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COLUMBUS, Ohio – A total of seven Buckeyes will compete in five events this weekend at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Buckeyes will be represented in four event areas (jumps, distance, sprints and relays) and will be led by junior All-American Michael Hartfield, the 2011 Great Lakes and Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year. A former junior college national champion, Hartfield will be making his first trip to the outdoor championships as a Buckeye. He is looking to improve on a 14th-place finish in the long jump from the indoor season when he competes in the same event Thursday at approximately 6:35 p.m. ET.

Three-time All-American Thomas Murdaugh returns to the outdoor championships for the third time for championship races in the 400m dash and 4x400m relay. Murdaugh will run in heat three of the 400m semifinals at 8:00 p.m. ET Wednesday and will return to the track Thursday for the 4x400m semifinals at 9:20 p.m. Marcus Brooks, Korbin Smith and Aaron Roberts will join Murdaugh on the Buckeye 4×4 team.

Ohio State’s distance squad will be represented by Cory Leslie and Jake Edwards. Leslie is set to run in the 3000m steeplechase for the second-consecutive season, while Edwards is making his first trip to the national championships as a competitor in the 1500m run. Semifinal action in the steeplechase is scheduled for 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, while 1500m semifinal heats will begin Thursday at 7:15 p.m.

Meet Basics
Days: Wednesday, June 8 (4:00 p.m. – 9:45 p.m. ET); Thursday, June 9 (4:00 p.m. – 9:50 p.m.); Friday, June 10 (4:00 p.m. – 9:10 p.m.); Saturday, June 11 (12:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.)
Venue: Drake Stadium – Des Moines, Iowa
Live Results: http://www.ncaa.com/content/di-outdoor-track-field-live-results
TV: CBS will televise the final two hours of the meet live from 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET Saturday, while CBS Sports Network will have a live broadcast window on Friday from 7:30-9:30 p.m. ET. There will also be a live web cast of the championships available at www.NCAA.com and www.GoDrakeBulldogs.com.  
Scoring: The top 8 places in each event score points. The points are assigned as follows: 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Buckeye History at the NCAA Championships
Ohio State has produced over 70 outdoor All-Americans and 22 NCAA individual champions. Chris Nelloms (200m dash in 1993) was the last Buckeye to earn an individual title, more than 70 years after the Buckeyes’ first national champion, Pete Stinchcomb, captured his long jump crown in 1922.

The Buckeyes’ lone team championship came in 1929 under head coach F.R. Castleman. Four Buckeyes – George Simpson, Richard Rockaway and Peter Ramses – won individual titles that season to secure a title for the Scarlet and Gray. The 1992 season witnessed a second-place finish under head coach Russ Rogers, as the Buckeyes swept both the 4x100m and 4x400m titles that year.

Hartfield, Beathea Honored by the USTFCCCA
Junior All-American Michael Hartfield and associate head coach Ed Beathea were honored by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) June 6 for their outstanding accomplishments during the 2011 outdoor track and field campaign.

Hartfield, a junior from Manchester, Conn., has enjoyed an outstanding season for the Buckeyes, having previously earned Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year honors and the conference’s Athlete of the Championship award after finishing as the long jump champion and triple jump runner-up. Hartfield qualified for the final round of the NCAA championships in the long jump and holds a wind-aided season’s best of 7.94m (26-1) in the event.

In his fifth year with the Buckeyes, Beathea helped a young Buckeye team to a third-place finish at the Big Ten championships and No. 2-regional ranking. As the sprint, hurdles and horizontal jumps coach, Beathea mentored two individual Big Ten title winners -Thomas Murdaugh in the 400m and Hartfield in the long jump – and the conference champion 4x400m team. Both individuals and the relay team will represent the Buckeyes at the upcoming NCAA championship meet. 

Gary, Buckeyes Ink 12 Student-Athletes for 2011-2012
Ohio State track and field and cross country head coach Robert Gary announced the signing of 12 student-athletes for the 2011-2012 academic year March 23. Heavy on distance runners and hurdlers, the well-balanced class also features talented athletes in the jumps, throws and sprints.

“I absolutely believe Ohio is a top 5 overall state in the country for track and field and cross country recruiting,” Gary said of his 2011 recruiting class. “I think it is a great recipe if you can attract the best talent in Ohio and also find the developmental projects of recruits from Ohio who know what The Ohio State University is all about and already have a great love and sense of pride towards Buckeye Nation.”

