Oct. 24, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Russ Rogers, Ohio State men’s and women’s track and field head coach, announced the addition of four recruits to the women’s team Monday. The class includes a pair of signees from Ohio, while also featuring recruits from Arizona, Indiana, Maryland and Michigan.

“This is the best recruiting class we have had in the last three to four years,” Rogers, who will coach the Buckeyes for his 18th season in 2006, said. “When you add this class to the athletes we have returning, we have a chance to do really well in the Big Ten. We could be in the Top 3, or possibly win the conference.”

Ayrizonna Favours, a native of Columbus, comes to Ohio State as a multi-sport star at Columbus Eastmoor Academy. A 12-time letterwinner in basketball, soccer and track and field, Favours was a four-time Ohio Division II state champion in the 400-meter run and helped Eastmoor win Division II team state titles in both 2004 and ’05. Her best times include a 53.1 in the 400m, 24.4 in the 200m and 12.01 in the 100m dash. She also anchored Eastmoor to a 3:47 best in the 4x400m.

Also on the track, Detroit native Jessica Jones comes to Columbus as a multiple individual Michigan state champion. She spent her freshman and sophomore years at Renaissance High School before switching to Mumford High for her final two seasons. At each school, she claimed state titles in each of the 200m and 400m dashes. Jones’ personal-best times include 54.4 in the 400m and 24.21 in the 200m. She also helped Mumford set the Michigan state record in the 4×200-meter relay (1:39.12). In national competition, Jones finished second in the indoor 400m at the 2005 Nike Indoor National Meet.

The Buckeye track unit also added a top-flight hurdler in Bever-Leigh Holloway, of Greenbelt, Md. Holloway won individual state titles in both Maryland and Nevada. In her freshman season, she won Nevada state crowns in the 100-meter hurdles and the 100m and 200m dashes. She completed her career in Maryland with state championships in the 100m and 300m hurdles for Eleanor Roosevelt High School. Holloway boasts personal-best times of 14.34 in the 100m H and 43.87 in the 300m H. She also helped Roosevelt High to indoor Maryland state titles in 2004 and ’05 and outdoor state championships in 2003 and ’05. In the distance events, Rachel Stichter already has made her presence felt on the Ohio State women’s cross country team, routinely running third on the squad in five meets this season. At Wawasee High School in Milford, Ind., Stichter was the 2005 Indiana State Champion in the 3,200-meter run (10.41.77) and a two-time team most valuable runner. She holds the Indiana regional record for the 3,200m and a section mark in the 1,600m (5:06.87 in 2004).

In the field, Cori Tarzwell, of Mesa, Ariz., will help offset the loss of three seniors on the throws team. The 2004 Arizona State Champion in the shot put owns a career-best throw of 142-11 1/2 in the discus. In 2005, she doubled as the state runner-up in the shot and discus.

In addition to its recruiting class, Ohio State also has added transfer Veronica Vance to the jumps unit. Vance comes to Ohio State after spending two seasons as Bowling Green’s top performer in the triple jump. At the 2005 All-Ohio meet at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, Vance placed third behind former Buckeye All-American jumpers Rosalind Goodwin and Shayla Moore. Vance’s top marks include 40-4 in the triple and 18-7 on the long jump.