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Feb. 14, 2007

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State opens its home season with the Buckeye Invitational at 10 a.m. Saturday in French Field house.

BUCKEYE INVITATIONAL
When: Saturday 10 a.m.-5:45 p.m.
Venue: French Field House
Meet Information: www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com
Results: www.deltatiming.com

BUCKEYE INVITE FIELD Ohio State (M) Marshall (M) Ashland (W) Ashland (M) Cincinnati (M) Team Good River (M) Washington & Jefferson (M) Washington & Jefferson (W) Kentucky State (W) Shawnee State (M) Elite Athletics (W) BG Track Club (M) Ohio State (W) Team IST (M) All Star Training Club (M) Team Good River (W) Tennessee Tech (W) Ohio U. (W) Ohio U. (M) Kentucky State (M) Marshall (W) Wittenberg (M) Wittenberg (W) Shawnee State (W) District of Columbia (W)

LAST WEEK: SYKES-SABOCK CHALLENGE
Friday – The Buckeyes posted some of the top performances in first-day action. Junior Tony Cole placed second in the 60-meter dash, while the distance team controlled the field in the 5,000 meters.

Cole had the top time in the 60m prelims at 6.79. He lowered that mark to 6.76 to cross the finish line in second in the final. Freshman Chad Balyo led four Buckeyes who claimed the Nos. 2-5 spots in the 5K. Balyo paced a 14:27.37, finishing ahead of teammate John Ealy and his 14:31.42 mark. Alex Bailey (14:32.65) and Glenn Collins (14:33.15) rounded out the Top 5.

Also on the track, sophomore Matt Comer took fourth in the 55-meter hurdles and the distance medley relay team turned in a third-place time of 9:48.51.

Junior Lenny Jatsek led the Buckeyes in the field Friday with a third-place finish in the weight throw. He reached a distance of 65-4 ¼. Saturday – The Buckeyes claimed the team title with a total of 107 points, ahead of host Penn State and Pittsburgh. The Buckeyes took the team lead in the event with a win by Elon Simms in the in the 600-meter run and never looked back.

Simms won the 600m in a meet record time of 1:18.01. Simms’ time also is the best in the Big Ten season. Also in the 600m, freshman Brandon Woodard came in fifth with a time of 1:20. 57. Junior Anthony Cole took second in the 200-meter dash with a 21.54, a best this season and the second-best time in the Big Ten. In the 800-meter run, sophomore Jeff See took fifth with a time of 1:50.83. The Buckeyes sealed the victory with a top time in the 4×400-meter relay in 3:14.97.

In the field, the Buckeyes were lead by sophomore Patrick Whalen’s second place finish in the shot put with a toss of 58-4 1/2. In the high jump, junior Marios Iacovou took fourth with a season best 6-9. Sophomore Brandon Cathcart took fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 49-10.

THROWERS IN NATIONAL RANKS
The Buckeyes weight throw team has built a small dynasty by winning the event at the at the Big Ten indoor championships the last four years. Junior Lenny Jatsek, the reigning Big Ten champion, is looking to make it five. He is second in the Big Ten in the weight throw this season with his toss at the Gladstein Invitational of 65-8 1/4. Jatsek, an All-American last season in the weight throw, is currently tied for 14th in the country this season.

Sophomore Patrick Whalen is the current Big Ten leader in the shot put with his toss at the Kentucky Invitational of 59-5 3/4. Whalen is currently ranked 19th in the nation in the event.

BUCKEYES IN THE BIG TEN RANKS
Heading into the Big Ten championships next week, the Buckeyes have several athletes in the Top 5 of their events in the league this season. In the 60-meter dash, 2004 Big Ten Indoor freshmen of the year Anthony Cole currently is fourth with a time of 6.76. Cole also is third in the Big Ten in the 200-meter dash with his time of 21.54 at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge. Elon Simms is currently fourth in the 800-meter run with his 1:50.86 effort at the Akron Invitational. Simms also leads in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:18.01 at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge.

Sophomore Jeff See leads the Big Ten in the mile with a time of 4:00.52 at Akron. His time also is the seventh-best in the nation and the top time in the country by an underclassman. See also is third in the Big Ten in the 800m with a time of 1:50.83 at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge. The Buckeye’s are the defending Big Ten Champions in the distance medley relay and they are currently second in the Big Ten with a time of 9:48.61.

In the field events, sophomore Brandon Cathcart has the fourth best triple jump in the conference with his NCAA provisional mark of 51- 3/4, which also is the second best triple jump by an underclassmen in the Big Ten. Cathcart’s best also rates at No. 18 in the country. Junior Patrick Whalen is the current leader in the Big Ten in the shot put with his NCAA provisional mark of 59-5 3/4 at the Kentucky Invitational. His best heave of the season ranks in at No. 19 nationally. The defending Big Ten champion in the weight throw, Lenny Jatsek currently has the second-best toss in the conference with a mark of 65-8 1/4 at the Gladstein Invite. His mark is tied for the 14th-best weight throw in the country. Fellow junior Dave Ebersole is fourth in the Big Ten with a toss of 62-5.

