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April 25, 2000

COLUMBUS, Ohio –

OSU Ready For Nation’s Best

Twenty Buckeyes will travel to Philadelphia, Pa. for the Penn Relays Thursday to Saturday at the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field. Other members of the team will be traveling to Cincinnati for the Bearcat Classic on Saturday, April 29. More than 15 teams from the area are expected to compete in the Classic, which begins at 11 a.m. with the men’s hammer throw and ends with the men’s 4×400-meter relay at 7 p.m.

The Buckeyes will be competing against some of the nation’s best athletes at the Penn Relays and head coach Russ Rogers said he is ready and excited for this meet.

“We’re looking forward to this meet because it gives us so many opportunities,” Russ Rogers said. “We get a chance to compete in front of a huge crowd and against some of the nation’s finest athletes. We also have a chance to see some of the nation’s best high school athletes in action, which gives us a good look at possible future Buckeyes.”

“This meet is one of my favorites,” Rogers said. “It has excellent competition and when I competed in 1961, I was named most outstanding athlete of the meet for winning two events and contributing to three successful relay teams.”

Rogers expects the women’s 100-meter hurdles, women’s shuttle hurdle, men’s 4×200 and 4×400-meter relays and the men’s javelin to be the teams’ strongest events and hopefully his athletes will have as much success as has had at this meet.

The following Buckeyes will be competing at the Penn Relays: Dominque Calloway, Donica Merriman, Ayanna Reece, Tina Johnson, Nicholette Chambers, Molly Logan, Katy Craig, Keeley Hancox, Rachel Zukowski and Tami Smith. For the men, David Gonzalez, Rob Myers, Kambon Sampson, Andrew Pierce, Thomas Dickson, Joel Brown, Courtney Cornwall, Gerorge Hoover, Ryan Grear and Ian Connor.

Penn Relays Hold Nothing Back

The Goal of the Penn Relay Carnival is a simple one: to provide the best competition for the greatest number of participants of all levels, ages and abilities.

In its 105-year history, the Carnival has provided competition for more athletes than any other track meet in the world.

During the past ten years more than 100,000 young men and women from high schools, colleges, clubs, the armed services, preparatory schools, junior high schools, middle schools, parochial schools and elementary schools have competed in the Carnival. They range in age from under eight to over 80.

Complete results and other information about the meet can be found by logging on to www.pennathletics.com.

Last Week’s Recap

The Ohio State men’s and women’s track and field teams hosted Michigan and Seton Hall in the 2000 United States Track Coaches Association Collegiate Series at the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Saturday. Ohio State’s men earned 174 points and the women 150 to lead both to victory over the Wolverines and Pirates.

The entire team contributed to Saturday’s wins resulting in 22 first-place finishes and 11 second-place finishes.

“I was very impressed with our teams’ efforts today,” Rogers said. “Even though the weather was very cold, everyone remained positive and I am very proud of them. Today was a difficult meet because it was our second scored meet in a row and this puts a lot of pressure on our stronger athletes because they have to compete in more events.”

Some of Saturday’s first-place finishers included Dominque Calloway (Sr., Auroa, Colo./Denver South) in the 100-meter hurdles (13.07) and the 400-meter hurdles (59.30), Donica Merriman (Jr., Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) in the 100-meter dash (11.8), Katy Craig (So., Hilliard, Ohio/ Hilliard Davidson) in the hammer throw (52.28m) and the discus (45.64m), Keeley Hancox (So., Franklin, Pa./Franklin)in the javelin (129’11”), Mandy Osmond (Fr., Guelph, Ontario/ St. James) in the 1,500-meter run (4:32) and Rachel Zukowski (Fr., Rockford, Mich./Catholic Central) in the pole vault (11’5-1/4″).

For the men, first-place finishers included Andrew Pierce (Jr., Yellow Springs, Ohio/Yellow Springs) in the 400-meter dash (46.9) and in the 200-meter dash (21.3), Jeff Cerveny (Fr., Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) in the triple jump (12.77m) and the high jump (6’4″) and George Hoover (Fr., Erie, Pa./Cathedral Prep) in the javelin, breaking the school record for the third week in a row with a distance of 218′.

The distance runners earned a large portion of the men’s points by winning all of the distance events. In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, J.J. O’Rielly (So., Dover, Ohio/Tuscarawas Central Catholic) placed first with a time of 9:32.62 and Rob Myers (Fr., Rushville, Ohio/ Fairfield Union) placed first in the 800-meter run. David Gonzalez (Sr., Bolingbrook, Ill./Boilingbrook) had a strong day as he won the 5,000-meter run (14:47.42) and placed second in the 1,500-meter run (3:54.8) behind Buckeye Ian Connor (Jr., Lexington, Ohio/ Northmor Local) who crossed the finish line first with the time of 3:49.8.

Meet the Coach

In his 12 years at Ohio State, Russ Rogers has produced 100 Big Ten indoor and outdoor track and field champions, ten NCAA indoor and outdoor champions and 65 All-Americans. His 1993 teams alone produced 16 All-Americans and 12 Big Ten champions in both indoor and outdoor events.

Rogers was recently chosen as the head coach of the national team that participated in the 1999 World Indoor Championships in Macbashi, Japan.

Rogers has more than 30 years of head coaching experience in national and international track and field.

His most recent experience was with the U.S. team at the 1994 Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was also the 1988 sprint coach for the U.S. Olympic Team which competed in Seoul, Korea, the 1987 coach of the World University Games team, the 1985-86 head coach of the U.S. track team and has numerous other coaching credentials.

Rogers came to Ohio State from Fairleigh Dickinson University, located in Teaneck, N.J., where he was the head coach for both the men’s and women’s track and field and cross country teams for 10 years.

Jesse Owens Classic

Next week the Buckeyes host the Jesse Owens Classic on Sunday, May 7. Currently, 25 schools and 50 Olympic Trial Qualifiers are expected to attend.