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Nov. 21, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s cross country team returns to action Monday Nov.24, in Waterloo, Iowa to compete in the 2003 NCAA Championships.

The men’s 10-kilometer race begins at 11 a.m. Northern Iowa will play host to the event and will take place at the Irv Warren Golf Course at the University of Northern Iowa.

Competing along with the Buckeyees at the NCAA championships will be, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgetown, Villanova, Minnesota, Oklahoma State, Colorado, Northern Arizona, Iona, Providence, Florida State, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Cal Poly, Stanford, Air Force, Arizona, Brigham Young, Central Michigan, Colorado State, Indiana, Miami (Ohio), Oregon, Portland, Virginia, Washington and William & Mary.

SCOUTING THE MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY TEAM
The Ohio State men’s cross country team heads into Waterloo as the No. 10 ranked team in the country and will be looking to improve on their 20th-place finish from a year ago. The Buckeyes feature some of the nation’s top distance runners.

Leading the Buckeyes talented group this season is junior Aaron Fisher. Fisher has posted several strong performances for the Buckeyes, including a 10th-place finish at the 2003 Pre-National Championships. Fisher also paced the Buckeyes at that the prestigous 2003 Great American Cross Country Festival. Along with Fisher, Ohio State also has received strong performances from Dan Glaz, Brian Olinger and senior co-captain Rob Myers, all of whom have led the Buckeyes to five Top 5 finishes including first-place at the Ohio State Invitational.

MYERS FINISHING UP STRONG
Senior co-captain Rob Myers has come on strong for the Buckeyes in the last two meets by finishing sixth at the 2003 Big Ten Championships to earn First Team All-Big Ten honors. Two weeks later, Myers continued his strong running by finishing fifth at the 2003 Great Lakes Regional Championships.

BUCKEYES RETURN TO NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Buckeyes will make its second-consecutive appearance and third overall to the NCAA championships under the direction of head coach Robert Gary. The men were one of 13 teams that received at-large bids after posting impressive performances at the 2003 Great American Cross Country Festival, Big Ten Championships and NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships.

BIG TEN WELL REPRESENTED AT NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Ohio State Buckeyes are among five teams from the Big Ten who will be competing at the 2003 NCAA Championships Nov. 24. The Big Ten also features three teams in the Top 10 from the latest NCAA Division I Mondo Cross Country Poll.

RECAPPING THE 2002 NCAA CHAMPIONSIHPS
The Ohio State men’s cross country team placed 20th at the 2002 NCAA Championships with 499 points at the Wabash Valley Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind.

The men were led by Derrick Butler who finished the event in 48th-place overall in a time of 30:47.5. Following Butler, was Rob Myers, who finished 95th in a time of 31:18.9.

The Stanford Cardinal scored 47 points and were crowned the 2002 National Champions. The individual champion was Colorado’s Jorge Torres, who finished the 10K course in a time of 29:04.7.

LAST TIME OUT
The Ohio State State men’s cross country teams finished third at the 2003 Great Lakes Regional Cross Country Championships Nov. 15 in Terre Haute, Ind. The event was held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course. The men finished the event with 116 total team points.

During the men’s 10-kilometer event, the Buckeyes placed three runners in the Top 20. Leading the way for the men was senior co-captain Rob Myers. Myers placed fifth overall in a time of 30:44.6 to pace the Buckeyes for the second-consecutive week.

Wisconsin claimed the men’s title with 72 points, edging Michigan by four points, while Notre Dame claimed the women’s title with 43 points.

MYERS EARNS FIRST TEAM ALL-BIG TEN HONOR
With his impressive sixth-place performance at the 2003 Big Ten Championships, senior co-captain Rob Myers was named First Team All-Big Team.

MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY RANKED IN THE POLLS
The Ohio State men’s cross country team is ranked No. 10 in the latest NCAA Mondo Men’s Cross Country poll, released Nov. 18 by the United States Cross Country Coaches Association.

The Buckeyes began the season ranked No. 26 and have been as high as No. 7 in the poll.

