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COLUMBUS, Ohio – It’s a three meet weekend for the Ohio State men’s track and field team this Friday and Saturday, April 23-24, as the Buckeyes make a tour throughout the Midwest.

Des Moines, Iowa and the 101st Drake Relays will be the stop for the Buckeyes’ top sprinters and relay teams. The relays – “America’s Athletic Classic” – have long been considered one of the top track and field meets in the United States. The nation’s top high school, college and professional talent flock to the campus of Drake University each year for the historic event. This year, more than 7,200 athletes will be in attendance.

Ohio State’s 4x100m relay team will kick off the Buckeyes’ weekend in Iowa with preliminary action Friday at approximately 10:30 a.m. ET. Visit www.godrakebulldogs.com for up-to-date meet information.

The rest of the Buckeyes will be in either Indianapolis, Ind., for the Butler Stan Lyons Invitational or in Ashland, Ohio for the Ashland Alumni Open on Saturday. OSU will hit the track in Indianapolis around 4:00 p.m. ET, while races in Ashland are set to get underway at 10:00 a.m. A complete recap of all the action from the weekend’s events will be available at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.  

Drake Relays Accepted Entries
Daniel White – 800m
Jeff See – 1500m
Jonathan Francois – 110m hurdles
Elon Simms – 400m hurdles
Korbin Smith – long jump
4x200m relay
4x400m relay
4x800m relay
4x1600m relay

Buckeyes Remain Third in USTFCCCA Great Lakes Regional Rankings
Ohio State once again checks in at No. 3 in the April 20 edition of the Great Lakes Regional Track and Field by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

With 642.28 team points, the Buckeyes trail Big Ten rivals Indiana (728.05) and Wisconsin (656.19) in the region. Rounding out the Top 5 are in-state foe Akron and Notre Dame.

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.   

Jesse Owens Track Classic Set for April 30
Athletes from all levels, including individuals from more than 35 colleges are scheduled to compete at the 25th Jesse Owens Track Classic Friday April 30th and Saturday, May 1.

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.

Last Time Out
Led by senior Stephen Robinson, the Ohio State men’s track and field team recorded a number of personal best performances April 16 on its way to a first-place finish at the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational in Louisville, Ky.

Ohio State finished the day with 66 points, more than 20 better than second-place and host Louisville – the 21st-ranked Cardinals (44 points) had just enough to hold of third-place Central Michigan (43.50). Illinois State took fourth with a score of 32.50.

Robinson recorded individual wins in both the 200m (a Big Ten-best time of 21.11) and 100m (10.63) dashes – he also helped both the 4x100m (42.39) and 4x400m (3:11.83) relay teams to a pair of victories.

Redshirt freshman Cory Leslie used a time 8:57.17 to take second in the 3000m steeplechase, second-best in the Big Ten so far this season and a Top 30 national time. Senior Christopher Olinger took fourth for the Buckeyes in 9:04.10, eighth-best in the conference.

The win in the 400m hurdles went to Ohio State senior Elon Simms, who crossed the finish line in 51.38 seconds, second-best in the Big Ten and a Top 25 DI time. Senior Jonathan Francois made it a sweep for the Buckeyes in the hurdles, taking the title in the 100m with a PR of 14.44, ninth-best in the conference.

Chris Fallon ran a collegiate-best time of 3:52.06 to win the 1500m run. Daniel White was third for Ohio State in 3:54.86.

Field events were highlighted by a PR of 57.53m (188-09) by Thomas Davis in the hammer throw, which gave the sophomore the win.

While most of the team competed in Louisville, several Ohio State distance runners took to the track at the Mt. SAC Relays. Jake Edwards turned in the top Buckeye effort, finishing first in the 5000m open with a PR of 13:57.03, fourth-best in Ohio State outdoor history and seventh-best in the Big Ten this season. Teammate Adam Green finished 16th in a PR of 14:14.88.

Up Next
Ohio State returns to Columbus April 30 for the 25th Jesse Owens Track Classic at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.