May 25, 2021

12 Headed to Jacksonville for NCAA East Prelims  

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s and women’s track and field teams head to Jacksonville, Fla., this week for the 2021 NCAA East Prelims that are set for Wednesday through Saturday at Hodges Stadium on the campus of the University of North Florida. The top 48 individuals per event are invited to the NCAA East Prelims along with the top 24 relay teams. The NCAA West Prelims are being held in College Station, Texas these next four days.

The Buckeyes have a contingent of 29 student-athletes who will be competing Wednesday and Friday (men) and Thursday and Saturday (women). The top 12 individuals in each event after these preliminary rounds plus the top 12 relay teams will advance to the NCAA Championships, set for June 9-12 in Eugene, Ore., at historic and renovated Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.

Buckeyes Competing

The Ohio State women’s team, the two-time defending Big Ten Conference champions, will have as many as 17 student-athletes competing in 21 events, including seven-time Big Ten champions Anavia Battle in the sprints and Sade Olatoye in the throws, and three-time Big Ten shot put champion Adelaide Aquilla. Those competing:

  • Adelaide Aquilla – Shot put, discus
  • Aziza Ayoub – 800 meters, 4×400 relay (alt.)
  • Anavia Battle – 100 meters, 200 meters, 4×100 relay
  • Britten Bowen – 4×400 relay (alt.)
  • Yanique Dayle – 100 meters, 200 meters, 4×100 relay, 4×400 relay
  • Mary Figler – 800 meters, 4×400 relay (alt.)
  • Sierra Fletcher – 4×100 relay
  • Alyssa Marsh – 4×100 relay, 4×400 relay
  • Bryannia Murphy – 400 meters, 4×400 relay
  • Emma Nwofor – 100 hurdles
  • Divine Oladipo – Shot put, discus
  • Sade Olatoye – Shot put, discus, hammer
  • Alexus Pyles – 100 hurdles
  • Cierra Pyles – Triple jump
  • Chanler Robinson – 400 hurdles, 4×400 relay
  • Sarah Stanley – Javelin
  • Amaya Ugarte – High jump

The Ohio State men will send 12 individuals to Florida, including Tyler Johnson, the 2021 Big Ten indoor and outdoor champion in the 400 and the indoor 200 champion, and Big Ten outdoor champions Eric Harrison (200) and Nick Miller (800). The men competing include:

  • Carlos Aviles – Discus
  • Luke Bendick – Pole Vault
  • Adrian Curry – 100 meters, 4×100 relay
  • Tyrese Fajardo – 4×400 relay (alt.)
  • Eric Harrison – 100 meters, 200 meters, 4×100 relay, 4×400 relay
  • Frank Hayes – 4×400 relay (alt.)
  • Donnie James – 200 meters, 400 meters, 4×400 relay, 4×100 relay (alt.)
  • Tyler Johnson – 200 meters, 400 meters, 4×100 relay, 4×400 relay
  • Nick Miller – 800 meters
  • Robby Oswald – Pole vault
  • Kainnan Ramsey – 100 meters, 4×100 relay
  • Tanner Watson – Discus

Ohio State Women Ranked 11th by USTFCCCA

On the strength of 11 Top 25 individual event rankings, including the 4×100 relay, Ohio State’s women are the 11th ranked team in the nation heading into this weekend’s NCAA East and West Prelims. Buckeyes in the Top 25 of their respective events include:

  • Adelaide Aquilla – First in the shot put (19.12m / 62-8 ¾);
  • Anavia Battle – Fourth in the 200 (22.54) and seventh in the 100 (11.10w);
  • Emma Nwofor – 15th in the heptathlon (5,685 points);
  • Divine Oladipo – 20th in the shot put (17.20m / 56-5 ¼) and 25th in the discus (55.69m / 182-9);
  • Sade Olatoye – Third in the hammer throw (69.89m / 229-4), ninth in the shot put (17.75m / 58-3) and 19th in the discus (56.68m / 186-0); and
  • Amaya Ugarte – 15th in the high jump (1.82m / 5-11 ½).

USTFCCCA National Rankings – Men

The Ohio State men are ranked 44th in this week’s national TFRI Team Summary heading into the NCAA East Prelims with six Top 25 rankings. Eric Harrison is ranked ninth in the 200 (20.30) and 21st in the 100 (10.17), with both times wind aided. Tyler Johnson is 10th in the 400 (45.17). Robby Oswald is 17th in the pole vault (5.42m / 17-9 ¼) and both relays are ranked: the 4×100 is 19th and the 4×400 is 23rd.

