May 18, 2014


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Junior Jackson Neff won a Big Ten title in the 3000-meter steeplechase Saturday at the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championships in West Lafayette, Ind., highlighting the second day of competition for the Ohio State men’s track and field team.

Neff, a Cincinnati product, crossed the finish line in a personal-best time of 8:47.86 – a Top-15 performance in Division I this season – to win the first conference title of his career. He finished almost two seconds ahead of runner-up Robby Nierman of Indiana.  

“It’s a dream come true. It wasn’t even really a consideration coming in. I was just trying really hard to score and hey, I made a move and it happened to work out. I’m pumped right now.”

“I made a move with 500 to go and I looked over my shoulder with 200 to go and I had a pretty big lead and I kept looking back and they weren’t coming. I knew I had it with about 100 to go and I didn’t know what to do when I was on the home stretch. I was overcome with emotion. It’s crazy. I didn’t even expect it. It’s awesome.”

JuniorDevin Smith also medaled for the Buckeyes Saturday, claiming a silver medal in the high jump. Smith, a native of Massillon, Ohio, cleared 2.14 meters (7-0.25) in his first competition of the year to finish in a tie for second with Kevin Spencer of Iowa. The mark ranks Smith in the Top 5 in the event in school outdoor history.

In preliminary competition, junior Timothy Faust starred for the Buckeyes, qualifying for championship races in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. Faust placed second in the 100 (10.48 seconds) and third in the 200 (21.16).

Through eight events, Ohio State is tied for fifth with 23 points. Wisconsin is first with a team score of 64.

Other day two highlights for Ohio State:

110m Hurdle Prelims: Sophomore Donovan Robertson placed third in a personal-best time of 13.93.

400m Prelims: A time of 47.10 helped freshman LaMar Bruton to a fourth-place finish.

400m Hurdle Prelims: Fifth place went to senior Jordan Rispress in a time of 51.65 seconds.

1500m Prelims: Junior Josh Sabo placed third overall in a time of 3:48.87.

­­4x100m Relay: Faust, Robertson, junior Nick Batcha and senior Brandon Blackwell turned in a fourth-place time of 40.28.

Long Jump: Senior Cory Kunze cleared 7.13 meters (23-4.75) for a ninth-place finish, while junior Brady Gelvin was 12th at 7.04 meters (23-1.25).

Discus: Sophomore J.C. Murasky cleared 52.10 meters (170-11.00) for a 13th-place finish.

Team Standings

1. Wisconsin – 64

2. Nebraska – 42

3. Michigan – 35

4. Minnesota – 33

5. Ohio State – 23

     Michigan St. – 23

7. Indiana – 22

8. Iowa – 20

8. Penn State – 20

10. Purdue – 18

11. Illinois – 12


Ohio State Point Breakdown

Steeplechase – 10 points

High Jump – 7

10000m – 3 points

Hammer – 3

Competition resumes tomorrow at 11 a.m. ET.