May 28, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State track and field team competed in the opening session of the 2004 NCAA Mideast Regional Championships Friday in Baton Rouge, La. LSU’s Bernie Moore Track served as the setting for the second-annual meet, which is a precursor to the NCAA Championships. After five completed events, the Ohio State women stand in first place, while the men are third through four events. The Buckeye women totaled 22 points in day one to top Big Ten mate Michigan State with 21 points. The OSU men have 10.5 team points, trailing Kentucky (15 points) and Purdue (23 points). Individually, athletes who place in the Top 5 in their respective events automatically gain a bid to the national championship meet held June 9-12 in Austin, Texas.
A trio of Buckeyes topped their own Ohio State records en route to earning berths to nationals. Throwers Dan Taylor (Sr., Middlefield, Ohio/ Berkshire) and Keturah Lofton (Jr., Zanesville, Ohio/ Zanesville) each topped their own OSU records in the hammer throw as Taylor earned the regional title with a Mideast championship and Big Ten record throw of 223-8 (68.18m), while Lofton smashed her Big Ten record and passed the regional mark en route to a runner-up standing at 204-7 (62.36m). Adam Judge of Indiana previously held the Big Ten and Mideast record at 223-5, while former Michigan Wolverine April Phillips owned the regional mark in the women’s hammer at 60.70m. Both Judge and Phillips set their records at the 2003 Mideast Regional at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Senior hurdler Joel Brown (Baltimore, Md./ Woodlawn) earned the best time in the men’s 110-meter hurdles with a wind-aided Ohio State record of 13.45. The time by Brown also would serve as regional mark, but the wind reading of 3.3 meters-per-second exceeded the 2.0 mps limit allowable for a regional record. Following his near-record time in the hurdles, Brown added a second finals qualifier in the men’s 200-meter dash later in the evening as he bolted to a 20.84 to nab the 6th-best time and lane No. 8 in the finals Saturday. In the women’s hurdles, Molly Logan (Philadelphia, Pa./ Darby) blazed through Lane 2 in a second-place time of 13.32 to advance in the 100-meter hurdles finals Saturday. She will assume lane assignment No. 7 in the Saturday.
In the distance events, senior Rob Myers (Rushville, Ohio/ Fairfield Union) advanced to the finals in the men’s 1,500-meter run after winning the first prelim heat in a time of 3:46.51. Myers will take the No. 1 seed and lane No. 7 in the finals Saturday. The fourth Buckeye to set an Ohio State record was senior Tamecia Brown as she concluded her OSU career timing a 2:07.17 in the 800 meters to top the OSU record of 2:07.43, set by Carrie Hoblet in 1999. T. Brown placed 11th in the event, missing a bid to the finals.
Elsewhere in the throws, sophomore Amarachi Ukabam (Creve Couer, Mo./ Marquette) was after a successful title defense of her 2003 regional crown, but fell short taking third with a personal-best of 181-9. Ukabam’s mark bested her title-winning length of 172-1 at the 2003 regional. Also in the discus, Lofton tossed another career-best of 159-3 for 11th place. Juniors Tiffany Davis (Jr., Akron, Ohio/ Garfield) and Katy Houser (Jr., Westlake, Ohio/ Westlake) joined Lofton in the hammer earlier in the day as Davis advanced to the finals and tallied one team point for OSU with an eighth-place finish at 183-0 (55.77m). Hauser ended her season at 20th place. Adding for the men in the hammer was senior Bryan Duby with one team point for an eighth-place throw that reached 199-1, a career-best. In the men’s shot put, Taylor, the 2004 Big Ten Athlete of the Year after winning his third straight conference crown in the shot, fouled on each of his throws and missed the finals. However, his national ranking assures him a berth in NCAA’s.
In the jumps, junior Rosalind Goodwin (Prospect, Ky./ Ballard) recorded a leap of 20-5.75 to place third in the women’s long jump and gain her first trip to the outdoor nationals. In the indoor season, Goodwin was an All-American in the long jump. For the men, senior Billy Mills (Copley, Ohio/ Hoban) closed out his Ohio State career with an eighth-place finish in the men’s high jump at 6-9 (2.06m) following a jump off.
Competing in their first regional championships were freshmen Jenna Harris (Somerset, N.J./ Franklin) and Nicole Gliem (Upper Arlington, Ohio/ Upper Arlington). Harris notched a career-best in the 200-meter dash in a time of 23.82, but failed to make the finals after a 12th-place finish. Gliem also turned in a career-best time of 16:47.24 to place seventh in the women’s 5,000 meters, scoring two team points for the Buckeyes but falling shy of the NCAA’s as well.
Complete results for the 2004 NCAA Mideast Regional Championships may be viewed at www.lsusports.com . The regionals resume Saturday with field events at 1 p.m. (EDT) and running events at 6 p.m. (EDT).