April 7, 2020

A Final Look at the 2019-20 Indoor Season


COLUMBUS, Ohio –The Ohio State women’s track and field season came to an unexpected end prior to the 2020 NCAA Indoor Championships, but the Buckeyes did not disappoint during their competitive season as they claimed the 2020 Indoor Big Ten Championship for the second consecutive year.

The 2019-20 campaign got underway with the highly-anticipated Jim Green Invitational hosted by the University of Kentucky. This meet would open the gates of continued success for the Buckeyes as they showed the rest of the NCAA what they’ve been working on during the off-season.

Highlights from the Jim Green Invitational
The Buckeyes claimed seven top-five finishes the first of what turned out to be many personal bests from sophomore Adelaide Aquilla in the women’s shot put. Ohio State held their own against the 17 other programs in attendance including in-state foes Xavier, Dayton and Cincinnati.

  • Aquilla opened her sophomore campaign with first place finish in the women’s shot put with a career-time throw of 16.77-meters. Senior distance specialist Abby Nichols claimed silver in the women’s mile run with a time of 4:53.70.
  • Junior Mary Figler and freshman Gia Napoleon registered a second and third place finish in the 800-meter run respectively. Figler crossed the finish line at 2:11.90 and Napoleon at 2:12.93.
  • Studebaker won the 3,000-meter run title with a time of 9:46.48 and Guagenti placed fourth with a time of 9:59.4
  • The distance medley relay team consisted of Aziza Ayoub and Mary Figler,  Annie Ubbing and Gia Napoleon. They crossed the finish line with a winning time of 11:45.12.

Runners-Up at the Simmons-Harvey Invite
Next, the Buckeyes traveled north to Ann Arbor, Mich., to compete in the Simmons-Harvey Invite hosted by the University of Michigan. The event was a tri-meet between the Buckeyes, Wolverines and Michigan State. Michigan won the meet with 120 points, followed by Ohio State (93 points) and Michigan State (90 points).

  • Junior Morgan Lewis started the day off strong for the Buckeyes with a first place finish in the 60-meter hurdles (8.35). Senior Alexus Plyes (8.46) placed second and freshman Emma Nworfor (8.57) claimed third.
  •  Sophomore Devine Parker won the 60-meter dash title with a time of 7.39. Junior Anavia Battle was close behind with a time of 7.44 to take second.
  •  Throws specialist Adelaide Aquilla won the women’s shot put with a winning distance of 16.34-meters.
  •  Freshman Jayden Woods won the women’s 400-meter dash with an impressive finish of 55.69. Her championship time puts her No. 3 in the event within the Big Ten.
  • Gia Napoleon placed third in the women’s 800-meter run with a career-best time of 2:13.33.
  •  Freshman Nya Bussey claimed the women’s 200-meter dash with a time of 24.66.
  •  Senior Alexus Pyles earned a third place showing in the women’s high jump.
  • The women’s 4×400-meter relay ended the Simmons-Harvey Invite with a time of 3:41.95. The team include Tamani Wilson, Aziza Ayoub, Alyssa Marsh and Jayden Wood.


Big Win in New York City
At the Dr. Sanders Columbia Challenge, hosted by Columbia University, Ohio State scored 70 points, beating No. 8 South Carolina by five and a half points to win the meet title. Some highlights included: 

  • The women’s 4×400-meter relay made up of Alyssa Marsh, Jayden Wood, Aziza Ayoub and Tamani Wilson won the event title with a time of 3:39.52.
  • Abby Nichols won the women’s mile with a time of 4:45.86.
  • Throws specialist Adelaide Aquilla competed in the women’s shot put invitational in a field of professionals. The sophomore was able to take fifth with a personal best throw of 17.35-meters. Her monstrous throw puts her at No. 3 in the nation at the time.


Domination in Texas
At the Texas Tech Invitational, which included 11 programs in attendance and including No. 1 Southern California and No. 7 Texas A&M, the Buckeyes held their own with secured six top-eight finishes, a new school record in the pentathlon and a national leading 200-meter dash time.

  • Junior Anavia Battle secured the 200-meter dash title with a time of 22.86. Her winning time put her at No. 1 in the nation at this point in the season where she held on until postseason. Battles national leading time caught the eye of the Big Ten, who named her conference Track Athlete of the Week.
  • Alexus Pyles started off the Texas Tech Invite in the pentathlon with a bang as she broke her own school record of 3,993 points. Her 4,040 point-finish landed her at No. 2 in the nation.
  • In the second meet as a Buckeye, Emma Nwofor placed fourth in the pentathlon. She was able to accumulate 3,950 points to take fourth in the nation.
  • Annie Ubbing placed fifth in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:32.03. Aziza Ayoub placed eighth with a career-best time of 1:32.69.
  • The 4×400-meter relay team placed eighth in the event with a time of 3:42.10. The team included Alyssa Marsh, Jayden Wood, Aziza Ayoub and Tamani Wilson.

Meyo Invitational
The Buckeyes registered 11 top-ten finishes and registered eight career-bests at the conclusion of the Meyo Invitational hosted by Notre Dame.

