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Feb. 10, 2004

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – After two home meets Jan. 24 and 31 and a road meet at Indiana last week, the Ohio State men’s and women’s track and field teams head west to State College, Pa. and Penn State University for the 2004 Sykes/Sabock Challenge Friday and Saturday at the Ashenfelter Indoor Track and Field Complex.

LAST WEEK:NUMEROUS RECORDS FALL AT INDIANA INVITATIONAL
Ohio State completed the final day of competition at the Indiana Invite in record-setting fashion as collegiate, venue and Ohio State standards fell in the field events, while several other Buckeyes turned in season-best times Saturday at IU’s Gladstien Field House in Bloomington, Ind.

Ohio State five-time All-American Dan Taylor eclipsed his own American collegiate record in the weight throw with a winning mark of 76-feet – 3-inches (76-3) as he topped his previous figure of 76-2.25, set Jan. 10 in the season-opening Buckeye Invitational. Taylor added his 10th first-place finish in as many throw events this season with a winning heave of 62-1.25 in the shot put. The mark in the weight also served as a Gladstien Field House record and bettered Taylor’s Ohio State standard in the event. Taylor scored automatic qualifiers for the 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships in both events Saturday.

A venue mark also fell in the women’s long jump as Ohio State junior Rosalind Goodwin continued her climb up the national list with a winning leap of 20-6.25 to set a Gladstien Field House record, while breaking the Ohio State all-time record in the event previously held by Theresa Diggs, who owned the mark for more than 16 years at 20-4.25. The effort served as Goodwin’s fourth straight first-place score in the long jump as she set a personal best for the third week in a row. Goodwin’s measure served as a provisional qualified to the NCAA’s.

Another record fell in the field events as senior pole vaulter Becky Heintz, who combined with teammate Robyn Mroz to break the program record in the Ohio State Invite last week with an 11-11.75, became the first Buckeye to clear 12-feet in the women’s pole vault with a 12-1.50 to claim second place and gain the OSU record. Fellow vaulter, Seth MacCarter set a personal best to place third on the men’s side with a 16-4.75 to provisionally qualify for the NCAA’s.

A career best also was set in the women’s 5,000 meters as senior Lyndsi Gay proved to be the class of the field, finishing in a time of 16:47.75. Ohio State also found success in the middle distance events as Buckeye junior John Morris clocked a 1:20.71 to top the men’s 600-meter run, while Tamecia Brown set a season best 1:34.18 to place third in the women’s 600m. In addition, sophomore Joe Gourley turned in a 1:52.84 to take third in the men’s 800m.

The Buckeyes scored one of the top marks in the throw events on the women’s side as well as junior Shelaine Larson provisionally qualified for the NCAA’s with a first-place effort of 50-0.50 in the shot put, while also placing second in the weight throw with a heave of 59-4.25. Katy Houser added a third-place effort in the weight and Alexis McCall took fourth in the shot put. On the men’s end, senior Bryan Duby took third in the weight with a season-best 60-0.25.

Jumpers Shayla Moore and Billy Mills helped the Buckeyes with Top 3 finishes in the women’s triple jump (40-1.50) and men’s high jump (6-9), respectively, while senior Brandi Hogan clocked a season best 8.54 to add another Top 3 in the women’s 60-meter hurdles.

The relay teams faired well as the Buckeyes scored fourth in the men’s 4x400m, tying a season best with a 3:19.46. The women claimed third in a time of 3:50.75.

TAYLOR BREAKS OWN AMERICAN COLLEGIATE RECORD IN WEIGHT AT IU
Dan Taylor eclipsed his own American collegiate record in the weight throw with a winning mark of 76-feet – 3-inches (76-3) as he topped his previous figure of 76-2.25, set Jan. 10 in the season-opening Buckeye Invitational. Taylor added his 10th first-place finish in as many throw events this season with a winning heave of 62-1.25 in the shot put. The mark in the weight also served as a Gladstien Field House record and bettered Taylor’s Ohio State standard in the event.

