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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Freshman Korbin Smith won the Big Ten long jump title Saturday at the 2010 Big Ten Outdoor Championships in Bloomington, Ind., highlighting the second day at the conference meet for the Ohio State men’s track and field team.

Victory in the long jump earned Smith the first Big Ten title of his career – the Delta, Ohio native’s winning jump of 7.49m (24-7) was a personal record that produced a valuable 10 points toward the Buckeyes’ team score. At the end of day two, Ohio State finds itself in fifth-place overall with 32 points. Three-time defending Big Ten champ Minnesota has opened up a sizeable lead over the rest of the conference, as the Gophers are perched atop the standings with 79 total points. 

Despite Minnesota’s dominance over the first 48 hours of the meet, the Buckeyes are still in the hunt for their first conference title in more than 15 years thanks to impressive efforts across the board during preliminary races Saturday.

Three Buckeyes qualified for the finals of the 400m dash. All-American and defending Big Ten champion Thomas Murdaugh posted the top preliminary time, crossing the finish line in 46.73. Senior Brandon Woodard qualified in seventh with a time of 47.77, while long jump champ Smith claimed the last spot in the finals via a ninth-place finish in 47.93.

The 400m hurdle preliminaries witnessed a first-place effort from Elon Simms – a time of 51.68 gave the senior a narrow edge over second-place Ray Varner of Iowa (51.69). Aaron Roberts also grabbed a place in the finals, finishing fifth in a personal record time of 52.24.

Senior Jeff See used a run of 3:47.08 to take second in the 1500m preliminaries. A two-time All-American in the event, See trails fellow All-American Jack Bolas (3:45.86) headed into tomorrow’s final run. UW A-A and defending outdoor champion Craig Miller followed close behind See in 3:47.91.

Stephen Robinson and Curtis Leuenberger secured two places for Ohio State in Sunday’s 200m dash final. Defending Big Ten indoor champion Robinson raced to the top preliminary time in 21.17, with Leuenberger settling for the eight spot in 21.56, a season-best time.

Ohio State’s 4x100m relay team – Jonathan Francois, Matt Terrell, Robinson and Leuenberger – ran a season-best time of 40:56 to qualify third for Sunday’s championship race. Iowa sits in first after the preliminaries with a time of 40.54, while Indiana is second (40.59).

Terrell and Robinson both qualified for the finals of the 100m dash after solid performances in the preliminaries. Terrell ran a time of 10.82 seconds to finish sixth ahead of eighth-place Robinson (10.74). Andrew Riley of Illinois leads the field after the prelims after sprinting to 10.52 second finish.

In final round competition, Heath Nickles collected three team points for the Buckeyes by way of a sixth-place score of 6998 in the decathlon. The redshirt freshman made a four spot jump in the standings on day two thanks to first-place finishes in both the pole vault (4.90m/16-0.75) and javelin (51.92m/170-04). Minnesota All-American R.J. McGinnis won the championship with 7381 points, a Top 20 performance nationally.

Matt DeChant’s toss of 49.11m (161-01) in the discus helped the sophomore to an eighth-place finish and a single point toward the final team score. Purdue’s Bill Hardcastle captured the conference title at 54.86m (180 ft.).

Adam Green earned three points for the Buckeyes in the final event of the night – the 3000m steeplechase – with a sixth-place finish in 8:54.21. Christopher Olinger fell just short of scoring for Ohio State with a ninth-place finish, as Indiana’s De’Sean Turner captured the Big Ten title with a time of 8:43.72, No. 9 nationally.

Events from Bloomington resume tomorrow beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET with action in the shot put.

2010 Big Ten Outdoor Championships
Results – Day Two
1) Minnesota – 79 pts.
2) Indiana – 36
3) Purdue – 35
3) Wisconsin – 35
5) Ohio State – 32
6) Michigan -26
7) Michigan State – 24
8) Penn State – 19
9) Illinois – 15
10) Iowa – 11