June 5, 2017

Buckeyes in Eugene Ready to Perform


June 5, 2017

June 5, 2017

Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State track and field team will have eight individuals and three relays wearing the Scarlet and Gray this week at the NCAA Championships (June 7-10). The four-day meet will be hosted by the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore., at the historic Hayward Field.

NCAA Meet Hub | Meet Schedule | Live Results | Live Updates

The four-day meet alternates men competition to women competition day by day. The men’s action will take place on Wednesday and Friday and the women will be competing on Thursday and Saturday. ESPN will have the meet covered completely on several different channels. Most of Ohio State’s action will air on ESPN2 on Wednesday and Thursday with the exception of the men’s 4x100m relay on Wednesday, which will air on ESPNU. 

Full TV Times
Wednesday (men) – WatchESPN (3:30-7:30 p.m.), ESPNU (7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.), ESPN2 (8:30-11
Thursday (women) – WatchESPN (3:30-7:30 p.m.), ESPN2 (7:30-11 p.m.)
Friday (men) – WatchESPN (3:30-8:30 p.m.), ESPN (8:30-11 p.m.)
Saturday (women) – WatchESPN (2:30-6:30 p.m.), ESPN (6:30-9 p.m.)
*all times listed above are eastern

Buckeye History at the NCAA Championships
Ohio State athletes have earned a total of 41 NCAA titles at the NCAA outdoor championships. Chris Nelloms (200m dash in 1993) is the last Buckeye to earn an individual title, more than 70 years after the Buckeyes’ first national champion, Pete Stinchcomb, captured his long jump crown in 1922. Olympic great Jesse Owens leads all Buckeyes with a total of eight national titles to his name.

The Buckeyes’ lone team championship came in 1929 under head coach F.R. Castleman. The 1993 season witnessed a second-place finish under head coach Russ Rogers, as the Buckeyes won gold in the 4x400m relay and third in the 4x100m relay.

Two Buckeyes have won national titles, both in the 100m hurdles: Christina Manning in 2012 and Donica Merriman in 2001.

Former coach Russ Rogers guided the Buckeyes to a 14th-place finish in 1999, the best in program history. Head coach Karen Dennis and the Buckeyes finished 21st in 2012. 

Donovan Robertson | 110m Hurdles (Semis) | Wednesday | 8:32 p.m. ET | ESPN
Robertson is making his third trip to Eugene of his career and this one might be the most impressive. Battling the injury bug all year, Robertson did not run his first 110m hurdle race of the season until late April, two weekends before the Big Ten Championships. Still without an NCAA East Preliminary qualifying time heading into the Big Ten Championships, Robertson knew he needed to go low to qualify. The fifth-year senior clocked a wind-legal time of 14.12 in the prelims of the conference meet to secure his berth to the East Preliminaries.

At the East Preliminaries, running in the third of three heats, Robertson needed to place inside the Top 3 of his heat to earn an automatic bid, but the third heat turned out to be the fastest and he placed fourth. The good news though was his time of 13.85 was fast enough to secure one of the last three at-large bids. Robertson owns the second-fastest 110m hurdle time in program history with a 13.62 during his junior season. 

The two-time outdoor honorable mention All-American will run in one of three heats on Wednesday needing to finish in the top two of his heat or clock one of the next two quickest times to advance to the finals on Friday.

Champ Page | 400m Dash (Semis) | Wednesday | 9 p.m. ET | ESPN 
The 2017 400m dash Big Ten champion has made the most of his last season in Scarlet and Gray. Page clocked a personal best of 45.59 in the finals of the 400m dash at the conference meet to claim his first career individual gold.

The senior then returned two weeks later at the East Preliminaries and registered a personal best of 45.54 to improve to the school’s fifth-fastest quarter miler ever. Page took third in his heat and his time was the seventh fastest of the 12 qualifiers from the east region. For Page, it is the first time in his career that he will be competing at the NCAA Championships as an individual.

Page also has played a huge success in the 4x400m relay’s successes this spring. He was the anchor leg on the winning 4×4 squad at the Big Ten Championships that blasted a time of 3:04.95. He also anchored the Buckeyes at the East Preliminaries and helped the unit clinch a berth to the NCAA Championships while running the fifth-fastest time in program history. Page is a three-time All-American in the 4x400m relay.

Page will need to finish in the top two of his heat or clock one of the next two quickest times to advance to the finals on Friday. 

Zack Bazile | Long Jump (Finals) | Wednesday | 9 p.m. ET | ESPN
A 2016 First Team All-American in the long jump, Bazile returns to Eugene as a favorite to earn those honors once again. Finishing eighth a year ago with a bound of 7.58m (24-10.5), Bazile is one of only two athletes competing at this year’s NCAA Championships that garnered First Team All-America honors in 2016. Bazile has increased his career-best leap to 7.97m (26-1.75) in 2017, a mark he registered at the Big Ten Championships.

Jumping in the fourth of four flights at the East Preliminaries, Bazile was the 46th jumper in a field of 48 athletes to enter the sand pit, and he did so with a starting bound of 7.43m (24-4.50), one that he knew he would have to improve upon if he wanted to advance. The 2016 First Team All-American in the long jump returned for his second jump and glided 7.86m (25-9.50) through the air for the third-longest leap of the competition to easily secure his trip to Eugene, Ore., for the NCAA Championships.

Bazile has been on a tear as of late as he enters the most important part of the season. Less than a month ago at the B1G Championships, the junior racked up 18 points for the Buckeyes combining for a pair of silver finishes in the long and triple jump. 

