie, coming off of two first-place finishes last weekend in Louisville, finished third in the finals of the 3000m steeplechase. The freshman surpassed the NCAA regional qualifying mark with his time of 9:05.05, the fifth-best in the Big Ten this season.

Patrick Whalen put together two eighth-place finishes against stiff competition, an NCAA regional qualifying of 17.08m in the shot put and a throw of 51.42m in the discus that just missed NCAA regional standards.