TUCSON, Ariz. – The Ohio State men’s track and field team collected seven individual titles on its way to a first-place finish Saturday afternoon at the Jim Click Shootout at the University of Arizona’s Roy P. Drachman Stadium.
With a total score of 161, the Buckeyes edged Big Ten rival and 10th-ranked Minnesota for the team title in a closely contested meet. The Gophers (157 points) finished one point ahead of third-place Arizona, while Washington State placed fourth with 151 points.
“We had a great meet,” Ohio State head coach Robert Gary said at the conclusion of the day’s events. “The guys really showed up and we had about 75 percent of the team post personal bests. There were outstanding efforts in all event areas.”
Junior All-Americans Michael Hartfield and Thomas Murdaugh led the Buckeye charge. Hartfield earned titles in both the long jump and triple jump, while Murdaugh captured wins in the 400m and as the anchor of Ohio State’s 4x400m relay team.
Here’s an event-by-event breakdown of the Buckeyes’ trip to the desert:
The Buckeyes went 1-2 in the 400m, with Murdaugh recording a Top 5 national time of 45.81 to take the title. Marvel Brooks’ runner-up sprint of 47.44 was a PR.
Jake Edwards finished first for the Buckeyes in a time of 3:50.64, edging second-place finisher Stephen Sambu of Arizona (3:50.93) at the finish line.
Runner-up went to Cory Leslie in a time of 8:36.49, placing the junior well behind Arizona’s Lawi Lalang (8:23.02). Sophomore Donny Roys finished sixth for OSU in 8:50.64.
The Buckeyes finished 2-3 in the 110m hurdles, with Demoye Bogle placing second in 14.11 – a Top 25 Division performance – and Barron Witherspoon finishing third in a PR of 14.15. Washington State’s Jeshua Anderson was first with a time of 13.86.
Marcus Brooks shattered his PR in the 400 hurdles, placing third in 51.59, a Top 10 time nationally. WSU’s Anderson completed a sweep of the hurdles with his first-place time of 49.33. Bogle and Aaron Roberts finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
Ohio State posted a dominating 1-2-3 finish in the long jump, led by Hartfield’s first-place and PR jump of 7.91m (25-11). Korbin Smith (7.65m/25-1.25) and Derek Blevins (7.48m/24-6.50) also set PRs, finishing second and third, respectively – all three Buckeyes currently sit in the Top 10 nationally in the event, with Hartfield holding the top spot. Stephen MacDonald also recorded a PR, finishing seventh at 7.37m (24-2.25).
Hartfield followed up his PR in the long jump with a first-place effort of 15.63m (51-3.50) in the triple jump, third-best in Division I this season. Blevins was fourth at 14.88m (48-10) behind a pair of Minnesota jumpers.
A PR of 61.85m (202-11) – the fifth-best throw in OSU history and Top 15 mark nationally – helped Max Mays to a win in the hammer. Billy Gehring (56.84m/186-6) and Thomas Davis (55.10m/180-9) finished third and fifth for the Buckeyes.
Freshman Will Lauricella remained undefeated as a Buckeye, posting a PR of 62.89m (206-4) to capture first-place in the javelin for the second-consecutive week. Senior Bryan Bunnell debuted in third for Ohio State (58.00m/190-3) behind runner-up Kyle Stevens of Washington State.
Junior All-American Matt DeChant finished second with a toss of 18.09m (59-4.25), a Top 10 performance nationally. Arizona’s Robert Gire was the first-place finisher at 18.61m (61-0.75).
DeChant used a PR of 50.95m (167-2) to finish sixth, while Mays was eighth at 50.08m (164-4). Arizona’s Gire earned his second win of the day with a 54.30m (178-2) heave.
Freshman Cody Marshall finished fourth for the Buckeyes at 4.68m (15-4.25). Minnesota’s Ben Peterson cleared the bar at 5.26m (17-3) for first-place.
Roberts, Marvel Brooks, Smith and Murdaugh cruised to a first-place time of 3:08.25, a Top 15 Division I time. Washington State was the runner-up in 3:10.07.
Heath Nickles finished third in the decathlon Friday evening with a personal best and score of 7078, the second-best DI point total this season. Former Buckeye Patrick Woods was the runner up with a score 7218, well behind champion Damian Warner of Western Ontario (7632).
The Buckeyes have a week off before traveling to Ann Arbor, Mich., for “The Dual” with the Wolverines April 17.