COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s track and field team will make its second trip to Bloomington, Ind., this season for the Big Ten Indoor Championships Saturday and Sunday at Indiana’s Gladstein Fieldhouse. The young Buckeyes will look to build upon last season’s 10th place finish and are optimistic of seeing improvement at the league meet after the squad’s fifth-place finish at last season’s outdoor championships.
Senior Ayrizanna Favours, the local product out of Eastmoor Academy, will be looked upon to guide her unproven teammates through the challenges the rest of the conference will present. She will look to represent OSU on the podium in several sprint events.
Letecia Wright, a sophomore out of Baltimore, Md., should be major a factor in the hurdles and 200m dash. Wright holds top three times in the league in both the 60m hurdles and 200m dash. Coaches are excited about Wright’s tremendous up-side.
Ohio State also will look to juniors Sarah Foster, Ashley Caldwell and Emily Thompson to improve their standing at the championships. Foster is coming off a career-best performance of 17:30.15 in 5000m at the Tyson Invitational Feb. 14. Thompson’s time of 2:09.97 set in January at the Indiana Relays stands as the conference’s eighth best this season. Caldwell will look to be a challenger in several of the sprints.
The Buckeyes are extremely young in the field, with a freshman holding the top mark in every event. Maggie Mullen, Kelcey McKinney, Alexa Dorricott and Ashley Galbraith will use their first time at the conference championships as a stepping stone toward the future.
Events are set to begin Saturday at 9 a.m. EST and Sunday at 11 a.m. EST. The Big Ten Network will air all the exciting action on tape delay March 11 at 8 p.m. EST.
2008 Big Ten Indoor Championships Recap
Ohio State finished 10th at the 2008 Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis, Minn. with 32 points, as host Minnesota defended its Big Ten title.
The Buckeyes were led by 2008 graduate Veronica Jatsek, who won the weight throw title with a career-best toss of 70 feet, 7 3/4 inches. The toss by Jatsek was the second-best in Ohio State history, an NCAA automatic qualifier and the second-best toss in the country at the time.
Favours scored in two events for OSU, grabbing fourth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.56 and sixth-place in the 200-meter dash at 24.74. Favours, joined by Ashley Caldwell, Ashley Jones and former Buckeye Chandra Krempel, guided the Scarlet and Gray to a fourth place finish in the 4x400m relay in a time of 3:46.87.
Ohio State History at Big Ten Indoor Meet
The Ohio State women have never taken home an indoor title in the 30 seasons the Big Ten has held a women’s indoor championship. However, Ohio State has placed in the Top 5 18 times and has more than 50 individual titles.
Three Buckeye women have taken home the Athlete of the Championship award. Donica Merriman, one of only two OSU athletes to claim national titles, grabbed the honor in both 2000 and 2001 after winning the 60m hurdles and 200m dash each season. Her sweltering time of 7.98 in 2001 is still a championship record. Bridgette Tate received the honor in 1988 after her first-place finishes in the 55m dash, 55m hurdles and 300 yard run.
Two Ohio State indoor records have been retired, Diane Dixon’s 300-yard run in 1983 and Tate’s 60-yard sprint in 1987.
Last Time Out
The Buckeyes enjoyed a great amount of success in field events Feb. 14 at the Akron Invitational.
Ohio State placed two athletes in the top three of the pole vault (Blue Division). Ashley Bowden vaulted her way to the top spot with a personal best 3.47m, while Katie Ried settled for a third place tie with a mark of 3.17.
Alison Roquet continued a solid start to her college career with a victory in the Blue Division of the high jump, clearing the bar at 1.68m, a season high for the young freshman.
On the track, Ohio State was led by Ashley Chirco’s third place run in the mile (Gold Division) at 5:09.67, a season best for the sophomore. Jordan Jennewine secured fifth in the Gold Division of the 800m run with a time of 2:11.33, another Buckeye personal record.
Two Buckeyes finished back-to-back in the Gold Division finals of the 60m Hurdles. Freshman Christina Manning, who was originally scheduled to run at the Tyson Invitational this weekend, took second in 8.67 seconds, while Alana Gray followed close behind in 8.76.
At the Tyson Invitational, Letecia Wright finished at No. 19 in the 200m dash with a sprint of 24.39, shattering her previous career high mark.