Jan. 12, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s and women’s track and field teams open the 2005 season on the road at the 2005 Kentucky Invitational. The two-day event starts at 6 p.m. Friday and continues at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the University of Kentucky’s Nutter Field House.

Ohio State is one of 16 competing teams in the UK Invitational and one of six teams that is traveling both the men’s and women’s squads.

Competing Teams: Michigan State – men only, Michigan – women only, Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Tennessee – men only, Alabama, Eastern Kentucky, East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Arkansas State, Western Kentucky, Virginia Military Institute – men only, Vanderbilt – women only, Marshall – women only.

Last season at the 2004 Kentucky Invitational, former Ohio State thrower Dan Taylor, a senior at the time, won both the weight throw and shot put during the two day event.

Taylor won the weight in day one with a toss of 73-7.25 and captured the shot put title with a mark of 66-5.25 to set a Nutter Field House all-time record in day two.

Shelaine Larson finished in third-place in the women’s shot with a toss of 49-11.75, which served as a provisional qualifying mark to the 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships.

In the jump events, senior Rosalind Goodwin followed a third-place finish in the triple jump during day one competition with a second-place effort in the long jump as she posted a mark of 19-3.50.

The Buckeyes were led by sophomore Jenna Harris in the sprint events. Harris clocked a time of 7.52 in the women’s 60-meter dash to claim third-place.

In the distance events, senior Robyn Detty posted a fourth-place finish in the 3,00m with a time of 10:10.19.

Graduation hit the men’s track and field team hard as the Buckeyes saw the departure of Dan Taylor and Joel Brown, both of whom played a significant role in the squad’s success in 2004. Looking to fill the void left by Taylor in the throw events will be senior thrower Bryan Duby. Duby returns as the squad’s best thrower from a year ago. Last season, he qualified for the 2004 NCAA Mideast Regional Championships and placed eighth in the hammer.

In the sprint events, senior John Morris returns and will look to make up for the loss of Brown. In 2003, Morris qualified for NCAA Mideast regional in the 400-meter dash.

The distance events could prove to be where the Buckeyes will score the most points with juniors Aaron Fisher and Brian Olinger coming back after impressive 2004 campaigns. Fisher returns to the track after redshirting during the 2004 cross country season, while Olinger will enter the track season coming off one of the best individual cross country campaigns in school history.

Last season, Fisher placed fourth in the steeplechase at the 2004 NCAA Championships to earn his first All-America honor. Fisher also held the top steeplechase time in the country for four weeks at 8:37.40. Olinger posted a strong 2004 campaign, winning the 5,000-meter run at the Big Ten championships and just missed All-America status at NCAA’s with a 12th-place finish in steeplechase.

“Aaron Fisher and Brian Olinger are both Big Ten champions. We expect a lot from them this season. They are great leaders on the distance team. Dan Glaz and Chris Basinger add experience and also will help score in the distance events. We have a lot back in the sprints, led by John Morris in the 400. He will combine with James Baisden and Gerald Griffin for a good 4×400-meter relay team. We expect a Top 3 finish from Bryan Duby in the weight and hammer this season at the Big Ten championships.”

In the 2004 cross country season, Brian Olinger turned in one of the best individual performances in Ohio State history, capping his year with All-America honors after a 21st-place finish at the NCAA championships.

The native of Fresno, Ohio helped the Buckeyes to their fourth NCAA championships appearance in the last five years as he finished fourth at the 2004 NCAA Regional Championships, clocking a time of 30:18.7 in the 10-kilometer race. At the Big Ten Championships, Olinger was just as impressive, capturing first team all-league with a seventh-place finish in a time of 24:21.0.

With graduation hitting the women’s squad hard as well, the Buckeyes look to have a majority of their strength in the jump events as they return senior and three-time All-American Rosalind Goodwin. An Ohio State record-holder, Goodwin enters her senior season aspiring to defend her Big Ten titles in the indoor long and triple jumps and outdoor triple.

Senior Shayla Moore also returns to the jumps squad this season and seeks to return to her All-America status of 2003 in the triple jump.

