COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State track and field program had three members named to the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-American teams on Sunday.
Junior Jeff See earned the first All-American honor of his career with his seventh-place finish in the mile Saturday. See was fourth among non-seniors and will look to carry this momentum into the outdoor season where he holds the Ohio State school record in the mile with a time of 3:58.70. See is the first Buckeye to earn All-American honors in the mile run since Rob Meyers in 2003.
Senior Lenny Jatsek earned All-American honors for the second-time in his career in the weight throw. Jatsek finished 10th and joins Dan Taylor as the only two time All-American Buckeyes in the weight throw. Ohio State has had an All-American in the weight throw in four of the last six seasons. OSU has also had at least one indoor All-American thrower in five of the last seven. Jatsek will now look to become the first Ohio State thrower to earn All-American honors in weight throw (indoor) and the hammer throw (outdoor) in the same season since Taylor did it in 2004.
“I know the guys are disappointed, but it really is a great honor just to make it,” Ohio State men’s head coach Robert Gary said. “It really is impressive how tough it is to qualify. All of our guys ran or threw near their season bests and with Jeff and Lenny earning All-American honors.
“Even better, they all have a better taste for the nationals and look forward to outdoors,” Gary said. “These guys were a huge part of our program getting third at conference and our continued improvement at the conference and national level.”
Since 2000, Ohio State has had 15 indoor All-Americans and a total of 35 overall. With the points from See, Ohio State finished tied for 57th at the 2008 Indoor NCAA championships.
Senior Veronica Jatsek earned All-American honors in the weight throw with her fourth-place finish with a distance of 70 feet, 3 3/4 inches. Jatsek has earned All-American honors three-consecutive seasons (2007 indoor weight throw, 2007 outdoor hammer, 2008 indoor weight throw). Jatsek joins Keturah Lofton (2004, 2006) and Katy Craig (2001-02) as the only Ohio State throwers to earn All-American honors twice in the weight throw while Jatsek and Criag are the only OSU throwers to pull it off in back-to-back seasons. As Jatsek heads into the outdoor season she will look to become the first Ohio State thrower to earn All-American honors in four-consecutive seasons.
With the points from Jatsek the Ohio State women’s track and field team finished tied for 39th at the 2008 Indoor NCAA Championships. Ohio State has had a thrower earn All-American honors in the weight throw in three-consecutive seasons. Since 2000, the OSU women’s team has had 17 indoor All-Americans and 31 total.
“We are very proud of the season’s accomplishments of Veronica Jatsek,” Ohio State women’s head coach Karen Dennis. “Veronica earned this honor through nothing other than hard work and committment. We had hoped she would finish in the Top 3, but she certainly improved on last seasons seventh place finish at national’s and we are happy with that. She had solid throwing performances throughout the year including a school record and Big Ten championship performances. Completing the season with an All-American honor is wonderful for Veronica and our program.”
Lenny and Veronica are the first pair of Ohio State siblings competing in track & field to earn All-American honors in the same event in the same season. Both Jatsek siblings have earned indoor All-American honors at least twice. Veronica has earned All-American honors a total of three times with her outdoor All-American honor in 2007 in the hammer throw.