Oct. 30, 2002

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s and women’s cross country teams will travel to West Lafayette, Ind. to compete in the Big Ten Championships. Purdue University will play host to the Big Ten Championships Sunday Nov. 3 at the Varsity Cross Country Course. The meet is slated to begin with the women’s teams running first at 10:45 a.m. with the men’s race directly following the women’s at 11:30 a.m.

The Ohio State men’s cross country team will make their 73rd appearance while the women will make their 21st. In the 72 times the Ohio State men’s cross country team has appeared at the Big Ten Championships the Buckeyes have won the event once. The women have never won the Big Ten Championships in their 20 appearences.

The meet will be held at the Purdue Varsity Cross Country Course which was constructed prior to the start of this season. The Buckeyes competed at Purdue earlier this year in a non-team scoring event giving both the men and the women a feel for the recently constructed course.

Wisconsin won the Big Ten Championships the last three years. At the Big Ten Championships last year, the Badgers won the team title compiling a total of 28 points, one of the Top 10 lowest scores of all-time.

Alan Webb of Michigan won the individual crown last year setting a 8-kilometer record, recording a time of 23:19.9. With his first-place finish, Webb was awarded Athlete of the Year honors. On the women’s side, Michigan State ran away with the team title last year finishing the race with a total of 35 points. Bethany Brewster of Wisconsin won the individual title running a time of 17:02.7

The Ohio State men’s cross country team is ranked 20th in the recent Mondo Coaches Poll, released Oct. 22. The Buckeyes’ Top 25 ranking marks the second time the men’s cross country team has been ranked in the Top 25 under Head Coach Robert Gary. The first time the men were ranked was in 1999, Gary’s third season.

The men’s team has consistently put together solid races throughout the year with its best performance coming at the Roy Griak Meet in Minneapolis, Minn., Sept. 28.

The men have also put together first place finishes at the Akron Invitational and the All-Ohio Championships, where the Buckeyes took places three through seven and finished within five seconds of each other.

The Ohio State men’s cross country team looks to challenge for one of the top spots this season. The Buckeyes top performer throughout the season has been Dan Glaz (So., Palos Hills, Ill/A.A. Stagg) who has been the Buckeyes top finisher four times. The men also have recieved strong performances from Aaron Fisher (So., Indianpolis, Ind./Franklin Central) and Jonathon White (Sr., Sylvania, Ohio/ Sylvania Northview)

The women will look to Jennifer Ordway (Jr., Holgate, Ohio/Holgate) and Chelsea Poling (Fr., Toledo, Ohio/ Sienna Southview) to help led the women. Poling has been the top finisher for the Buckeyes in three races this season while helping the Buckeyes to two Top 10 finishes.

The Ohio State men’s cross country team placed eighth at the Asics/Pacesetter Pre-National Championships Oct. 19. The men competed in the “white team” division along with teams throughout the Big Ten. Indiana State played host to the event at the Wabash Valley Sportscenter. They will also play host to the 2002 NCAA Championships Nov. 25.

The Buckeyes were led by Dan Glaz and Aaron Fisher who both set season best times. Glaz was the top finisher for the Buckeyes placing 30th in a time of 24:39. Fisher finished the race 33rd in a time of 24:40.

The Ohio State women’s cross country team took ninth out 39 teams at the All-Ohio Invitational. Leading the Buckeyes once again was Chelsea Poling (Fr., Toledo, Ohio/Sienna Southview). Poling finished the race in a time of 19:17.4 placing 23rd overall.

Dan Glaz, who has consistly been the best runner for the Buckeyes throughout the season, was honored as the Big Ten Athlete of the Week Oct. 14. The award came after his amazing performance at the All-Ohio Meet where he led the Buckeyes to first place finish. Glaz finished third at the event after turning in a time of 25:41.8.

Robert Gary is in his sixth season as head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. During his tenure at Ohio State Gary has coached several All-Americans and he lead the Ohio State men’s team to the NCAA Championships for the first time in over forty years.

As an athlete, Gary has qualified for his fourth United States World Cross Country team and competed at the 1999 World Track Cross Country team and competed at the 1999 World Track Championships in Seville, Spain.

Gary represented the United States in Atlanta, Ga., as a member of the 1996 Olympic team in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. In the Olympic trials, he captured second place behind training partner and former Buckeye Mark Croghan. Gary recorded the eighth-fastest time ever by an American in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

During the off-season, the Buckeyes added a familiar face to the coaching staff in Chad Myers. Over the last four years, Myers has served as a volunteer coach for the Buckeyes. Myers duties will be primarily working with the women’s team. Myers attended Otterbein College and competed in track and cross country. In 1994 and 1995 Myers qualified for nationals was also runner-up at the Ohio Athletic Conference cross country Championships. Myers was also a national qualifier in track in 1996.

The Ohio State men’s and women’s cross country teams will return to West Lafayette, Ind. to compete in the District Championships.