Dec. 28, 2015

Antonio Blanks enters his senior season with the Buckeyes in 2016. A three-time First Team All-American for the Scarlet and Gray, Blanks has been a key contributor to the Ohio State 4×400-meter relay team and one of the top long distance hurdlers in the country during his time in Columbus. The Dayton, Ohio, native looks ahead to his senior campaign, which he hopes culminates in a trip to the Olympic Trials this summer.

On how the team has changed in his time at Ohio State
“It’s been pretty cool. It’s clearly been very different. Each coach has their different style, but they each have our best interests in mind. It’s good to have new things so we don’t get complacent and keep getting stronger and faster.”

On how it felt to get back on the track last season after injury
“It felt good to know that I still have it and to continue and grow and improve. It was just good to show my time out wasn’t in vain and that I didn’t take it for granted. The best part was to be able to show the kind of athlete I can be and to be back out competing with the guys.”

On last year’s 4×400-meter relay success
“It was exciting. We just always try to get faster and keep up what we’re doing. It’s always really exciting to be a presence at nationals. We had to switch up a few things and our coaches listened to us, because we knew our strengths. It’s just great when we run as a team because everyone is happy.”

On the key to a successful four
“Everyone has to be on the same page. That comes from hanging out outside of practice and pushing each other at practice on a daily basis. It’s really simple and we all just want to be what we say we are.”

On his goals for the season
“I just want to accomplish as much as possible. I want to put up good times and place well at Big Ten’s. I want to be a presence at nationals, run fast and have the team run fast.”

On what it would mean to run in the Olympic Trials again
“It’s something you never really get the chance to do. If you have the opportunity, you have to take it. I want to be able to run professionally, so being in that atmosphere with professionals, seeing how it works and how much people are really into the sport, it’s really exciting.”