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COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s track and field team returns to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium for the first time this season, playing host to the 24th Jesse Owens Track Classic this Friday and Saturday, May 1 and 2.

Athletes from all levels, including individuals from more than 35 colleges are scheduled to compete in the two-day event. Colleges will get the action underway on Friday, May 1st at 2:00pm with the Men’s followed by Women’s Hammer. The running events will open Friday with the Women’s Steeplechase at 8:00pm under the lights. Saturday’s events will start at 11:00am. Admission is free.

Live results will be available throughout the invitational by clicking on the above link.

About the JOTC
Like the “J.O. Classics” of the past, the 2008 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.

Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium
The 10,000-seat Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium arguably is one of the finest multi-sport facilities in the country, hosting track and field and lacrosse in the spring and soccer in the fall.

It serves as a cornerstone to the surrounding Ohio State athletic complex that features the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, softball’s Buckeye Field, the field hockey North Turf Field, Bill Davis Stadium and the 19,200-seat Jerome Schottenstein Center.

JOTC on BTN
The Big Ten Network will broadcast the meet on tape-delay beginning Sunday May 10 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Brent Stover and former Buckeye track and football star Butler By’Note will have the call. Complete programming information can be found at www.bigtennetwork.com.

Scouting the Field
11th-ranked Michigan and 13th-ranked Penn State highlight the field that includes Big Ten rivals Indiana, Michigan State, and Purdue.

The Wolverines are led by Tiffany Olifi and Geena Gall. Olifi is the nation’s top-ranked hurdler in the 100m, while Gall is No. 1 in the 800m run and ranked in the Top 20 of the 1500m run.

Penn State, the 2009 Big Ten Indoor runner-up, brings the nation’s top-ranked 4x400m team to Columbus, as well as multi-event talent Gayle Hunter.

Kentucky out of the SEC joins the Big Ten powers as well as in-state competitors Ohio, Akron, Kent State, Otterbein and Capital.

Chat Live with Maggie Mullen Thursday
Maggie Mullen, a freshman thrower on the Ohio State women’s track and field team, will hold a live online chat on OhioStateBuckeyes.com to answer fans’ questions from 2:30-3 p.m. Thursday.

Fans can submit their questions in advance or may participate live through the website at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

To submit questions on the live events page, click on the blue people’ icon on the right side of the screen. Online chats with Ohio State student-athletes are free events and do not require participants to register for Buckeye Vision.

Mullen, who hails from Sarnia, Ontario, is one of the top young throwers on the Buckeye squad and recently broke the school record in the javelin at the Drake Relays last weekend in Iowa with an NCAA provisional mark of 46.64m, the fifth-best in the Big Ten this season.

Last Time Out
Mullen’s record-breaking throw was one of two NCAA provisional marks set at the Drake Relays last Friday and Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa.

Another NCAA provisional mark was set in the 4x400m relay finals. Latoya Sanderson, Ashley Caldwell, Shaniqua McGinnis and Ayrizanna Favours placed fifth with an NCAA provisional time of 3:41.31, the second-best time in the Big Ten this season.

Alana Gray finished sixth in the heptathlon, concluding the competition with 5017 points, narrowly missing out on the NCAA provisional standard of 5050. The sophomore’s top performance was in the shot put, where she finished third at 12.43m. She took fourth in the 100m hurdles with a time of 14.20. Her point total is the fifth-best in school history and fourth-best in the Big Ten this season.

Two seventh-place finishes rounded out the meet for Ohio State. Jordan Jennewine was seventh in the 1500m run at 4:32.25, while the 4x100m team took the seven spot in 47.46.

Up Next
The Buckeyes will take a week off before hosting the 2009 Big Ten Outdoor Championships May 15-17.