May 29, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State track and field team competed in 90-degree heat in the final day of the 2004 NCAA Mideast Regional Championships Saturday in Baton Rouge, La. Both the Buckeye men’s and women’s teams concluded strong regional showings as each unit scored in the Top 7 at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track. The men, who sat in third place following day one, finished the meet in fourth with 48 team points, while the women, who topped the team standings in day one, fell to seventh with 34 points at the end of Saturday. The Ohio State men also placed fourth in at the 2003 Mideast regional. Overall, Arkansas won the men’s competition with 95 points and LSU claimed the women’s top spot at 111 points.
The second-annual meet serves as a precursor to the NCAA Championships June 9-12 at the University of Texas at Austin. Individual athletes who place in the Top 5 in their respective events automatically gain a bid to the nationals. Overall, Ohio State will send five representatives on the men’s side to nationals in seven events, while the women’s squad advanced three in five events.
Ohio State National Qualifiers
Men-Athlete Event Mark/ Regional Finish
Joel Brown 110m Hurdles 13.39 (wind-aided) #/ REGIONAL CHAMPION
200m Dash 20.64/ fifth
Aaron Fisher 3,000m Steeplechase 8:50.10/ runner-up
Rob Myers 1,500m Run 3:50.35/ runner-up
Brian Olinger 3,000m Steeple 8:54.95/ third
Dan Taylor Hammer 223-8 #/ REGIONAL CHAMPION
Shot Put Did not place/ Fouled out*
Women-Athlete Event Mark
Rosalind Goodwin Long Jump 20-5.75/ third
Triple Jump 43-7.75 #/ third
Keturah Lofton Hammer 204-7#/ runner-up
Amarachi Ukabam Discus 181-9/ third
Shot Put 54-7.50 #/ third
# Ohio State record * gained bid to NCAA meet with No. 2 National ranking (67-8)
For the second straight day Joel Brown (Sr., Baltimore, Md./ Woodlawn), who timed a then career-best 13.45 Friday to earn the No. 1 seed in the 110-meter hurdles finals, bested his own Ohio State record to win the event, blazing to a wind-aided 13.39 time. His mark would have set a Mideast regional record, but the wind-reading of positive 4.6 meters-per-second exceeded the 2.0 mps limit allowable for a regional standard. Brown, who edged Cincinnati’s David Payne (13.42) Saturday, earned his second consecutive berth to the NCAA outdoor meet, where he will seek his second outdoor All-America honor in the last two seasons.
Brown looks ahead to improving upon his regional performance at the NCAA championships.
“I’ve got some work to do for the NCAA’s,” Brown, the regional runner-up in 2003, said. “I hit a lot of hurdles so it was pretty tough. I need to work on my clearance to be ready two weeks from now. Other than that, it was a pretty good race.”
Later in the 200-meter dash, Brown cruised to his second national qualifier, taking fifth place in a time of 20.65, which was just .01 off his season-best mark of 20.64.
Fellow senior Rob Myers (Rushville, Ohio/ Fairfield Union) was the first to take the track Saturday in the final of the men’s 1,500-meter run. In the preliminary heats Friday, Myers recorded the top time in the event at 3:46.51 and earned the No. 1 seed in the finals. In the bell lap of the final, Myers charged down the backstretch and used a strong kick in the straightaway to finish second at 3:50.35. Myers’ runner-up mark earned an automatic bid to his second career outdoor NCAA championships. Myers was an All-American in the 1,500 meters at the 2003 indoor national meet.
Later in the distance events, a trio of Buckeyes competed in the same section of the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. Junior Aaron Fisher (Indianapolis, Ind./ Franklin), who holds the top time in the region at 8:37.33 set April 30 at the Jesse Owens Track Classic in Columbus, led the way as he posted a time of 8:50.10 to take second place and gain the automatic berth to nationals. Fellow junior Brian Olinger (Fresno, Ohio/ Ridgewood), who led several early laps, will join Fisher at the national meet after placing behind his teammate in third at 8:54.95. The pair broke away from the pack with five laps remaining and stayed in the Top 3 the entire race. The third Buckeye in the steeple, Sjaan Gerth (Sr., Belgrave, Ont./ F.E. Medill), placed 19th with a time of 9:27.76.
The throws featured another top mark by sophomore Amarachi Ukabam (Creve Couer, Mo./ Marquette), who captured third place in the discus Friday at a season-best 181-9. In the shot put Saturday, Ukabam reached 54-7.50 (16.65m) for a third- place finish, breaking her own Ohio State record in the event. Ukabam previously established the OSU standard of 53-11.25 May 8. Teammate Keturah Lofton (Jr., Zanesville, Ohio/ Zanesville), who finished runner-up in the hammer with a Big Ten and regional mark of 204-7, placed 24th in the shot at 45-6 (13.88m).
A pair of Buckeyes competed in the triple jump Saturday as Rosalind Goodwin (Jr., Prospect, Ky./ Ballard), a third-place finisher in the long jump Friday, and Shayla Moore (Jr., Jessup, Md./ Long Beach) vied for trips to the national meet. Goodwin assured that she will jump in multiple events at the NCAA’s with a third-place length of 43-7.75 (13.30m) to top her own Ohio State record of 43-2.50 set at the Big Ten championships two weeks ago. Goodwin, who shared the OSU triple jump record with Shandi-Boyd Pleasant, who reached 43-2.50 in 1996, now has claimed Buckeye record in the long and triple jump in both the indoor and outdoor seasons. Moore, who was chasing her second straight bid to nationals after an All-American performance at the 2003 NCAA’s, leapt 41-8 to take 10th place, missing a bid to the NCAA’s.
On the men’s side of the throws, Dan Taylor (Sr., Middlefield, Ohio/ Berkshire), who won the hammer Friday evening with a Big Ten and Mideast record throw of 223-8, failed to make the finals in the discus (162-5/ 49.51m). The reigning Big Ten athlete of the year in 2003 and 2004 will compete in both the hammer and shot put at nationals in two weeks. Taylor won national titles in the shot and weight throw in the 2004 indoor season. In the first event of the day, senior George Hoover (Erie, Pa./ Cathedral Prep) failed to reach a mark in the javelin, fouling on each attempt. Hoover concluded his career as a two-time Big Ten champion and Ohio State record holder in the event.
On the women’s side of the hurdles, junior Molly Logan (Philadelphia, Pa./ Darby), who timed a 13.32 to earn a spot in Lane 7 in the finals, was in fifth-place halfway through the 100-meter hurdles event before clipping the sixth hurdle and placing ninth. Logan, who qualified for nationals in 2003, finished her career with the fifth-best all-time mark in OSU annals at 13.06, set April 17, 2004. In 2003, Logan set the Mideast regional record in the event in the prelims at 13.13. All-American Lolo Jones of LSU bested Logan’s mark to win the event Saturday in a time of 12.83.
2004 NCAA Mideast Regional Championships – Final Team Standings
1. Arkansas 95
2. LSU 70
3. Auburn 51
4. OHIO STATE 48
5. Tennessee 43
T6. Indiana 30
1. LSU 111
2. Tennessee 65
3. Michigan 53
4. Arkansas 51
5. Auburn 47
6. Alabama 35
7. OHIO STATE 34
Complete team and event results for the 2004 NCAA Mideast Regional Championships may be viewed at www.lsusports.com .