COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State men’s track and field team heads to the Hawkeye State this weekend for one of the country’s most prestigious track and field meets, the Drake Relays.

The relays, held on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, have long been considered one of the top track and field meets in the United States. The nation’s top high school, college and professional talent make the trip to Drake Stadium each year for the historic event. This year, more than 7,000 athletes will be in attendance.

One week before hosting the Jesse Owens Track Classic, the Buckeyes will be fine-tuning their relay teams in preparation for the final weeks of the outdoor season. Jonathan Francois, Cory Leslie and Patrick Whalen will compete individually this weekend, using the meet as a reference point to see where they stand headed into the home stretch.

Ohio State Accepted Entries
110m Hurdles Jonathan Francois
3000m Steeplechase — Cory Leslie
Discus — Patrick Whalen
Shot Put Patrick Whalen
4x200m Relay
4x400m Relay
4x800m Relay
4x1600m Sprint Relay
1600m Sprint Medley
Distance Medley

Easy Once Again for Ealy
John Ealy ran the 10000m in the third-fastest time in school history with an NCAA provisional time of 29:08.33 at the Mt. SAC Relays April 17 in Walnut, Calif. The senior from Reynoldsburg, Ohio shattered the Big Ten Conference’s previous season best time by more than 40 seconds and he now holds the top two league times in both the 10000m and 5000m runs. Contending with some of the nation’s top distance runners, Ealy finished in 10th-place.

Whalen Wonderful in Louisville
Senior Patrick Whalen put together two impressive performances for the Scarlet and Gray at the Louisville Invitational. The West Dundee, Ill. product placed second in the shot put with a mark of 17.39m and third in the discus at 52.23m, the fourth-best mark in school history and the seventh-best in the Big Ten this outdoor season. Both marks were NCAA provisional qualifiers.

Last Time Out
The Ohio State men’s track and field team finished in second-place at the Louisville Invitational in Louisville, Ky. on April 18.

The Buckeyes 71.5 points were not enough to unseat the host Cardinals, who took the title with 78 points. Arkansas State finished third with 28 points, while Western Kentucky was 16.5.

The 4x100m relay team of Matt Comer, Brandon Woodard, Aaron Roberts and Stephen Robinson beat out the rest of the field with a time of 41.03. Louisville was second in 41.27.

Ohio State dominated the 800m run. In their first ever collegiate runs in the event, Cory Leslie took the title with a time of 1:52.69, while Jared Hall placed third in 1:55.23. Chris Fallon was sixth in 1:56.95, with Taylor Candella finishing just behind Fallon in seventh at 1:57.12.

Leslie followed up his victory in the 800m run with a triumph in the 1500m. The freshman broke the tape in 3:53.25, followed by Fallon in second at 3:56.61.

Aaron Roberts claimed first in the 400m hurdles with a time of 54.93. Teammate Jonathan Francois was fourth in 57.01.

Francois preformed well throughout the afternoon for the Buckeyes. Along with his fourth-place finish in the 400m hurdles, the junior won the 110m hurdles with a time of 14.73.

Competing without anchor Thomas Murdaugh, the 4x400m relay was upset by Western Kentucky. WKU crossed the finish line in 3:11.61, while the Buckeyes finished more than eight seconds off their seeded time at 3:15.95.

Whalen’s efforts in the shot put and discus weren’t the only field highlights for the Buckeyes — the javelin was a runaway for Ohio State. Bryan Bunnell was the first-place finisher at 56.39m, while Patrick Filipi, Rob Wade, Patrick Woods and Devin Kallas went finished third through sixth.

Competition in the pole vault produced similar results for the Scarlet and Gray. Kyle Burns was first with a regional qualifying vault of 5.00m. Bryan Chard was third, clearing the bar at 4.50m with Alan Dague and Rob Wade finishing fourth and fifth.

Up Next
The Buckeyes return home for the Jesse Owens Track Classic May 1 and 2 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.