Sophomore Jessie Stringer will look to build on a solid 2004 campaign. She tied for second in the high jump in her first indoor Big Ten championship meet.

The Buckeyes boast an impressive throws squad with a pair of key returnees in seniors Tiffany Davis and Katy Houser both of whom qualified for the 2004 Mideast Regional in their respective events.

In the sprint and hurdle events, senior Dalanda Jackson will look to return to her All-America form from 2002 in the 60-meter hurdles, while Jenna Harris will build on an impressive freshman season that saw her qualify for the 2004 NCAA Mideast Regional Championships in the 200-meter dash.

The distance squad features three individuals that could make an impact in seniors Tamecia Brown and Robyn Detty and sophomore Nicole Gliem.

Last season, both Brown and Gliem qualified for the 2004 NCAA Mideast Regional Championships in the 800 and 5,000-meter events.

“We have a lot back on the women’s team. Outside of Goodwin and Moore, we have young talent in the sprints in Jenna Harris and Jennifer Ogbuehi. They both ran well as freshmen. Pannsy Henry and Tamecia Brown are seniors this season and we expect a lot from them. Pannsy will run the 200 and 400. Tamecia will compete in the outdoor only, but she will be a big help come Big Ten’s and at the regional meet. She just missed nationals last year. We have a lot of good depth in the throws. Tiffany Davis and Katy Hauser also placed in the hammer at Big Ten’s and threw well at regionals. Shelaine Larson is coming off a redshirt season and we expect Top 3 places from her at Big Ten’s.”

The 2005 indoor season features two home meets at French Field House. The Buckeyes welcome visiting teams to the Ohio State Invitational Jan. 29 and the Scarlet and Gray Invitational Feb. 19 before heading to the Big Ten indoor meet Feb. 26-27 at Purdue for the men and Michigan for the women.

The schedule also offers a trip to the 2005 Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York City Feb. 4-5 and a journey the following week to Ames, Iowa for the Iowa State Classic Feb. 11-12.

Rogers foresees the indoor schedule as a solid tune-up for the national meet in Fayetteville, Ark. March 11-12.

“Kentucky is our first big meet of the season,” Rogers said. “We have a tri-meet with Purdue and Indiana before we host our biggest home meet in the OSU Invite. In February, we send our top athletes to New York City for the Armory Collegiate Invite, which is a great meet for sprinters and hurdlers. By Big Ten’s, we should be among the Top 3 teams in both the men’s and women’s standings.”

In August, Robert Gary, Ohio State cross country head coach and assistant track coach, competed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. Gary’s trip to the 2004 games marked his second trip to the Olympics. His first endeavor came at the 1996 Atlanta games, where he also competed in the steeplechase.

In Athens, Gary was hampered by an injury and failed to qualify for the steeplechase finals.

Gary earned his second bid to the Olympics at the 2004 United States Trials in Sacramento, Calif. with a third-place finish in the steeplechase, posting a career-best time of 8:19.46.

During the offseason, the Buckeyes announced Kevin Mannon as the new throws coach and the return of Tom Doyle to handle the duties of jumps coach.

A former Buckeye assistant from 1984-93, Doyle rejoined the OSU coaching staff after spending the previous eight seasons as a field events coach at Illinois (1996-2003) as well as a two-year period at Arizona State (1994-95). Mannon also is a familiar face to the Buckeye coaching staff serving as a volunteer instructor to the Buckeye throwers the last two seasons.

The Ohio State men’s and women’s cross country teams once again turned in strong seasons in 2004. Despite redshirting three of its top runners from the 2003 season, the men’s team once again established themselves as one of the elite teams in the country, qualifying for the 2004 NCAA Championships for the fourth time in five years. The men’s and women’s teams finished and sixth and 11th, respectively, at the 2004 Big Ten Championships. In addition, the men and women placed first and second, respectively, at the 2004 All-Ohio Intercollegiate Cross Country Championships in Delaware, Ohio.

The Buckeyes hit the road again Jan. 22 as they travel to Bloomington, Ind. to compete in a tri-meet with Big Ten rivals Indiana and Purdue.