Big Ten Champions

The Ohio State women’s team won its second consecutive Big Ten Conference outdoor championship, and its eighth Big Ten title all-time, by scoring 117 team points to win the title with Indiana (109) and Minnesota (106) right behind.

The Ohio State men, in 11th at the start of the day, literally blew by five teams on the final day by scoring 60 points to finish fifth with 71 points. Iowa followed its 2021 indoor title with the outdoor crown, scoring 127.5 points.

Karen Dennis Coach of the Year No. 10

Karen Dennis, Ohio State University director of track and field and cross country, has been unanimously selected by her coaching peers as the 2021 Big Ten Conference women’s outdoor coach of the year. This is Dennis’ 10th Big Ten coach of the year honor and her sixth in the last four years.

Dennis, who has won more Big Ten track and field coach of the year honors than any female coach in conference history, has now joined an elite group of coaches with at least 10 coach of the year honors, either indoor or outdoor. Dennis does hold the unique distinction among this group of being the only such coach with coach of the year honors for both men’s and women’s teams.

Most Big Ten Coach of the Year Honors

Men’s and Women’s Track & Field

  1. 22 Ed Nuttycombe, Wisconsin
  2. 13 James Henry, Michigan
  3. 11 Gary Winkler, Illinois
  4. 10 Karen Dennis, Ohio State
  5. 8   Beth Alford-Sullivan, Penn State

Aquilla, Battle and Johnson Top Performers at Big Tens

Ohio State track and field produced three of the four “athletes of the championships” coming out of the Big Ten Conference men’s and women’s championships which were held two weeks ago in Champaign, Ill., and at the University of Illinois.

  • Adelaide Aquilla, a junior from Rocky River, Ohio, was named the women’s field athlete of the championships;
  • Anavia Battle, the senior from Inkster, Mich., was named the women’s track athlete of the championships; and
  • Tyler Johnson, the senior from Springfield, Ohio, was named the men’s co-track athlete of the championships.

Battle, truly the outstanding sprinter in the conference for the last four years, won the 100 meters in 11.35, the 200 meters in a blistering 22.54 to tie her own school record, and ran a leg on the victorious 4×100 relay team. This is the second consecutive outdoor championships that Battle has been named the track athlete of the championships (2019 as well) and her third such honor, including her 2020 indoor honor. Battle is the first Buckeye to win two outdoor athlete of the championships honors and just the sixth in Big Ten history.

Aquilla and Johnson are the Big Ten’s indoor and outdoor top athletes. Aquilla broke the Big Ten outdoor championships record twice in the shot put, with her final winning throw of 19.12m / 62-8¾  topping her own school mark and personal best by nearly three feet. It is also the No. 1 throw in the nation this year and No. 4 all-time in U.S. history. Aquilla was named the 2021 indoor field athlete of the championships in March after she successfully defended her 2020 shot put title by throwing the shot 17.7m / 58-1 to win the 2021 title.

Johnson, the leader of the men’s team that scored 60 points on Sunday to race from 11th place to fifth in the final outdoor team standings, won the 400 meters in 45.37, giving him a sweep of the Big Ten indoor and outdoor 400s. Johnson was the runner-up in the 200 to teammate Eric Harrison despite running his fastest 200 ever (20.57) and he helped the 4×400 relay team to a runner-up honor as well. Indoors, Johnson won the 200 meters, the 400 meters and ran a leg on the victorious 4×400 relay team.

Sade!

This weekend’s NCAA preliminaries will mark the start of the final collegiate competition for one of the great student-athletes in Ohio State history, Sade Olatoye. A graduate student pursuing a master’s in bioethics at the Ohio State College of Medicine, Olatoye was nominated for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year and in February, 2020, she won the Big Ten’s Wayne Duke Postgraduate Scholarship, a $10,000 award toward her graduate studies. And last winter she was named a recipient of the NCAA Winter Sports Postgraduate Scholarship. She is a four-time academic all-Big Ten honoree and a six-time OSU Scholar-Athlete.