  • Adelaide Aquilla placed second in the women’s shot put with a career best distance of 17.52-meters. Lindsay Baker claimed eighth in shot put with a career best distance of 15.56-meters
  • Senior Megan Hoffman placed tenth in pole vault with a season best height of 3.61-meters.
  • Sophomore Alyssa Marsh took fourth in the 200-meter dash. Her time of 24.26 is a career best for the Toronto native. Teammates Tamani Wilson (24.55) and Halimah Barlow (24.57) placed eighth and ninth, respectfully.
  • Distance specialist Lainey Studebaker won the women’s mile. Her championships time of 4:48.28 was a career best for the senior.
  • Annie Ubbing won the 800-meter run title with a winning time of 2:10.07
  • Tamani Wilson claimed third in the championship section of the 400-meter dash with a time of 54.18. Alyssa Marsh placed seventh with a time of 55.17.

Buckeye Split Up Amongst Three Sites
Ohio State split into three groups  to compete in different meets during the sixth weekend of competition. Sprinters and jumpers traveled to Clemson, S.C., middle distance and distance runners competed in the Iowa State Classic while throwers and pole vaulters stayed close to home and competed in Kent, Ohio. The Buckeyes were able to earn four top ten finishes and a new world leader in the 200-meter dash.

  • All eyes were on Anavia Battle as she became the world leader in the 200-meter dash taking first in the event. She registered a 22.66, which was also a facility record at the Clemson University Indoor Complex.
  • Adelaide Aquilla finished first in the women’s shot put with a distance of 17.22-meters.
  • Middle-distance specialist Aziza Ayoub placed sixth in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:06.95. Annie Ubbing rounded out the top ten with a time of 2:08.46.

Alex Wilson Invite
The Buckeyes completed their regular season with the Alex Wilson Invite, hosted by Notre Dame. Ohio State claimed eight top ten finishes and six new career bests leading into the Big Ten Championships.

  • Tamani Wilson won the women’s 200-meter dash with a career best time of 24.35 and placed third in the 400-meter dash (54.15).
  • Adelaide Aquilla won the women’s shot put with a distance of 16.17-meters.
  • Freshman Gia Napoleon placed ninth in the mile run with a career best time of 4:55.77.
  • Aziza Ayoub (2:05.80), Annie Ubbing (2:07.39) and Mary Figler (2:07.44) went four, five and six in the women’s 800-meter run, respectively. All three registered career best times in for the Buckeyes.
  • Lindsey Baker registered a third place showing in the women’s shot put with a career best distance of 15.68-meters.

Back to Back Big Ten Champs
Ohio State claimed its second consecutive Big Ten Indoor Championship with 104 team points. The Buckeyes won four Big Ten event titles and registered four Top 3 finishes.

  • Sprints specialist Anavia Battle secured two Big Ten Championships in the women’s 60-meter dash (7.29) and 200-meter dash (22.79).
  • Emma Nwofor placed third in the women’s pentathlon (4,113 points) and second in high jump (1.79m). She wasn’t finished there as she secured her first Big Ten title in the women’s 60-meter hurdles (8.07).
  • Adelaide Aquilla won the women’s shot put with a career best distance of 17.82-meters.

B1G Finishes
Emma Nwofor – 
1. 60H 8.07; 2. High Jump 1.79m; 3. Pentathlon 4,113 points
Anavia Battle – 1. 60m 7.29; 1. 200m 22.79
Adelaide Aquilla – 1. Shot put 17.85*
Tamani Wilson – 4. 400m 53.94*
Morgan Lewis – 3. 60H 8.27
Devine Parker – 2. 60m 7.36; 2. 200m 23.24
Halimah Barlow – 6. 200m 24.00
Annie Ubbing – 6. 600m 1:29.94
Aziza Ayoub – 4. 800m 2:06.80
Alexus Pyles – 7. 60H 8.46; 7. 4,031


Big Ten Honors
The Big Ten Conference announced the 2020 Big Ten Men’s & Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships award winners as selected by the conference’s head coaches. The championship meet was held at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

Anavia Battle earned Women’s Track Athlete of the Championships accolades  and Buckeyes head coach Karen Dennis was unanimously selected as the Big Ten Coach of the Year.

Regional Awards
Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2020 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field season were announced  by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Each of the nine regions – Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Mountain, Northeast, South, South Central, Southeast and West – honored both genders’ top track athletes and field athletes as well as the top men’s and women’s head coaches and assistant coaches.

Anavia Battle won Great Lakes Track Athlete of the Year. Battle finished  second nationally in the 200-meter dash at 22.66 and 24th nationally in the 60-meter dash at 7.29. She scored 20 points at the Big Ten Indoor Championships with victories in the 60-meter and 200-meter to help lead the Buckeyes to a team title.

Karen Dennis was named Great Lakes Women’s Coach of the Year. Dennis led the Buckeyes to the Big Ten team title and while overseeing the entire program, she worked directly with the sprinters who accumulated Big Ten titles in the 60-meter, 200-meter, and 60 hurdles. The Buckeyes finished  No. 14 in the National TFRI and No. 1 in the Great Lakes Region.

Joel Brown, in his sixth year at Ohio State, was named Great Lakes Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year. Brown worked directly with the sprints and hurdles group that scored 59 points at the conference championships to help the Buckeyes win their second-straight Big Ten crown. He coached Anavia Battle to Big Ten titles in the 60-meter dash and 200-meter dash, and has the second-fastest time this year in the 200-meter. He also guided Devine Parker to Big Ten runner-up finishes in the 60-meter and 200-meter.