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25th edition set for Friday and Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s track and field team returns to Columbus this Friday and Saturday, April 30-May 1, as host of the 25th Jesse Owens Track Classic at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Meet Quick Facts
Days: Friday, April 30 (2:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.) and Saturday, May 1 (11:00 a.m. – 6:15 p.m.)
Venue: Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium
Live Results: www.finishtiming.com
Television: Big Ten Network tape-delayed, May 8 at 5:30 p.m. ET (Brent Stover, Butler By’not’e, Rebecca Haarlow and Larra Overton on the call)
Admission: Free

Scouting the Field
No. 12 Mississippi State
Freshman Tavaris Tate, who holds the second-best DI time in the 400m this season, will challenge OSU’s Thomas Murdaugh for the title Saturday. The Bulldogs 4×400 relay currently holds the sixth-fastest NCAA DI time this season.

No. 17 Virginia Tech
Four Top 35 hammer throwers will make the trip for the Hokies – No. 1 Marcel Lomnicky (2009 NCAA Indoor Champion), No. 16 Matej Muza, No. 25 Alexander Ziegler and No. 34 Denis Mahmic.

No. 24 Penn State
Two Top 25 athletes in the shot put will compete for the Nittany Lions, No. 5 Joe Kovacs and No. 24 Blake Eaton.

No. 28 Indiana
Derek Drouin, the 2010 NCAA Indoor Champion in the high jump and defending Big Ten and Great Lakes Field Athlete of the Year, will compete for IU. Drouin is currently sixth nationally in high jump for the outdoor season.

No. 35 Kentucky
The Wildcats feature a Top10 discus thrower in Colin Boevers and David Banks, No. 17 nationally in the triple jump.

Other notable teams in attendance – Michigan, Michigan State, N.C. State, Purdue

About the JOTC
Like the “J.O. Classics” of the past, the 2010 edition will serve as a stage for scholastic, collegiate and post-collegiate athletes to perform at their highest levels in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. In its history, the Jesse Owens Track Classic has served as a top venue 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, Dwight Stones and former Buckeyes Diane Dixon, Joe Greene and Butch Reynolds. Others of Olympic fame include Judi Brown, Roger Kingdom, Carl Lewis, Louise Ritter and Calvin Smith, as well as past OSU Olympians Mark Croghan and Stephanie Hightower.

Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium
The 10,000-seat Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium arguably is one of the finest multi-sport facilities in the country, hosting track and field and lacrosse in the spring and soccer in the fall.

It serves as a cornerstone to the surrounding Ohio State athletic complex that features the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, softball’s Buckeye Field, the field hockey North Turf Field, Bill Davis Stadium and the 19,200-seat Jerome Schottenstein Center.

White, See Set to Compete at Peyton Jordan Invitational
Daniel White and Jeff See, along with volunteer assistant coach Brian Olinger, will be competing this Saturday at the Peyton Jordan Invitational on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.

White will take to the track first in the 800m run at approximately 9:00 p.m. ET Saturday, followed by See in the 5000m and Olinger in the 3000m steeplechase. Visit www.gostanford.com for up-to-date information from Palo Alto.

World’s Best
Buckeyes Jared Hall, Cory Leslie, Daniel White and Jeff See posted what at the time was a 2010 world-best performance in the 4x800m relay April 23 at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.

Also a school record, Ohio State’s time of 7:17.68 was only three seconds off of the Drake Stadium record. Big Ten rival Minnesota finished second in 7:18.18 as the Buckeyes sprinted past a deep and talented field of 15.

“This is obviously a tremendous accomplishment for our middle distance guys,” head coach Robert Gary said after the race. “It’s even more exciting considering three of our guys are preparing for races tomorrow. Jeff (See) being a senior led the way for us, but all three of our runners ran great to help our position. Jared Hall really helped us out with a 1:48 spilt, a personal best.”

The University of Virginia 4x800m relay team would top the Buckeyes’ effort with a winning time of 7:15.38 in the “Championship of America” at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia April 24.

See Named Big Ten AOW, Co-Outstanding Performer at Drake Relays
All-American Jeff See was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week April 28 by the Big Ten Conference after his world-class performance last weekend at the Drake Relays.

Wednesday’s honor by the conference office is the second major award of the week for the Middletown, Ohio native, who was named Co-Outstanding Performer of the 2010 Drake Relays April 26.

