GREENSBORO, N.C. – Thomas Murdaugh, Jeff See and Elon Simms helped the Ohio State men’s track and field team to a fast start Thursday at the 2010 NCAA East Regional Preliminaries, qualifying for semifinal action in their respective events.
All-American Murdaugh finished 13th overall in the 400m dash and third in his heat in a time of 46.15 to advance to Friday’s semi, where the Top 12 times will advance to the NCAA championships in Eugene, Ore., next month. Mississippi State’s Tavaris Tate posted the day’s best time (45.07), placing him almost a half second above the rest of the field.
Jeff See, a four-time All-American, advanced on in his top race, the 1500m run. See finished first in his heat in a time of 3:51.18, and, despite finishing 25th overall, advanced to the semi-finals on Friday by way of the Top 3 finish in his section. Felix Kiboiywo of Auburn ran the fastest prelim time (3:47.83) making him a favorite in Friday’s semifinal race, where the Top 12 will move on to the NCAA finals.
Simms, competing in the 400m hurdles, finished second in his heat and 11th overall in a time of 51.34. Like Murdaugh and See, the senior will need to place in the Top 12 in order to qualify for the national championships in Eugene. South Carolina junior Johnny Dutch is at the top of the pack after day one with a time of 49.83. OSU junior Aaron Roberts finished 38th overall (53.32).
Ohio State’s hammer throw tandem of Max Mays and Thomas Davis failed to advance to the national finals – Mays finished 22nd with a toss of 58.02m (190-4), while Davis took 38th at 54.11m (177-6). Alexander Ziegler of Virginia Tech finished in first-place with a throw of 71.35m (234-1) as the Top 12 advanced to the national championships.
Daniel White closed his junior campaign with a 28th-place finish in the 800m run preliminaries (1:50.15). Michael Rutt of Connecticut crossed the finish line in 1:48.40 to take first headed into the semifinals.
Freshman Korbin Smith closed his first year of individual competition with the Buckeyes after a 35th-place finish in the long jump (7.19m/23-7.25). Florida sophomore Christian Taylor used a 7.94m (26-0.75) leap to lead the Top 12 athletes advancing on to the NCAA finals. Smith will return to the track on Saturday when he teams with Murdaugh, Simms and Brandon Woodard in the 4x400m relay.
Murdaugh will be the first Buckeye on the track tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. ET when he looks to advance to his third NCAA championship in the 400m semifinals.