GOODWIN ON A ROLL, PERSONAL BEST AT INDIANA INVITATIONAL SETS OHIO STATE RECORD IN LONG JUMP
Ohio State junior long jumper Rosalind Goodwin won her fourth straight long jump competition Saturday at the Indiana Inviite. In doing so, Goodwin posted a provisional qualifier in the event for the third week in a row and established an Ohio State record in the event with her leap of 20-6.25.

Goodwin, who has turned in NCAA provisional qualifying performances in each of the last two triple jump competitions, has set a personal best in the long jump the last three meets.

HEINTZ BECOMES FIRST BUCKEYE WOMAN TO BREAK 12 FEET IN POLE VAULT
Senior Becky Heintz and sophomore Robyn Mroz each posted the top mark in the pole vault event at the OSU Invitational Jan. 31 with an Ohio State all-time height of 11-11.75.

The mark stood for just one week as Heintz became the first Buckeye to clear 12-feet in the women’s pole vault, setting a record with a height of 12-1.50 to place second at the Indiana Invite.

Heintz and Mroz snapped the previous mark held by Mroz, who cleared 11-8 Feb. 14, 2003.

Ironically, both Heintz and Mroz share the outdoor pole vault standard at Ohio State as well at the same height of 11-11.75.

BROWN, LOGAN AND MYERS COMPETING WELL IN PREP FOR OUTDOOR SEASON
Ohio State senior Rob Myers, who has exhausted his indoor eligibility and will join the Buckeyes as a scoring competitor in the outdoor season, clocked the third-best time run by an American this season in the men’s mile with a time of 4:00.17, Feb. 6 at the Indiana Invitational to win the event as an unattached competitor.

Myers’ time in the mile qualifies him for the 2004 US Indoor Championships where he plans to run his second race of the indoor season in preparation for the outdoor season.

Two fellow seniors who are also have used their eligibilty in indoor season are competing well in the hurdles events as unattached competitors. OSU seniors Joel Brown, an All-American in both the indoor and outdoor sessions in 2003, and Molly Logan have turned in top times in the men’s and women’s 60-meter hurdles in preparation for their return to the Buckeye squad in the outdoor season.

Brown most recently turned in a 7.81 to claim second at the Indiana Invitational, while Logan topped the field in the same event on the women’s side with a time of 8.30. Logan also clocked an 8.30 to win the event at the Ohio State Invite Jan. 31. Brown also claimed first at the OSU Invite in a time of 7.92 and added a 7.64 in the 55-meter hurdles in the indoor opener to win first place at the Buckeye Invite Jan. 10.

TAYLOR AND UKABAM SCORE BACK-TO-BACK BIG TEN ATHLETES OF THE WEEK JAN. 20 AND 27
Ohio State throwers Dan Taylor and Amarachi Ukabam not only have dominated their competition in the throw events this season, winning 14 of the 16 throw competitions, but the tandem has nearly owned the Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors in 2004 before recipients from other Big Ten institutions claimed the honors Feb. 3.

Taylor garnered his third award in as many weeks Jan. 27 after first-place performances in both the shot put (65-0.75) and weight throw (73-9.75) at the Indiana-Purdue-Ohio State Tri-Meet with NCAA indoor championship automatic qualifying marks in both events.

Ukabam scored her second honor in as many weeks with first placers in the weight and shot put as well. Ukabam’s mark in the weight (65-10.50) served as an automatic national qualifier, while her effort in the shot put (52-8.25) provisionally qualified for the NCAA’s.

Taylor’s weekly honor is his 10th in the last two seasons. The award is the third won by Ukabam in her career.

Last week, the pair claimed the men’s and women’s Big Ten Indoor Athlete of the Week following first-place performances in both the weight throw and shot put at the Kentucky Invitational. Taylor, who garnered the weekly award after setting an American collegiate record in the weight throw in the season-opener Jan. 10, set a Kentucky venue record in the shot put and took first in the weight. On the women’s side, Amarachi Ukabam automatically qualified for the 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships with her effort in the weight throw, while also posting the top mark in the shot put.

