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Despite a damp Saturday in Ohio Stadium, Buckeye fans set attendance marks in men’s lacrosse and spring football

It rained for the better part of the day Saturday in Ohio Stadium, but precipitation was not the only thing to fall at “The Shoe.” Attendance records were surpassed in both men’s lacrosse and spring football.

As part of Ohio State’s “Scarlet and Gray Days,” men’s lacrosse topped Denver, 20-13, to open the doubleheader with spring football. A crowd of 29,601 watched the Buckeyes dispense the Pioneers to set a pair of national records. The crowd bested both the regular-season mark of 20,180, set March 3, 2007 in Baltimore and the on-campus tally of 19,850, established April 18, 1987 in College Park, Md.

Mike Wilcox, Chairman of the Board for the U.S. Lacrosse Foundation, was thrilled with the turnout Saturday.

“To have this game here and the U.S. Lacrosse Foundation board here is great,” Wilcox said. “We have people from all around the country in Columbus this weekend and at this game.

“We can now see what a great program Ohio State is building here in the Midwest. This is just what Midwest lacrosse needed and to have this opportunity to showcase the sport.”

The Ohio State University Spring Quarter Athletic Band played during the intermission between games and as soon as a cymbal was struck, it seemed the skies immediately let loose.

That did not deter Buckeye fans from continuing to file into the Ohio Stadium gates, to the tune of 17,000 walk-up tickets. That number led to an announced crowd of 76,346 as Buckeye fans braved the conditions and watched the Scarlet defeat the Gray, 20-7, setting an Ohio State spring attendance mark for the third year in a row.

The last two spring games have benefitted from sun-soaked afternoons as 75,301 Buckeyes fans attended the exhibition last season after 63,649 in 2006. That was not the case Saturday, but the result was more of the same as Buckeye faithful watched their favorite players compete.

“I thought they had some fun today,” Jim Tressel, Ohio State football head coach, said, “and got some young guys out there that hadn’t had a chance to play in front of a crowd and had some opportunities. I think the focus and the excitement and all those things, it’s hard for us to duplicate that in a practice. So in fact, if you gave me a choice, I’d have two spring games.”

Hear that Buckeye fans?