On the fields, Olatoye has been outstanding. Consider:

  • She won her seventh Big Ten title two weeks ago by taking first in the hammer with a new Big Ten championships record throw of 68.9m / 226-0.
  • Olatoye and Anavia Battle are tied for third all-time at Ohio State with seven Big Ten crowns, behind only two other greats: Donica Merriman with nine and Christina Manning with eight.
  • Her Big Ten titles include shot put titles – indoors in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and outdoors in 2017, two weight throw titles (2017 and 2019) and this year’s hammer.
  • She was named the 2019 Ohio State female athlete of the year.
  • She is a two time Big Ten field athlete of the year (2017 and 2019 indoors) and athlete of the championships (2017 and 2019 indoors).
  • She has qualified for the NCAA championships multiple times and she is a first-team All-American who won the NCAA title in 2019 in the weight throw.

2021 NCAA East Prelims

May 26-29; Hodges Stadium; University of North Florida; Jacksonville, Fla.

Wednesday Events – Men (All Times EDT)

1:30 p.m. – Hammer

1:30 p.m. – Javelin

3:00 p.m. – Long jump

3:00 p.m. – Pole vault/first round (Luke Bendick and Robby Oswald)

6:00 p.m. – Shot put

6:00 p.m. – 110 hurdles

6:30 p.m. – 1,500 meters

7:00 p.m. – 100 meters/first round (Adrian Curry, Eric Harrison and Kainnan Ramsey)

7:25 p.m. – 400 meters/first round (Donnie James and Tyler Johnson)

7:50 p.m. – 800 meters/first round (Nick Miller)

8:20 p.m. – 400 hurdles

8:45 p.m. – 200 meters/first round (Eric Harrison, Donnie James and Tyler Johnson)

9:10 p.m. – 10,000 meters

Thursday Events – Women (All Times EDT)

1:30 p.m. – Hammer/first round (Sade Olatoye)

1:30 p.m. – Javelin/first round (Sarah Stanley)

3:00 p.m. – Long jump

3:00 p.m. – Pole vault

6:00 p.m. – Shot put/first round (Adelaide Aquilla, Divine Oladipo and Sade Olatoye)

6:00 p.m. – 100 hurdles/first round (Emma Nwofor and Alexus Pyles)

6:30 p.m. – 1,500 meters

7:00 p.m. – 100 meters/first round (Anavia Battle and Yanique Dayle)

7:25 p.m. – 400 meters/first round (Bryannia Murphy)

7:50 p.m. – 800 meters/first round (Aziza Ayoub and Mary Figler)

8:20 p.m. – 400 hurdles/first round (Chanler Robinson)

8:45 p.m. – 200 meters/first round (Anavia Battle and Yanique Dayle)

9:10 p.m. – 10,000 meters

Friday Events – Men (All Times EDT)

1:00 p.m. – High jump

1:30 p.m. – Discus/first round (Carlos Aviles and Tanner Watson)

3:15 p.m. – Triple jump

5:30 p.m. – 4×100 relay/quarterfinals (Ramsey, Harrison, Curry, Johnson with James alt.)

5:45 p.m. – 1,500 meters

6:10 p.m. – 3,000-meter steeplechase

6:45 p.m. – 110 hurdles

7:05 p.m. – 100 meters/quarterfinals

7:20 p.m. – 400 meters/quarterfinals

7:35 p.m. – 800 meters/quarterfinals

7:55 p.m. – 400 hurdles

8:10 p.m. – 200 meters/quarterfinals

8:30 p.m. – 5,000 meters

9:15 p.m.  – 4×400 relay/quarterfinals (James Harrison, Johnson, Hayes with Fajardo alt.)

Saturday Events – Women (All Times EDT)

1:00 p.m. – High jump/first round (Amaya Ugarte)

1:30 p.m. – Discus/first round (Adelaide Aquilla, Divine Oladipo and Sade Olatoye)

3:15 p.m. – Triple jump/first round (Cierra Pyles)

5:30 p.m. – 4×100 relay/quarterfinals (Dayle, Battle, Fletcher, Marsh with Bowen alt.)

5:45 p.m. – 1,500 meters

6:10 p.m. – 3,000-meter steeplechase

6:45 p.m. – 100 hurdles/quarterfinals

7:05 p.m. – 100 meters/quarterfinals

7:20 p.m. – 400 meters/quarterfinals

7:35 p.m. – 800 meters/quarterfinals

7:55 p.m. – 400 hurdles/quarterfinals

8:10 p.m. – 200 meters/quarterfinals

8:30 p.m. – 5,000 meters

9:15 p.m.  – 4×400 relay (Robinson, Dayle, Marsh, Murphy with Figler and Ayoub alts.)