Taylor opened the event at UK with an effort of 73-7.25 to capture first in the weight and completed the sweep with a Nutter Field House all-time shot put mark of 66-5.25. Both of Taylor’s efforts served as automatic qualifiers to the NCAA championships.

Ukabam, the reigning conference freshman of the year, recorded an NCAA Indoor championships automatic qualifier in the weight with a heave of 65-7.75. Her 51-4.25 first-place throw in the shot put also served as a provisional qualifier.

BUCKEYE THROWERS SUFFER FIRST SECOND-PLACE FINISH THIS SEASON, NOW WON 18-OF-20 EVENTS
The Ohio State throw squad has competed in 20 total events in the early going in 2004 and has walked away from either the shot put or weight throw with a first-place standing on 18 occasions.

Taylor has fueled the men’s side with record-shattering first-place finishes in both the weight and shot put in the five meets this season, while Keturah Lofton and Ukabam have combined to take top honors in each throw event this season. Ukabam has won the shot put at the Buckeye and Kentucky Invites, the Tri-meet, the Ohio State Invite and was first in the weight at UK and in the tri-meet, while Lofton scored first place in the weight at the Buckeye and Ohio State Invites. Buckeye junior Shelaine Larson placed second in both the weight and shot put at the Indiana Invite Feb. 7.

TAYLOR AND UKABAM SCORE BACK-TO-BACK BIG TEN ATHLETES OF THE WEEK JAN. 20 AND 27
Ohio State throwers Dan Taylor and Amarachi Ukabam not only have dominated their competition in the throw events this season, winning 14 of the 16 throw competitions, but the tandem has nearly owned the Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors in 2004 before recipients from other Big Ten institutions claimed the honors Feb. 3.

Taylor garnered his third award in as many weeks Jan. 27 after first-place performances in both the shot put (65-0.75) and weight throw (73-9.75) at the Indiana-Purdue-Ohio State Tri-Meet with NCAA indoor championship automatic qualifying marks in both events.

Ukabam scored her second honor in as many weeks with first placers in the weight and shot put as well. Ukabam’s mark in the weight (65-10.50) served as an automatic national qualifier, while her effort in the shot put (52-8.25) provisionally qualified for the NCAA’s.

Taylor’s weekly honor is his 10th in the last two seasons. The award is the third won by Ukabam in her career.

Last week, the pair claimed the men’s and women’s Big Ten Indoor Athlete of the Week following first-place performances in both the weight throw and shot put at the Kentucky Invitational. Taylor, who garnered the weekly award after setting an American collegiate record in the weight throw in the season-opener Jan. 10, set a Kentucky venue record in the shot put and took first in the weight. On the women’s side, Amarachi Ukabam automatically qualified for the 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships with her effort in the weight throw, while also posting the top mark in the shot put.

Taylor opened the event at UK with an effort of 73-7.25 to capture first in the weight and completed the sweep with a Nutter Field House all-time shot put mark of 66-5.25. Both of Taylor’s efforts served as automatic qualifiers to the NCAA championships.

Ukabam, the reigning conference freshman of the year, recorded an NCAA Indoor championships automatic qualifier in the weight with a heave of 65-7.75. Her 51-4.25 first-place throw in the shot put also served as a provisional qualifier.

TAYLOR UPS FRENCH FIELD HOUSE WIN STREAK TO NINE AND 11-OF-12
With his victories in each of the weight throw and shot put competitions at the Buckeye Invite, the IU-PU-OSU Tri-meet and the Ohio State Invite, Taylor claimed his ninth straight crown and 11th in 12 total events at French Field House during the past two seasons.

Additionally, Taylor, who scored first place in 12 of 14 indoor throw events last season prior to the NCAA Championships, now has claimed top honors in 18 of the last 20 regular season throw events since the beginning of the 2003 season.

HARRIS CONTINUES TO ROLL IN FIRST SEASON
Freshman Jenna Harris has established herself as the squad’s top sprinter on the women’s side as she has posted top times for OSU in the 60m dash and the 200m dash in each of the last three meets. During the UK Invite, Harris posted times of 7.51 and 24.51 to win and added first-place times in both the IU-PU-OSU Tri-Meet and the Ohio State Invite.

