UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Cory Leslie ran a blistering time of 3:57.97 in the mile Saturday afternoon at the Penn State National Invitational, shattering the Ohio State school record on his way to a first-place finish for the 23rd-ranked Ohio State men’s track and field team.
The blazing time posted by Leslie, a junior from Huron, Ohio, is an NCAA automatic qualifier and the second-best time in the nation so far this season. In addition to breaking his own personal record and the OSU school record, Leslie also bettered the National Invitational meet record and Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track record time (previously 3:59.15).
“Performance of the day undoubtedly goes to Cory Leslie,” Ohio State head coach Robert Gary said after the meet. “He was outstanding today in running an auto qualifier and breaking the Buckeye record. I am very proud of Cory – I have been disappointed in my coaching [of him], but it seems we are now on to the right recipe.”
Leslie wasn’t the only Buckeye to experience a career-best day. All-American Matt DeChant, a day removed from setting a PR in the weight throw, captured first-place in the shot put with a PR of 19.82m (65-0.50), an NCAA automatic qualifying mark and the second-best performance in the nation this year.
“Matt threw a great PR for us today, and to sit in the Top 2 nationally in the event is impressive,” Gary said of his All-American. “He has been great so far this season and just seems to be getting better with each meet.”
Here’s a look at the rest of the Buckeye highlights from day two of the PSU National:
All-American Thomas Murdaugh finished fourth in 47.22 seconds. Norfolk State’s Marquis Holston took the title in a time of 46.87, a Top 3 time nationally. Holston was followed by second-place finisher Darius Law of Charlotte (46.88) and third-place sprinter Leford Green from Johnson C. Smith (47.03).
Sophomore Marvel Brooks was the runner-up in 1:04.05. Georgetown’s Toby Ulm finished first with a time of 1:03.40.
Buckeye runners finished 1-2 behind Temple senior Lou Parisi (1:52.80). Jared Hall was the runner-up in 1:53.23, with Jake Hiltner finishing third in a time of 1:53.98.
Leslie’s sub-four minute performance earned the Buckeye junior the mile title ahead of former Ohio State All-American Jeff See (second, 3:58.15), Penn State All-American Ryan Foster (third, 3:58.15), and teammate Chris Fallon, who set a PR with his fourth-place time of 4:05.71. Dan White, who is redshirting this indoor season, finished fifth with his own PR time of 4:07.78.
DeChant’s PR helped the junior finish well ahead of Penn State All-American Joe Kovacs, who finished second with a toss of 18.67m (61-3). Tyler Branch’s season-best throw of 17.87m (58-7.50) helped the Buckeye junior finish fifth.
Buckeye sophomore Derek Blevins finished seventh with a jump of 14.96m (49-1). Virginia Tech’s Hasheem Halim was the champion at 15.52m (50-11), a Top 15 performance nationally.
Ohio State finished third in a time of 3:10.84 behind first-place Penn State (3:09.08) and runner-up St. Augustine’s (3:09.36).
Ohio State will compete at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational next Friday and Saturday, Feb. 4-5, in South Bend, Ind.
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