In all, the Buckeyes will welcome 10 Ohio products and two accomplished out-of-state prospects to campus next fall, and coaches are hopeful that the team will add even more talent before the end of the signing period. Meet the future Buckeyes:

Michael Brajdic // Distance – Bay Village, Ohio – Bay Village
Antonio Blanks // Sprints/Hurdles – Dayton, Ohio – Dunbar
Josh Sabo // Mid-Distance – Richfield, Ohio – Revere
Curtis Hanle // Distance – Louisville, Ohio – Louisville
Jeff Hannaford // Distance – Westerville, Ohio – North
Brian Hannaford // Distance – Westerville, Ohio – North
Michael Bennett // Throws – Centerville, Ohio – Centerville
Derrick Anderson // Hurdles – Arlington, Texas – Mansfield Timberview
Brad Hess // Distance – Fort Wayne, Ind. – Carroll
Luke Norris // Hurdles – Lebanon, Ohio – Lebanon
Tyler Parrish // High Jump – Amherst, Ohio – Amherst Steele
Jc Murasky // Throws – Zanesville, Ohio – Maysville

Gary Named Assistant for Team USA at IAFF World Championships
Ohio State track and field and cross country head coach Robert Gary will represent the Buckeyes as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships, August 27 to September 4, in Daegu, South Korea.

Gary will mentor the American distance runners under the direction of USA head coach Vin Lananna, Director of Track and Field at the University of Oregon.

In addition to his duties with Team USA at the track and field championships, Gary will also direct the American junior squad at the 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships March 20 in Punta Umbria, Spain. Gary has previous experience as an assistant at the junior level, having served on the U.S. staff at the 2010 World Junior Track and Field Championships in Mochton, Canada. That experience will serve him well, as he looks to improve an American squad that finished in eighth-place as a team at the 2010 championships.

Join the Olympian Club!
A 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 Ohio State 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 more information, visit the men’s track and field home page at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.       

Follow the Buckeyes on Facebook!
The Ohio State men’s track and field team is now on Facebook. Visit www.facebook.com/OSUtrackXC to catch up on the latest Buckeye news and notes.
     
Head coach Robert Gary
Robert Gary, now in his fifth season as the head men’s track and field coach and 15th coaching the cross country team, has elevated both programs to new heights and has established himself as one of the nation’s elite coaches.

Gary’s teams constantly strive for top 3 finishes at the Big Ten championships in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field. And for the second time in three years, the Buckeyes did just that during the 2009-10 campaign. Gary led the cross country team to a second-place finish at the Big Ten championships as Jeff See took third overall among individuals. The Buckeyes went onto place third at the NCAA regional finals before taking 21st at the NCAA championships behind See’s All-America finish. On the track, Gary led the Buckeyes to a second-place finish at the Big Ten indoor championships and a third-place showing during the outdoor season. See (mile/1500m) and Matt DeChant (shot put) earned All-America honors during the indoor and outdoor seasons while Thomas Murdaugh earned All-America honors in the 400m during the indoor. In addition, the Buckeyes swept their rival Michigan in “The Dual” by winning both indoor and outdoor meets.

Coach Gary continues to train the best each year for the USA Track and Field championships and Olympic trials. In June 2010, he helped train Dan Huling, who took first place in the 3000m steeplechase at the 2010 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. In addition, Huling, along with former Buckeye greats Rob Myers (1500m), Brian Olinger (steeplechase) and See (1500m) trained under Gary while preparing for the 2008 Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.

Gary ended a decorated running career in 2005. A two time member of Team USA at the 1996 and 2004 Olympics, Gary placed second in the men’s steeplechase at the 1996 Olympic Trials with a career-best time of 8:19.46. Eight years later, his third-place finish at the trials gained an automatic bid on the U.S. team headed to Athens, Greece for the 2004 Games.  Gary also earned honors as a cross country athlete, competing on a total of 11 U.S. national teams.

As a student-athlete at Ohio State from 1992-1995, Gary was a six-event All-American, winning the Big Ten outdoor 3000m steeplechase title in 1994, where he set the Ohio State and Big Ten record in the event. He was a three-time all-Big Ten selection and member of three Big Ten championship teams (1992 outdoor, 1993 indoor and outdoor).

A 2009 inductee into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame, Gary received a degree in English education from Ohio State in the fall of 1996.

Last Time Out
The Buckeyes competed at the 2011 NCAA East Regional Preliminaries in Bloomington, Ind., May 26-28, where seven athletes advanced to this week’s national championships.

Leading the Buckeye charge at the preliminaries was junior All-American Michael Hartfield, who used a 7.74m (25-4.75) jump to finish in fifth place in the long jump. Others individual qualifiers included All-Americans Cory Leslie (3000m steeplechase) and Thomas Murdaugh (400m dash), as well as Jake Edwards (1500m run), who will be making his first trip to a national meet.

In addition, Ohio State’s 4x400m relay team of Aaron Roberts, Korbin Smith, Marvel Brooks and Murdaugh turned in an eighth-place time of 3:06.50 to qualify.