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Feb. 24, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State track and field teams laid claim to both the men’s and women’s side of the Big Ten Athlete of the Week honor for the third time this season as throwers Dan Taylor and Keturah Lofton received the honor Tuesday. The weekly award is the fifth this season for Taylor and the second in the last two weeks as the senior shattered his own American collegiate record in the weight throw with a winning effort of 78-feet, 9-inches (24.01m) at the Scarlet and Gray Invitational Saturday at Ohio State’s French Field House. Lofton also won the weight throw with a career best 67-4.

Taylor, who hails from Middlefield, Ohio, eclipsed his own American collegiate record in the weight throw for the second time in the last three weeks as he narrowly missed setting a NCAA record in the event by a mere centimeter. Taylor fell shy of the NCAA mark of 24.02 meters set by Leibor Charfreitag of Southern Methodist at the 2001 NCAA Championships.

The 78-9.25 defeated his previous standard of 76-3, which he set at the Indiana Invite Feb. 7. Taylor initially set the American collegiate record figure of 76-2.25 Jan. 10 in the season-opening Buckeye Invitational. The mark also topped the Taylor’s Big Ten and Ohio State record in the event, while also besting the French Field House all-time mark.

The five-time All-American and defending Big Ten champion in both the indoor shot put and weight throw opened the day with a season-best 67-1.25 to win the shot put competition. The Middlefield, Ohio product has placed first in each of the 14 throw events this season as he heads to the Big Ten indoor championships Saturday and Sunday at Ann Arbor. Mich.

For Lofton (Jr., Zainesville, Ohio/ Zainesville), the honor serves as the first of her career and the second by an Ohio State thrower this season. Fellow Buckeye Amarachi Ukabam (So., Creve Couer, Mo./ Marquette) won the accolade after a pair of first-place marks at the OSU Tri-meet. Lofton captured the weekly honor with a career-best 67-4 to win the weight, while also taking third in the shot put behind Ukabam with a 48-1.75. Lofton, whose throw automatically qualified her for the 2004 NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark March 12-13, shared the women’s award with fellow thrower Sarah Adelaine of Michigan.

In addition to Taylor’s Big Ten honor , his 12th in the last two seasons, he also was recognized by trackshark.com for his efforts as the internet publication named him Track Shark Athlete of the Week.

The teams will split up this weekend for the 2004 conference championships with the women off to Iowa City, Iowa and the men at Ann Arbor, Mich. Event information is provided at www.bigten.org .