NOTING THE MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY TEAM
Rob Myers… continued his successful senior season as he placed fifth in a time of 30:44.6 at the 2003 Great Lakes Regional Championships … placed sixth in a time of 24:24.9 placed 29th at the Great American Cross Country Festival in a time of 26:26.3 … the senior co-captain finished in the Top 10 for the second time this season at the Spartan Invitational finishing the event in a time of 25:01.5 … opened the season with a first-place finish in the Ohio State Invitational, where he finished the 6-kilometer event in a time of 20:56.1.

Aaron Fisher… paced the Buckeyes for the second consecutive week as he posted a time of 23::52.0 to finish the event in 10th-place … during the Great American Cross Country Festival Fisher placed 20th in a time of 26:18.6 to lead the Buckeyes to a third-place finish … posted his second Top 15 at the Spartan Invitational … opened the on a high note at the Ohio State Invitational where he finished sixth overall to help the Buckeyes to a first-place finish.

Dan Glaz… was one of three Buckeyes to finishin the Top 20 … finished 19th in a time of 30:55.8 at the 2003 Great Lakes Regional Championships … placed 12th and the 2003 Big Ten Championships with a time of 24:33.9 … posted a time of 23:43.0 at the 2003 Pre-National Championships to finish the event 67th … helped the Buckeyes to a third-placed finish at the 2003 Great American Cross Country Festival as he placed 21st in a time of 26:18.6 … after an impressive 2002 campaign, Glaz has picked up right were he left off by finishing in the Top 5 in the first two meets of the season … during the Spartan Invitational, Glaz finished fourth in a time of 24:51.7 … Glaz opened the 2003 season with a third-place finish at the Ohio State Invitational.

Sjaan Gerth… was one of three Buckeyes to finish in the Top 20 at the 2003 Great Lakes Regional Championships … while at the event, Gerth placed 14th in a time of 30:53.3 … placed 54th in a time of 24:36.0 to at the Pre-National championships … the senior co-captain placed in the Top 15 in the first two meets of the season … last week at the Spartan Invitational Gerth posted a time of 25:15.2 … in the men’s 8-kilometer race.

Glenn Collins… posted a time of 24:20.0 at the 2003 Pre-National Championships … helped the Buckeyes to a third-place finish at the 2003 Pre-National championships as he clocked a time of 24:56.0 … placed third at the 2003 All-Ohio Invitational as he clocked time of 26:04.8 … has posted two Top 20 performance in his first two meets as a Buckeye … has shown great potential through the early meets of the season … was the only freshman to run under 26 minutes at the Spartan Invitational.

Matt Penza… placed 38th at the Great American Cross Country Festival in a time of 26:35.5 … started the 2003 season on a high note by placing in the Top 15 in the first two meets of the season … last week at the Spartan Invitational, Penza clocked a time of 25:17.6 … Penza opened the 2003 season with a fifth-place finish at the Ohio State Invitational.

MEET COACH GARY
Entering his seventh season as Ohio State men’s cross country coach, Gary has taken the Buckeyes to new heights. During his tenure, Gary has guided the Buckeyes to the NCAA championships twice in the last three years.

Last season served as Gary’s finest season as men’s head coach of the cross country team, as he directed Ohio State to a second-place finish at the Big Ten championships, which marked its highest since 1977.

Following the 2002 cross country season, Gary received the Ohio Cross Country Coach of the Year Award for the third time while at Ohio State.

What sets Gary apart from other coaches is his innate ability to pass along his competitive drive and strong work ethic. While at Ohio State, Gary has coached four Ohio cross country runners of the year, numerous All-Big Ten selections and two All-Americans. Gary also thrives at coaching his athletes on the track.

As men’s distance coach for the track and field team, Gary has coached eight All-Americans, 11 Big Ten champions, one Big Ten Freshman of the Year, two United States junior team members and one United States junior champion in the 10,000-meter run. He has also coached a Big Ten champion in every distance event.

Cross country has not been the only thing on Coach Gary’s mind during his tenure at Ohio State. Academics have played a major role in Gary’s strategy, as he has coached two academic All-America teams (GPA over 3.0) and three academic All-America teams with distinction.