Nick Demaline | Shot Put (finals) | Wednesday | 9:40 p.m. ET | ESPN
The junior transfer has been a huge addition to the Ohio State throwing corps. Focusing only on the shot put as a Buckeye, Demaline has been on an upward trend since arriving in Columbus.

At the East Preliminaries, Demaline had arguably the best performance of any thrower at the meet when he launched a tremendous personal best heave of 20.15m (66-1.50) in the shot put to claim the top spot; the mark of 20.15m ranks No. 4 in program history. To put the throw in perspective, Demaline added a whopping 16-plus inches to his prior best, which is a very large improvement. Of the 96 athletes across the nation trying to earn a berth at the NCAA Championships in the shot put, Demaline’s mark was the third-farthest of the qualifying round.

The right-handed thrower has trending upwards over the past couple of meets. He will head to Eugene for the first time in his career, and he enters the meet having won his last three events. 

Nick Gray | Deshawn Marshall | 200m Dash (semis) | Wednesday | 9:44 p.m. ET | ESPN
A bit of history could be made this week in Eugene if Gray and Marshall were both to earn First Team All-America honors. No duo in school history has ever been named First Team All-Americans in the 200m dash in the same season, and this dynamic duo has the opportunity to do so.

At the NCAA East Preliminaries, Marshall and Gray sprinted around half the track in record-breaking fashion. Marshall ran in the fastest heat of the night and placed fourth, but his time of 20.32 in the 200m dash was quick enough to collect one of the three remaining at-large spots. Gray saved his magic for the final heat of the evening and clocked a time of 20.38 to place third in his section to pick up the auto-bid. Both Marshall’s and Gray’s times are Top 5 in program history with Marshall’s ranking No. 3 and Gray’s settling in at fifth on the list.

Marshall is the 2017 B1G 100m dash champion and 200m dash fourth-place finisher. Gray, a 2016 First Team All-American in the 200m dash, was the B1G runner-up in the half-lap sprint and will be looking to become the first Buckeye since Chris Nelloms (1992-93) to garner First Team All-America honors in back-to-back years.

Both Marshall and Gray will need to finish in the top two of their heat or clock one of the next two fastest times to advance to Friday’s finals. 

Rachel Weber | 800m Run (semis) | Thursday | 9:14 p.m. ET | ESPN2
A fourth-year senior, everything has clicked for Weber this spring. From earning a bid to the NCAA Indoor Championships to breaking the school record twice in the 800m run during outdoors, Weber is peaking at the right time for the Buckeyes.

The Dublin, Ohio, native has run the two fastest times in program history within the last month. In the qualifying round at the Big Ten Championships, Weber took it out hard on the first lap and clocked the school record with a readout of 2:03.90. Weber would go on to earn runner-up honors in the event the following day.

At the NCAA East Preliminaries, Weber lowered her personal best and school record by more than a full second (2:02.67) to punch her ticket to Eugene with the fifth-fastest time at the event. This will be her first trip to Eugene, and in order to advance to Saturday’s finals, she will need to place in the top two of her heat or clock one of the next two quickest times to advance to the finals on Friday. 

Maggie Barrie | 400m Dash (semis) | Thursday | 9 p.m. ET | ESPN2
The Columbus native clocked a 52.27, the third quickest 400m dash in program history by a Buckeye, at the East Preliminaries to secure her position at the NCAA meet. The 52.27 shaved more than a half of a second off her prior career best (52.82) to place 11th at the meet and claiming one of the three at-large spots.

This will be Barrie’s first trip to Eugene, but the junior has run at big meets before. She helped the women’s 4x400m relay claim gold at the Big Ten Championships this year, and she was a member of the first women’s 4x400m relay squad in program history to earn All-America honors in the event at the NCAA Indoor Championships. In order to advance to Saturday’s finals, she will need to place in the top two of her heat or clock one of the next two quickest times to advance to the finals on Friday. 

Women’s Relay | 4×4 | Thursday | 10:48 p.m. ET | ESPN2
The exact same four women who became the first indoor 4x400m relay in program history to earn First Team All-America honors will attempt to do the same thing this week in Eugene. Beatrice Hannan, Karrington Winters, Barrie and Aaliyah Barnes, the 2017 B1G champs, circled the track four times at the East Preliminaries to place third in their heat with a time of 3:31.17 to get to the NCAA Championships. 

Men’s Relays | 4×1 (ESPNU) and 4×4 (ESPN2) | Wednesday | 7:32 p.m. and 10:48 p.m. ET
The 4x100m relay of James Clark, Gray, Duan Asemota and Marshall moved the baton around the track at the East Preliminaries in spectacular fashion clocking a readout of 39.01, the second-fastest time in program history to claim their bid to the NCAA Championships.

The foursome of Asa Burke, Gray, Marshall and Champ Page closed out the East Preliminaries with the fifth-fastest 4x400m relay in program history to place first in their heat with a time of 3:03.51 to move on.

All three of the relays listed above will need to finish first or second in their heat or run one of the next two fastest times to qualify for the finals. 

Team Rankings
The U.S. Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association released its final rankings last week before the NCAA Championships, and the Ohio State men’s track and field team cracked the Top 25 for the first time during outdoors.

Full Rankings

Ohio State earned 80.37 points in the final computer rankings to rank 25th. Coming into the NCAA East Preliminaries ranked No. 38, the Buckeyes had six individuals and two relays secure berths to the NCAA Championships with high-quality marks. The more qualifiers at the NCAA meet, the better chance a team has to rack up points, hence the 13-spot jump up in the rankings by the Buckeyes.