Most recently, Harris tallied two first-place times at the Indiana-Purdue-OSU Tri-meet with a 7.52 in the 60m and a 24.90 in the 200m and at the OSU Invite with times of 7.55 in the 60m and 25.15 in the 200m.

ANOTHER WEEK, ANOTHER RECORD
Prior to his American collegiate record in the weight at the Indiana Invite, Ohio State Taylor went three weeks without setting a record in a throw event, the longest “drought” since his sophomore season.

In the competition Jan. 17, senior thrower Dan Taylor once again set a record at the Kentucky Invitational. The senior, who already broke the American collegiate record in the weight throw in the opening event this season, established a Nutter Field House standard at the event Saturday with a throw of 66-5.25 in the shot put.

BUCKEYE MEN RANKED No. 9 BY TRACKWIRE.COM
The Ohio State men’s team was recognized as the No. 9 team in the country by the latest Trackwire.com poll. The Buckeyes are one of six Big Ten squads in the Top 25 as Minnesota is rated the highest at No. 5, with Wisconsin ranked in a tie for 17th. Michigan, OSU, Purdue and Indiana fall in between the Golden Gophers and Badgers. Arkansas in ranked No. 1. Fellow Southeastern teams – Auburn and LSU – completed the Top 3.

TAYLOR SETS AMERICAN COLLEGIATE RECORD AT BUCKEYE INVITATIONAL
Five-time All-American Dan Taylor kicked off the 2004 season in grand fashion as the reigning Big Ten indoor and outdoor athlete of the year established an American collegiate record in the weight throw with a heave of 76-2.25 (23.22 meters), surpassing the previous mark of 74-8.5 held by Kevin Mannon of Wyoming.

Taylor’s performance eclipsed his previous Big Ten and Ohio State weight throw records set March 3, 2003 at 22.35 meters, while falling shy of the NCAA record 24.02-meter mark set by Libor Charfreitag – a native of Slovakia – of SMU March 9, 2001.

Taylor also scored a first-place standing in the shot put with a throw of 66-6.5. His combined efforts in the weight throw and shot put Saturday set the all-time best performance in the two events in the history of indoor track and field. Taylor, whose career-best in the shot put is 69-11, now holds the all-time combined career record between the two events.

TAYLOR DEEMED USATF MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK – JAN. 12
Taylor was named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after setting an American collegiate record in the weight throw Saturday at the Buckeye Invitational in Columbus, Ohio.

Taylor also was named USATF athlete of the week March 16, 2003 after claiming Top 3 marks in both the weight and shot put at the 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.

TAYLOR AND UKABAM REPRESENT OHIO STATE AT PAN AM GAMES
Throwers Dan Taylor, a senior, and sophomore Amarchi Ukabam celebrated their Big Ten championship seasons last year as selections to the 2004 United States Pan American Games members.

Taylor competed in the senior games in the Dominican Republic, while Ukabam scored a junior championship in the discus in Barbados.

OSU’S WARNER NAMED TO U.S. WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS STAFF
Jack Warner, Ohio State track and field assistant coach, was officially named to the 2005 United States World Championships coaching staff in December. Warner will serve as the sprints and hurdles coach at the event held in Helsinki, Finland. Dates for the championships are to be announced in the future.

2003 CROSS COUNTRY WRAP UP
The Ohio State men’s and women’s cross country teams once again posted strong seasons under the direction of men’s head coach Robert Gary and women’s head coach Chad Myers.

This past fall, the women’s team posted its highest finish at the 2003 Big Ten Championships, while the men qualified for the NCAA championships for the third time in four years. Pacing the Buckeyes down the stretch was senior co-captain Rob Myers who earned First Team All-Big Ten honors as he placed sixth at the Big Ten championships.

Leading the way for the women’s team was senior Lyndsi Gay as she paced the Buckeyes during the first four meets of the season before being sidelined with an injury at the end of the year.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes return home next week to play host to the Scarlet and Gray Invitational at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 21.