See anchored Ohio State to victories in the 4x1600m relay and a world-leading time in the 4x800m relay. He opened the Friday afternoon program with a 3:57.6-second anchor leg to lead the Buckeyes to victory in the 4×1600 in 16:25.42. Then he capped the day with a 1:47.5 anchor as Ohio State bettered the previous 4×800 world-leading mark of 7:18.72 by Penn State at the Florida Relays March 4.

“Jeff’s anchor legs this past weekend were great and I know he hopes it is just the start of a very special senior year for both the team and him individually,” Gary said.

Buckeyes Remain Third in USTFCCCA Great Lakes Regional Rankings
Ohio State once again checks in at No. 3 in the April 27 edition of the Great Lakes Regional Track and Field rankings by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

With 619.27 team points, the Buckeyes trail Big Ten rivals Indiana (710.00) and Wisconsin (661.27) in the region. Rounding out the Top 5 are in-state foe Akron and archrival Michigan.

The regional rankings – a new concept for the 2010 season – are designed to measure a team’s overall depth, whereas the national poll places greater emphasis on national championship contenders on a team’s roster. Based on this formula, OSU ranks among the Top 20 teams nationally at this point in the season.

Gee Casts Vote for Jesse Owens
Gordon Gee, President of The Ohio State University, cast his vote for Jesse Owens at the Ohio Historical Center in Columbus March 20. Owens is one of 10 candidates for a monument placement representing Ohio at Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C.

Owens, one of the great athletes of the 20th century, rose to international prominence as a student-athlete at Ohio State in the early 30s, recording world indoor records in both the 60-meter dash and 60-yard dash.

The defining moment of Owens’ career came in the 1936 Olympics in Nazi-controlled Berlin, Germany. Owens shattered Adolf Hitler’s myth of Aryan superiority by winning gold medals in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, broad jump and as a member of the United States 4×100-meter relay team.

In 1950, the Associated Press named Owens its Track Athlete of the First Half-Century. In 1955, the State Department named him America’s “Ambassador of Sports.” Owens toured the world, meeting with government and sports officials and promoting the virtues of amateur sports programs. In 1976, President Gerald Ford presented Owens with the nation’s highest civilian honor, the United States Medal of Freedom.

Gee cast his ballot on the opening day for the Historical Society’s “Legacy for Ohio” campaign. The public vote runs until June 12 and will play a large part in determining Ohio’s Legacy statue. Visit www.OhioHistory.org for voting information and site locations.

Join the Olympian Club!
A new fund-raising initiative created by head coach Robert Gary, the Ohio State ‘Olympian Club’ hopes to generate financial support for track and field/cross country projects that are beyond the budget but extremely valuable in enhancing the experiences of the program’s student-athletes.

Besides supporting the members of the 2010 Buckeye track and field/cross country teams both on and off the track, donations will afford the Buckeyes the opportunity to continue to operate in a first-class manner, while setting a new standard for Division I programs.

For information visit the men’s track and field home page at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.     

Indiana Hosting 2010 Big Ten Outdoor Championships
Indiana University will be the host site for the 2010 Big Ten Outdoor Championships; May 14-16 in Bloomington, Ind. Tickets will be available at the Robert C. Haugh Complex entrance the day of the event, $7.00 for adults and $5 for youth/students. Visit iuhoosiers.cstv.com for more information.

Last Time Out
Aside from wins in both the 4×800 and 4×1600, the Buckeyes turned in several other impressive performances at the Drake Relays April 23-24. Some of the highlights:

OSU’s 4x400m relay team of Brandon Woodard, Korbin Smith, Stephen Robinson and All-American Thomas Murdaugh finished fourth in the 4x400m relay championship with a season-best time of 3:07.43, the second-best time in the Big Ten this season and a Top 25 Division I performance.
 
Robinson and Smith teamed with Matt Terrell and Jared Hall for a fourth-place finish in the 1600m Sprint Medley in 3:19.85, while Terrell, Robinson, Murdaugh and Curtis Leuenberger used a time of 1:25.42 to take fourth in the 4x200m relay.

At the Stan Lyons Invitational in Indianapolis, sophomore Chris Fallon led several Buckeyes in the 1500m run, finishing second in a personal record time of 3:51.06. Two Buckeyes joined Fallon in the Top 10 – senior Christopher Olinger took fifth in 3:52.64, followed by freshman Donny Roys (sixth, 3:53.43).

Up Next
The Buckeyes will preview the Big Ten championship host track when they travel to Bloomington, Ind., next Friday, May 7, for the Billy Hayes Invitational.