SENSATIONAL SOPHOMORES
The Buckeyes have been led this season by a number of talented sophomores. Jeff See, a member of the Big Ten champion distance medley relay team last season, is the current Big Ten leader in the mile. See’s time of 4:00.52 is also the seventh best mile time in the country this season. Brandon Cathcart is tied for 18th in the country in the triple jump with a mark of 51-3 3/4. This mark is fourth in the Big Ten and it is the second best in the Big Ten by an underclassman. Patrick Whalen is the Big Ten leader in the shot put with his toss of 59-5 3/4 at the Kentucky Invitational. Whalen is 19th in the country in the event Elon Simms is the Big Ten leader in the 600- meter run with his time of 1:18.01 at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge.

LEADING THE WAY
At the Akron Invitational sophomore Jeff See ran a 4:00.52 mile, the second best in Ohio State history. For the early part of the race, volunteer coach and former Buckeye All-American Rob Myers ran “rabbit” for See before droping out. Buckeye fans may remember Myers as the 2001 Big Ten Champion at 1,500-meters (indoor and outdoor), but Myers is also the Ohio State record holder in the mile at 3:58.64.

Myers is now in his second season with the Buckeyes as a volunteer coach and seems to be training See to one day take his place as the school record holder in the mile.

THROW OUT THE RECORDS
The 2001 season was the last time the Big Ten champion in the weight throw was not from Ohio State. The Buckeyes have dominated the event the last four season and continue to this year. Lenny Jatsek leads the Big Ten in the event this year, with a throw of 65-8 1/4, as he looks to defend his title for last year. Jatsek is the third different Buckeye to win the Big Ten title in the event since 2001 (2002 championships cancelled, Dan Taylor 2003-04, Bryan Duby 2005). The throwers have also rewritten the Ohio State record books during this run of Big Ten titles. The Top 7 spots in Ohio State history in the weight throw are all held by Jatsek, Talyor and Duby. With Taylor hold the school record (78-9-1/2) and the second (73-4) and fifth (67-6 1/4) spots in the record books. Duby holds the fourth spot with a throw of 68-5 1/2. Current Buckeye Jatsek holds the third (72-5 3/4) sixth (67-5 1/2) and seventh (65-8) spots in the record book the seventh which he set this season.

FRESHMEN MAKING A MARK
The Buckeyes have had a number of young runners entering the fold this season and making solid contributions. Chad Balyo is currently ranked seventh in the Big Ten this season in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 8:15.08 and is second among all freshmen. Balyo is also ranked seventh in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 14:35.06 and is third among freshman. Brandon Woodard is ranked 16th in the Big Ten this season in the 400-meter run with a time of 48.85 and is the top ranked freshman. Woodard is also fourth in the conference among freshmen in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:54.55. Stephen Robinson is ranked 19th in the Big Ten and second among freshmen in the conference in the 400-meter run with a time of 48.92.

HURDLING INTO HISTORY
Sophomore Matt Comer is leading the team in the hurdles for the second year in a row. Comer’s time of 8.20 at the Gladstein Invitational is fourth best in Ohio State history. Comer continues to build on his strong finish to his freshman season, in which he was named second team All-Big Ten after a second place finish at the 2006 Big Ten Outdoor Championships in the 400-meter high hurdles.

Brian Olinger RETURNS TO COACH
Brian Olinger will enter his first season as a volunteer coach for the Ohio State men’s track team in the 2006-07 season. Olinger spent the last four years as a leader on both the Ohio State cross country and track and field teams. Olinger was a five-time All-American for the Buckeyes and, in his senior year, finished fifth at the 2006 NCAA Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

In the summer of 2005, Olinger became just the second American collegiate athlete to break the 8:20 mark in the 3,000-meter steeplechase July 23 at the KBC Night of Athletics in Heusden, Belgium. Olinger took 11th-place in the international field with a personal-best 8:19.56 and was just the third sub-8:20 timed by an American in 2005. The mark also ranks second in the Ohio State and Big Ten record books behind three-time Olympian and former Buckeye Mark Croghan (1988-91), who paced an 8:10.69 during the 1991 season.

Olinger was a three-time All-American in track and field and a two time All-American in cross country. He holds school records in the indoor 5,000-meters and the outdoor 10,000-meters. Olinger also is fourth in the Ohio State record book in the 3,000-meters. He also placed 12th in the 2004 NCAA Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of 9:06.60. Olinger also helped the Buckeyes to a seventh-place effort in the distance medley championships of America at the Penn Relays in 2004 in a time of 9:48.95.

Olinger was named Great Lakes Cross Country Runner of the Year in 2005 after he won the NCAA regional race in a time of 30:51. Olinger finished the 2005 cross country season with an 11th-place standing at the NCAA championships. Olinger was named to the All-Big Ten team in both 2004 and 2005.

DANDY DOZEN
Along with their weekly track and field rankings trackwire.com also releases the student-athletes they believe to be the Top 12 in each event in the country. The Buckeyes had two athletes in the Dandy Dozen this week. Jeff See is ranked as the seventh best miler in the country following his win at the Akron Invitational. Lenny Jatsek is ranked tenth in the country in the weight throw and in the rankings for the third week in a row. Jatsek has also appeared in the Top 12 of the weight throw rankings in three of the four poles this season.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes will head to Iowa City, Iowa for the Big Ten Championship meet Feb. 25-26.