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COLUMBUS, Ohio In front of its home town fans, the Ohio State men’s track and field team finished in second-place at the 2009 Big Ten Outdoor Championships Sunday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

The Buckeyes’ 103 points earned them their highest team finish since taking second-place at the 2001 championships. Minnesota completed a clean sweep of both the indoor and outdoor championships with their 130 point total. Michigan finished third with 100 points.

UM held a two point advantage over the Buckeyes headed into the final event, the 4x400m run. Thomas Murdaugh ran a torrid final leg to overtake Illinois All-American Gakologelwang Masheto and give the Buckeyes the victory in a regional qualifying time of 3:09.61. The Illini finished second in 3:09.68, followed by Wisconsin at 3:11.80. Michigan slipped to third in the overall standings by way of their fourth-place finish in 3:12.58.

Ohio State used four near-perfect exchanges to take the title in the 4x100m relay with a regional qualifying time of 40.63, edging Illinois (40.63) down the stretch. Iowa, thanks to Paul Chaney’s anchor leg, finished in third at 40.85.

A personal record throw of 18.58m in the shot put secured a second-place finish for senior Patrick Whalen. The fourth-best mark in school history was bested by Minnesota junior Aaron Studt at 18.75m. Tyler Branch set a PR with a ninth-place throw of 17.32m. The Top 11 qualified for regional finals.  

Murdaugh finished second in the 400m dash with a personal record time of 46.26. The Buckeye freshman battled Illinois senior Gakologelwang Masheto throughout the race, as the two pulled away from the rest of the field over the final 100. Masheto had just enough in the tank to hold of Murdaugh, as the UI senior won the race with a Big Ten season best time of 46.24. Jeremy Orr of Michigan State took third in 46.68 and Buckeye senior Matt Comer was fifth in 47.19.

Curtis Leuenberger took the field by surprise with second-place finish in the 200m dash in a season best time of 21.07. All-American Adam Harris of Michigan was the victor in 20.78, with Masheto of Illinois following his 400m victory with a third-place run of 21.17. Comer secured another fifth-place for the Buckeyes with a time of 21.26, another Ohio State season best.

Jeff See finished third in the 1500m with a time of 3:58.17. The field set a slow pace early on as See ran near the back of the pack for most of the race before making a final kick over the back stretch to slide into the third spot. Wisconsin took one-two with Craig Miller claiming the title in 3:57.57 and Jeff Bolas finishing second in 3:57.72.

Bryan Bunnell and Patrick Filipi weren’t able to repeat their one-two finish in the javelin at 2008 finals, but the duo still put together impressive performances for the Buckeyes. Bunnell placed third with a regional qualifying throw of 61.60m, while Filipi finished sixth at 57.97m. Penn State senior Tanner Evak won the event with a launch of 71.13m.

Michigan’s Harris easily won the 100m hurdles with a regional qualifying time of 10.29, the top time in the conference this season. Ohio State’s Lamaar Thomas finished fourth in 10.65.

Jonathan Francois finished seventh in the 110m hurdles finals with a run of 14.61 Purdue sophomore took first alongside four regional qualifiers thanks to his time of 13.97.

2009 Big Ten Outdoor Championships
Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Columbus, Ohio
Final Standings

1) Minnesota 130
2) Ohio State 103
3) Michigan 100
4) Purdue 81
5) Penn State 80
6) Wisconsin 76
7) Iowa 69
8) Michigan State 62
9) Illinois 60
10) Indiana 58