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Feb. 7, 2007

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State heads to Penn State University on Friday and Saturday for the Sykes-Sabock Challenge inside the Ashenfelter Multi-Sport Facility in State College, Pa.

SYKES-SABOCK CHALLENGE
Days: Friday 5 p.m.- 10 p.m, Saturday All Day.
Venue: Ashenfelter Multi-Sport Facility
Meet Information: www.gopsusports.com

LAST WEEK: AKRON INVITATIONAL
Ohio State finished the final day of competition at the Akron Invitational. The Buckeyes were led by sophomore Jeff See and his winning time in the mile run. Fellow sophomore Brandon Cathcart won the triple jump, while sophomore Patrick Whalen added a first-place finish in the shot put.

See won the mile (gold division) in a personal-best time of 4:00.52, the second-best in Ohio State history. His mile mark is an NCAA provisional qualifier and is ranked the third best in the country this season. See’s time also is the best time in the country this year for an underclassman.

“The highlight of the meet was probably Jeff See almost breaking 4:00 in the mile. He has the fastest time in the Big Ten and a Top 3 time in the NCAA right now,” head coach Robert Gary said. “I also thought our 4 x 4 looked very strong running up front and alone most of the way. Our multi guys got one under their belts and Tony Cole continues to lead us in the short sprints.”

In the field, Cathcart won the triple jump in the gold division with an NCAA provisional qualifying mark or 51 feet, 0 ¼ inches. His mark is the 12th-best in the country this season and is the second-best in the Big Ten. Whalen took the title in the shot (gold division) with a throw of 57-3. Lenny Jatsek came in fourth in the gold division weight throw with a toss of 62-8 3/4.

Also on the track, Anthony Cole came in second in the 60-meter dash in a season best time of 6.78. His mark is the third-best in the Big Ten this year. Elon Simms came in fourth in the 800-meter run (1:53.39) in the gold division and was second among attached finishers.

The best time for a Buckeye in the 400m on the day was turned in by freshmen Stephen Robinson in a time of 48.92 en route to a fifth-place finish in the gold division race.

The Buckeyes also set a season best time in the 4×400-meter relay (Elon Simms, Matt Comer, Adam Wilhelm and Brandon Woodward) in a time of 3:13.65.

SEEING IS BELIEVING
In only his second season, sophomore Jeff See is making a name for himself as one of best runners in Ohio State history. See already has a Big Ten championship to his credit as a member of the distance medley relay team last year.

See also earned the fourth best time in Ohio State history in the mile last year in a time of 4:03.62. Along with second best mark in Ohio State history in the 1,500-meter run (3:46.83).

This season See has picked up right where he left off last year. At the Akron Invitational he ran a 4:00.52 mile, the second best in Ohio State history.

This time also landed See in the national rankings. See is ranked third in the country this season in the mile with his time at Akron.

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 leads 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 11th 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 16th in the nation in the event.

BUCKEYES IN THE BIG TEN RANKS
The Buckeyes have several athletes in the Top 5 of their events in the Big Ten this season.

In the 60-meter dash, 2004 Big Ten Indoor freshmen of the year Anthony Cole is currently third with a time of 6.78. Cole also is third in the Big Ten in the 200-meter dash with his time of 21.61 at the Kent State Dual.

Elon Simms is currently the leader in the 800-meter run with his 1:50.86 effort at the Akron Invitational. Simms is also fifth in 600-meter run with a time of 1:18.87 at the Gladstein Invite.

Sophomore Jeff See is fifth in the Big Ten in the 3,000 with his time of 8:12.85 at the Kentucky Invitational. See also leads the Big Ten in the mile with a time of 4:00.52 at Akron. This time also is the thrid in the nation.

The Buckeye’s 4×400-meter relay team of Simms, Matt Comer, Gerald Griffin and Brandon Woodard currently third the Big Ten with a time of 3:13.65 at the Akron Invitational.

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. This is also the second best triple jump by an underclassmen in the Big Ten.

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.

The current Big Ten champion in the weight throw, Lenny Jatsek currently has the best toss in the conference with a mark of 65-8 1/4 at the Gladstein Invite. This mark is tied for the ninth 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 third best mile time in the country this season.

Brandon Cathcart is tied for ninth 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 16th in the country in the event

Elon Simms is the Big Ten leader in the 800- meter run with his time of 1:50.86 at the Akron Invitational. Simms is the only underclassman ranked in the Top 8 in the Big Ten in the event.

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
2001 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 14th 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 17th 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 hurldes 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 second 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.

2007 SEASON OUTLOOK
Robert Gary, entering his first season as Ohio State men’s track and field head coach, welcomes back several talented veterans who look to improve on their standing on both the Big Ten and national scale. Lenny Jatsek, a junior, is back after claiming Ohio State’s fourth-consecutive conference crown in the weight throw. He added his first All-America honor in the same event at indoor nationals. Anthony Cole, who was named 2005 Big Ten Indoor Freshman of the Year after winning the league’s 60-meter event, also returns for his junior campaign and is expected to vie for several conference sprint titles. As a specialist in the 400 meters, senior Gerald Griffin will be viewed as a leader in the longer sprint events.

Juniors Marios Iacouvo and John Ealy also will be looked upon for leadership. Each has experienced success at the conference and national levels. Iacouvo was an All-American high jumper as a freshman in 2005. Ealy’s resume extends to cross country, where he was 2004 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, and is the Buckeyes’ top 5,000-meter runner heading into the track season.

Several Buckeyes enjoyed solid freshman seasons in 2006 and will seek to improve upon their marks in 2007. Freshman Jeff See helped Ohio State claim the Big Ten title in the distance medley relay last season and should make a run at the Buckeye record in the mile. He currently owns the third-best time in the indoor mile at Ohio State.

Brandon Cathcart and Matt Comer each rated among the best in the league in their events last season. Cathcart should challenge for the triple jump crown after topping the 50-foot mark his first season, while Comer will look to improve upon a runner-up time in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2006 Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Cathcart also will contribute to the relay teams. Elon Simms also enters his sophomore season after posting Ohio State’s top times in the 600m and 800m events last year.

Junior Pat Whalen joins Jatsek in the throws area and will vie for the league’s top spot in the shot put. Junior Dave Ebersole has improved each season for the Buckeyes and is expected to score in the weight and hammer at the Big Ten meets.

Scott Hudepohl and Pat Woods return in the multi-events as well. Hudepohl has scored at several Big Ten meets in his career. He also looks to contribute in the long jump.

Gary is excited at the opportunity to guide Ohio State back into a contender’s spot in the Big Ten.

“Being a part of the outstanding track and field tradition at Ohio State is an honor,” Gary said. “We will create a culture for our student-athletes to achieve their academic and athletic goals. I envision a balanced team working toward a Big Ten championship.”

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes will host their first meet of the season, the Buckeye Invitational Feb. 17 in French Field House. The meet will act as a final tune up for the Big Ten Championships Feb. 25-26 at Iowa.