Feb. 28, 2015
GENEVA, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s track and field team won the second Big Ten indoor title in school history Saturday afternoon at the 2015 Big Ten Indoor Championships at SPIRE Institute. The Buckeyes won three gold medals on the final day of competition – four in all – to capture their first conference indoor championship since 2011.
Ohio State slowly pulled away from the field throughout the final day of competition, finishing with 84 team points. Michigan was second with 69, followed by Penn State and Purdue in a tie for third with 68.
Seniors Katie Borchers and Chesna Sykes won individual titles in the 800-meter run and 60-meter dash, respectively, while the 4×400-meter relay team clinched the team championship with a decisive victory in the final race of the meet. Senior Abie Ehimwenman previously won a gold medal on Friday in the long jump.
“This was a tremendous team effort – an all-around team effort,” Karen Dennis, director of track & field, said after the meet. “We were projected in the middle of the pack on paper, but we grabbed early momentum with Jasmine Glover’s performance in the pentathlon and it snowballed from there. Abie closed yesterday with a win which was motivating for the team, and we did a great job of qualifying athletes out of prelims, so this afternoon we just went out and executed. It was a three-team race headed into today and we were the hungry team.
“I’m especially proud of the fact we scored points in such a range of events – sprints, throws, pole vault, multi-events, middle distance, jumps. It shows what a great job our coaching staff is doing with our student athletes. Having the men around to encourage was tremendous and we had great energy throughout the weekend. I’m just loving where we are as a combined team at the moment.”
Borchers crossed the finish line in the 800 in a time of 2:04.31, bettering her own school record by over a minute and posting the fifth-best time in Division I this season. It was the first conference indoor title for the Russia, Ohio, native, who won the 800-meter crown last outdoor season.
Sykes earned the first individual title of her Buckeye career by crossing the finish line in a time of 7.36 seconds. An Ohio State athlete has won the 60-meter title in four of the last five seasons.
The winning time of 3:35.81 by the 4×4 team – freshman Beatrice Hannan, junior SoSo Walker, sophomore Aaliyah Barnes and junior Aisha Cavin – was a school indoor record and ranks 14th in Division I this season.
Walker and Barnes got the Buckeyes off to a quick start to open the final day of competition, finishing third and fifth, respectively, in the 400-meter dash. Walker touched the line in a season-best time of 53.77 seconds, while Barnes crossed in 54.02.
The Buckeyes then won back-to-back titles on the track – the first from Sykes in the 60, followed by Borchers in the 800. Sophomore Rachel Weber added an eighth-place finish for OSU in the 800 meters.
The 60-meter hurdle finals featured two Buckeyes, junior Alexis Franklin and freshman Chantel Ray. Franklin placed fifth in 8.41 seconds, while Ray secured a seventh-place finish in her first conference championship meet in a time of 8.45.
Junior Rebecca Rings would place fourth in the preceding 600-meter run with a time of 1:30.61, followed by a sixth-place sprint from Cavin in the 200-meter final (23.87).
Ehimwenman added to her long jump championship with a fourth-place performance in the triple jump, clearing a personal-best 12.65 meters (41-6.00).
BTN will air tape-delayed coverage of the Big Ten championships at 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, March 8.
Final Team Standings (18 Events Scored)
1. Ohio State – 84
2. Michigan – 69
3. Penn State & Purdue – 68
5. Michigan State & Nebraska – 65
7. No. 11 Wisconsin – 58
8. Maryland – 53
9. Minnesota – 51
10. Illinois – 40
11. Indiana – 34
12. Rutgers – 24
13. Iowa – 22
800m – 11
60m – 10
4x400m Relay – 10
Long Jump – 10
400m – 10
60m Hurdles – 6
600m – 5
Triple Jump – 5
Pentathlon – 5
Shot Put – 4
Distance Medley – 4
200m – 3
Pole Vault – 1
Total – 84