Jan. 31, 2001

%^$This Week
%^$The Ohio State men’s 4×400-meter relay team has received its second-consecutive invite to the 94th annual Millrose Games Feb.2 in New York, N.Y., at Madison Square Garden.%^$

%^$NCAA automatic qualifier., Katy Craig will accompany the relay squad to compete in the women’s weight throw. Highlights from the meet will be shown Sunday at 2 p.m. on NBC.%^$

%^$The rest of the team will remain in Columbus to train.%^$

%^$Millrose Games
%^$The Millrose Games is the oldest invitational track meet in the U.S. It has been the grounds for 86 world indoor records and 117 Olympic champions. Some notable athletes who have competed in this elite event include, Jesse Owens,Carl Lewis,Jackie Joyner- Kersee,Wilma Rudolph and Gail Devers.%^$

%^$The Ohio State 4 x 400-meter relay team composed of Joel Brown, Courtney Cornwall, Thomas Dickson and anchor Andrew Pierce, is honored to compete in its second Millrose Games.%^$

%^$Ohio State was well represented at last year’s games, as the men captured first place with a time of 3:19.86. After a provisional qualifying time of 3:08.21 at the Arkansas Invitational Jan 27., the men look to carry the momentum creating a performance equal or better than their performance of last year.%^$

%^$Arkansas Invitational
%^$Members of the Ohio State track and field teams competed at the Arkansas Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. Jan. 26-27.%^$

%^$Andrew Pierce (Sr., Yellow Springs, and Ohio/Yellow Springs) finished first in the 400-meter dash and captured a provisional qualifying time of 46.53. The men’s 4 x 400- meter relay team placed first with a time of 3:08.50, also earning a provisional qualifying finish. Donica Merriman (Sr., Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) and Ian Connor (Sr., Lexington, Ohio/Northmoor Local) fell short of automatic finishes but did have the speed to capture provisional qualifying times. Merriman coasted to a first-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles and finished with a season best and provisional qualifying time of 8.24. Merriman also finished third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.13. Connor posted a fifth-place finish in the men’s 3,000-meter run with a provisional qualifying time of 8:07.23. Tami Smith (So.,Galloway, Ohio/Westland) posted a fifth-place finish and a provisional qualifying mark of (5′-09. 75) in the women’s high jump.%^$

%^$In field events the Buckeyes captured five Top- 5 finishes. Drew Carter captured second-place and a provisional finish (24′-11) in the men’s long Jump. Nosa Ehimwenman (Homewood, Ill./Homewood Flossmor) posted a third-place finish in the men’s triple jump. (14.79m) Brad Hart (Fr., Centerburg,Ohio/Highland) finished fifth in the high jump with a mark of (6′-10. 75).%^$

%^$On the women’s squad, Katy Craig (Jr., Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) placed fifth in the weight throw with a mark of 19.32 meters, while teammate Erin Carter (So. Logan,Ohio/Logan) placed fifth in the shot put (14.59)%^$

%^$Split Squad Finishes Strong
%^$The Ohio State track and field team took a squad of 10 athletes to compete at the Findlay University Alltel Open Jan 27. The field event athletes represented Ohio State well with dominating performances.%^$

%^$Alexis McCall (Fr., Elyria, Ohio/ Elyria) posted a first-place finish and provisional qualifying mark of 49′-0 in the women’s shot put. McCall also captured second place in the weight throw (50′-4).%^$

%^$The men’s squad dominated the weight throw, placing five athletes in the Top 6. Andrew Saurer (Jr., Smithville, Ohio/Smithville) captured first place with a personal best mark of 61′-10. 5. Rusty Azbell (Jr., Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster) posted third place and a personal best 60′-3. Teammates Justin Cauinee, (58′-10) Dan Taylor (Fr., Middlefield, Ohio) (56′-10″) and Jeff Matcha (54’8″) rounded out the Top 6.%^$

%^$In the men’s shot put, Matcha threw for a personal best mark of 55’0′ and a second-place finish. Taylor followed with a mark of 53′-8″ to finish third and Cauinee finished fourth with a season best of 52′-10″.%^$

%^$Meet the Coach
%^$In his 13 years at Ohio State, Russ Rogers has produced 100 Big Ten indoor and outdoor track and field champions, 10 NCAA indoor and outdoor champions and 65 All-Americans. His 1993 teams alone produced 16 All-Americans and 12 Big Ten champions in both indoor and outdoor events.%^$

%^$Rogers was recently chosen as the head coach of the national team that participated in the 1999 World Indoor Championships in Macbashi, Japan.%^$

%^$Rogers has more than 30 years of head coaching experience in national and international track and field.%^$

%^$Rogers also coached with the U.S. team at the 1994 Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was the 1988 sprint coach for the U.S. Olympic Team which competed in Seoul, Korea, the 1987 coach of the World University Games team, the 1985-86 head coach of the U.S. track team%^$

%^$Rogers came to Ohio State from Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he was the head coach for both the men’s and women’s track and field and cross country teams for 10 years.%^$

%^$Returning All-American
%^$Last season, All-Big Ten and All-American performers were produced in both the men’s and women’s camps.%^$

%^$Andrew Pierce (Sr., Yellow Springs,Ohio/Yellow Springs) claimed his second consecutive indoor medal in the 400-meter dash (46.46). Pierce represented the Buckeyes at the 2000 NCAA Championships posting a second-place All-American finish in the 400.%^$

%^$Donica Merriman (Sr.,Trotwood,Ohio Trotwood-Madison)guided the women’s team to a sixth-place finish in the 2000 Big Ten Championships, just two points shy of a fourth- place finish. Merriman claimed the 60-meter hurdles (8.19) for the second consecutive year and won the 200-meter dash to earn 2000 Big Ten and Ohio State Female Athlete of the Year.%^$

%^$Looking Ahead
%^$Next week the Buckeyes will travel to State College Pa. for the Penn State Invitational