May 2, 2001

COLUMBUS, Ohio-Ohio State men’s and women’s track and field teams will host the 16th Jesse Owens Track and Field Classic Sunday May 6 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Events begin at 9 a.m. with the women’s hammer throw and conclude with the men’s 4×400 relay at 4:15 p.m.

Meet The Competition
The Jesse Owens Track and Field Classic will draw 21 schools to the Ohio State campus, including some of the best track and field programs in the nation. The Alabama men’s team is ranked No. 6 in the latest Trackwire poll, with Tulane sitting at No. 21. For the women, Clemson is No. 7, while Washington is No. 23. Other teams competing in the Classic include Michigan State, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Kent State, Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan Iowa State, Toledo, Clemson and Ashland.

Noting The Event Times
The Classic begins at 9 a.m. with field events. The men’s and women’s long jump and the women’s hammer throw start off the morning activities. The men’s hammer throw begins at 10 a.m., with javelin and triple jump events starting at 11 a.m.

On the track, competition begins with the women’s 400-meter dash at 9:30 a.m., followed immediately by the men’s 400. The track events are scheduled to begin approximately 10 minutes apart, running until 11:40 a.m. when the men’s 400-meter intermediate hurdles kicks off. There will be a break at 1 p.m. for the opening ceremony. Afternoon events begin at 1:15 with the men’s and women’s long jump finals and the women’s 4×100-meter relay.

Remembering The 2000 Classic
The 15th running of the Jesse Owens Track Classic produced some pleasant memories for the Buckeyes. Ohio State battled 10 teams in the strong winds of the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, walking away with six first place finishes. Among the top finishers were Donica Merriman (Sr., Trotwood, Ohio), who took first in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.75. All-American Andrew Pierce (Sr., Yellow Springs, Ohio) won the 400-meter run (45.86) and Ian Conner (Sr., Lexington, Ohio) took first in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, posting a time of 8:58.22. In 2001, Merriman hopes to taste victory in the 100-meter dash, where she lost a photo-finish to Florida State’s Tanya Carter a year ago. The Buckeyes In Action
Ohio State ran to several first place finishes in two separate competitions over the weekend. The team split to compete in the Penn Relays April 26-28 and the Bearcat Classic April 28. In the Penn Relays, Ohio State posted some of its best times of the season, winning the men’s 4×400-meter relayand the women’s shuttle hurdle relay championship, among others. The men also took fourth in the men’s distance medley relay. The women’s team placed third in the 4×400.

The team also fared well in the Bearcat Classic. Katy Craig (Jr. Hilliard, Ohio) earned first place finishes in hammer throw and discus. Alexis McCall (Fr., Elyria, Ohio) took first in shot put with a season-best throw of 15.49 meters. J.J. O’Rielly (Jr., Dover, Ohio), Sjaan Gerth (Fr., Belgrave, Ohio) and John White (So., Sylvania, Ohio) took first place in the 1,500-meter run, 3,000 steeplechase and the 5,000 run, respectively.

Buckeyes In The Rankings
Ohio State women’s track and field slipped out of the Top 25 in the latest Trackwire Top 25 Power Rankings (May 1). Several individual Buckeyes, however, are ranked in their events.

For the women, Donica Merriman holds the No. 4 spot in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 12.95. Sprinter Onica Frasier (So., Brooklyn N.Y.) remains at No. 20 in the 400-meter dash. Tami Smith (So., Galloway, Ohio) is ranked No. 15 in the high jump. Thrower Alexis McCall (Fr., Elyria, Ohio) jumped from No. 28 to No. 19 in the shot put. Katy Craig holds onto the 10th spot in the hammer throw. The women’s 4×400 relay team broke into the national rankings this week, sitting at No. 19 after posting a time of 3:36.05 at the Penn Relays.

On the men’s side, Andrew Pierce remains in the No. 10 spot in the 400. Distance runner Ian Connor moved up to No. 8 in the 3,000 steeplechase after a strong performance in the Penn Relays. Throwers Dan Taylor (Fr., Middlefield, Ohio) and Jeff Matcha (So., Middleton, Wis.) are ranked No. 17 and No. 26, respectively, in the shot put. George Hoover (Fr., Erie, Pa.) is ranked No. 9 in the javelin throw. The 4×400 relay team of Courtney Cornwall (Sr., Inwood, N.Y.), Joel Brown (So., Baltimore, Md.), Thomas Dickson (Sr., St. Vincent, West Indies) and Pierce posted a season best time of 3:05.49 during the Penn Relays. The time was enough to move the team into the 12th spot in the nation, only .13 of a second behind Tennessee.

