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May 2, 2005

Columbus, Ohio – The 2005 outdoor track and field season reaches its high point in May for the Ohio State Buckeyes. For two consecutive weeks, OSU’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium plays host to a pair of championship events.

On May 6-7, student-athletes from all levels will converge at JOMS for the Jesse Owens Track Classic, which celebrates its 20th season in 2005. Nearly 100 high school squads will participate in scholastic competition during both days of the meet before giving way to top-notch collegiate and professional fields in the evening portion of the schedule each night.

In its history, the Jesse Owens Track Classic has served as a stage 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 and former Buckeyes Diane Dixon, Joe Greene and Butch Reynolds.

Whether at the high-school, collegiate or professional levels, all competitors in each running of the Jesse Owens Track Classic experience the true sense of the spirit and virtue of the four-time gold-medal winning hero.

“The Jesse Owens Classic is named for perhaps the finest Olympian of all-time,” Robert Gary, Ohio State cross country head coach and two-time Olympian in the steeplechase, said. “Matched with the great facility we have at Ohio State, the (Jesse Owens) Classic has been and will be one of the premier events in the country for years to come. Incorporating the high school events has helped the Classic reach top competition at several levels.”

From May 13-15, the best student-athletes in the collegiate circles travel to Columbus for the Big Ten men’s and women’s outdoor championships.

Year-in and year-out, the league meet showcases top teams and individuals on a national scale. Last season, the Ohio State men’s team tied for fourth in the nation ahead of Wisconsin, which placed in the Top 10 nationally after winning the Big Ten meet. This year, the Badger men’s team is joined by Indiana and Michigan in the Trackshark.com Top 10, while the Wolverine women also rate in the Top 10. “We are pleased to welcome the Big Ten (championships) this season,” Russ Rogers, Ohio State head coach, said. “Jesse Owens (Memorial Stadium) is a great facility. It was built to host events like the Big Ten championships, NCAA regional meets and hopefully the nationals. I think the other Big Ten schools will be impressed with the event.”

Ticket information for the 2005 Big Ten Championships can be accessed by calling 1-800-GO-BUCKS or by visiting www.hangonsloopy.com. The Jesse Owens Track Classic is free.