Jan. 19, 2017
Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State track and field team will send 42 athletes (23 women and 19 men) to the Auburn Invitational in Birmingham, Ala., this Saturday.
The Buckeyes will mix it up with Auburn, LSU and Alabama at the Birmingham CrossPlex. Field events are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET and the running events will start at 11:45 a.m.
This meet, although of the smaller variety, will give Ohio State the opportunity to compete with some high-quality opponents. The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) has LSU ranked third on the men’s side and seventh for the women. Both of Alabama’s squads are ranked as well with the men sitting at No. 17 and the women at No. 22. Ohio State’s men’s unit is currently ranked No. 23.
The sprinting contingents for both Ohio State women’s and men’s team have been rock solid in 2017. The women are led by senior Aaliyah Barnes in the sprints category. Barnes currently has the fastest 60m dash (7.48) and 200m dash (23.76) times in the Big Ten, and she helped the women’s 4x400m relay team clock the fourth-fastest readout in the country last weekend at the Kentucky Invitational. Barnes is slated to compete in all three of those events this weekend.
It’s not just Barnes holding down the top spots in the Big Ten either. In the 60m dash, the Buckeye women stake claim to four of the top eight times. Even better, in the 200m dash, the Scarlet and Gray have registered five of the top eight times in the conference.
Sophomore standout Nick Gray is doing the same for the men’s sprints group. Gray has the third-fastest 200m dash time (20.86) in the NCAA, and that also ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten; Gray’s season-best time of 6.75 in the 60m dash is third quickest in conference. Gray and teammate Deshawn Marshall, who ranks second in the Big Ten in the 60m dash (6.74) and sixth in the 200m dash (21.58), will look to knock off some of the top sprinters in the country this weekend.
Donovan Robertson (7.87) and DaJuan Seward (8.00), who currently rank third and sixth in the Big Ten, will compete in the 60m hurdles. Seward will be pulling double duty by competing in the triple jump as well; the sophomore’s personal-record mark of 15.24m ranks fifth in the Big Ten. Speaking of jumps, freshman Taylor DeLoach will take the Big Ten’s third-best mark (6.00m) into competition with her in the long jump.
Fellow long jumpers Zack Bazile (7.58m – 12th best in nation) and Davion Fisher (7.34m – No. 4 Big Ten) will look to improve their marks. Cole Gorski, the third best pole vaulter in the Big Ten, will be the lone Buckeye competing in that event at 12 p.m. ET.
The mid-distance running trio of Dominik Seitzer, Alex Lomong and Anthony Johnson will all run in the first section of the 800m run at 3 p.m. ET. Seitzer (1:51.79 – flat track conversion) and Lomong (1:52.71) currently rank third and fifth in the Big Ten.
For live updates of the meet throughout the day, follow @OhioState_TFXC on Twitter.