Meet The Coach
In his 13 years at Ohio State, Russ Rogers has produced 100 Big Ten indoor and outdoor track and field champions, 10 NCAA indoor and outdoor champions and 65 All-Americans. His 1993 teams alone produced 16 All-Americans and 12 Big Ten champions in both indoor and outdoor events.

Rogers has more than 30 years of head coaching experience in national and international track and field.

Rogers came to Ohio State from Fairleigh Dickinson University, located in Teaneck, New Jersey, where he was the head coach for both the men’s and women’s track and field and cross country teams for 10 years.

The History of Jesse Owens
Jesse Owens dominated the track and field world during his time at Ohio State. The Cleveland, Ohio, native went undefeated in 42 events in 1936, his senior year in college. Owens won four titles at the Western Conference (now Big Ten) Championships, two at the N.A.A.U. Championships and three at the Olympic Trials. He single-handedly embarassed Adolf Hitler during the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany. Owens won gold medals in the 100-meter dash, the 200, the broad jump and as a member of the 400-meter relay team. During his college career, Owens tied or broke records in the 60-meter dash, the 60-yard dash, the broad jump, the 100-yard dash, 220-yard dash and the 220-yard low hurdles.

Teams Competing in the 2001 Jesse Owens Track and Field Classic
Bowling Green-M
Central Michigan-W
Central State
East Carolina
Eastern Michigan-W
Florida State
Georgia Tech
Iowa State-W
Michigan State
Ohio State
Western Carolina
Wheeling Jesuit

2001 Jesse Owens Track and Field Classic Schedule of Events

MORNING FIELD EVENTS 9 a.m. Hammer Throw (W) Long Jump (W) Long Jump (M) 10 a.m. Hammer Throw (M) 11 a.m. Javelin Throw (W) Triple Jump (W) Triple Jump (M) Noon Javelin Throw (M)

MORNING TRACK EVENTS 9:30 a.m. 400m Dash (W) 9:40 a.m. 400m Dash (M) 9:50 a.m. 100m Dash (W) 10:00 a.m. 100m Dash (m) 10:10 a.m. 800m Run (W) 10:20 a.m. 800m Run (M) 10:30 a.m. 100m Hurdles (W) 10:40 a.m. 110m High Hurdles (M) 10:50 a.m. 1500m Run (W) 11:00 a.m. 1500m Run (M) 11:10 a.m. 200m Dash (W) 11:20 a.m. 200m Dash (M) 11:30 a.m. 400m Hurdles (W) 11:40 a.m. 400m Int. Hurdles (M)

AFTERNOON FIELD EVENTS 1:15 p.m. Long Jump (M/W) High Jump (M/W) Pole Vault (M/W) Discus Throw (W) Shot Put (M) 2:45 p.m. Triple Jump (M/W) Shot Put (W) Discus Throw (M)

AFTERNOON TRACK EVENTS 1 p.m. OPENING CEREMONY 1:15 p.m. 4x100m Relay (W) 1:20 p.m. 4x100m Relay (M) 1:25 p.m. 1500m Run (W) 1:35 p.m. 1500m Run (M) 1:45 p.m. 400m Hurdles (W) 1:55 p.m. 400m Hurdles (M) 2:05 p.m. 800m Run (W) 2:15 p.m. 800m Run (M) 2:25 p.m. 100m Dash (W) 2:30 p.m. 100m Dash (M) 2:35 p.m. 400m Dash (W) 2:40 p.m. 400m Dash (M) 2:50 p.m. 100m Hurdles (W) 3:00 p.m. 110m High Hurdles (M) 3:10 p.m. 200m Dash (W) 3:15 p.m. 200m Dash (M) 3:20 p.m. 3000m Run (W) 3:35 p.m. 3000m Steeplechase (M) 3:50 p.m. 3000m Run (M) 4:05 p.m. 4x400m Relay (W) 4:15 p.m. 4x400m Relay (M)