COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s track and field team completed action in Madison, Wis., in the 2008 Big Ten Championships Sunday. The Buckeyes finished third with 82 points. Defending national champion Wisconsin won the team title with 127 points.
The third-place finish by the team marks the second time in the last 10 championships that the Buckeyes have finished in the Top 3. The third-place finish is the best for the Buckeyes since finishing third in 2001. With the cross country third-place finish at Big Ten’s this season, it marks the first time since the 1928-29 season that both the indoor track team and the cross country team have been in the Top 3 at their respective conference meets.
Junior Jeff See claimed the third Big Ten title of his career Sunday as he won the mile for the second-consecutive season. With the win See becomes the first Buckeye to win back-to-back conference crowns in the mile. See won the event in the in a time of 4:22.21. With his win in the mile and second-place finish in the 3,000-meter run, See scored 18 points in the championships by himself for the Buckeyes, making a strong case for Athlete of the Championships which will be named later this week.
“I was very pleased with the team this weekend,” Ohio State head coach Robert Gary said. “We left some points on the board in some places, but we also had some great performances. Jeff See pulled off a terrific double and defended his title. Matt Comer also was a warrior with five races in two days. Tony Cole continued to be a great sprinter at the conference meet and the weight/shot were awesome competitions.”
Ohio State won the 4×400-meter relay title for the first time since the Buckeyes set the Big Ten meet record in 2001. The team of Matt Comer, Curtis Leuenbrerger, Elon Simms and Stephen Robinson won the title with a time of 3:13.22.
“Ending the meet with a victory in the 4×400-meter (that we had to have to move to third) I hope turns out to be real turning point for our program.” Gary said. “We had an injury to our lead-off guy and the team responded big time.”
Senior Lenny Jatsek took second in the weight throw with a season-best toss of 70 feet, 6 1/2 inches. The toss by Jatsek is the sixth-best toss in the country this season and is an NCAA automatic qualifier. The mark is also the fourth-best toss in Ohio State history. Also in the weight throw David Ebersole took third-place with a toss 67 feet, 2 inches which is an NCAA provisional mark and seventh-best toss in the country this season.
In the 200-meter final, Anthony Cole took second-place with a time of 21.42 and Comer finished fourth with a time of 21.69. Comer also took third in the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.71. Cole also took third in the 60-meter dash in a season-best time of 6.71 which provisionally qualifies him for the NCAA championships in the event. Junior Brain Hartline took seventh in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.16.
“I am looking forward to the outdoor season and the Michigan Dual to start our season,” Gary said. “I feel we’re an even better team outdoors.”
Next up the Buckeyes will head to the Alex Wilson Last Chance meet in South Bend, Ind., it will be the athletes’ final chance to qualify for the NCAA championships.
1. Wisconsin, 127
2. Purdue, 102
3. Ohio State, 82
4. Penn State, 79
5. Minnesota, 77
6. Michigan, 70
7. Illinois, 55
8. Iowa, 49
9. Indiana, 35
10. Michigan State, 26