COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s track and field team will split this weekend, with some competing against the best teams in Ohio this Friday and Saturday at the All-Ohio Championships at the University of Cincinnati. Meanwhile, Ashley Caldwell, Ayrizanna Favours, Jenna Griffin, Bever-Leigh Holloway and Letecia Wright will head west to the Mt. Sac Relays in Pomona, Calif.
Days: Friday, April 18, 2 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.; Saturday, April 19, 9:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Venue: Gettler Stadium
Meet Information: www.gobearcats.com
GETTING IT DONE THE “WRIGHT” WAY
Freshman Letecia Wright is making a name of herself in her first season with the Buckeyes. Wright hit NCAA regional qualifying times in two events last week at the Sea Ray Relays. Wright crossed the line in a time of 13.84 in the 100-meter hurdles, currently holds the third-best time in the 100-meter hurdles in the Mideast Region among freshman and holds the top time for a freshman in the Big Ten. Her time is 11th-best overall in the conference. Wright also was a member of the Buckeyes 4×100-meter relay team that posted regional qualifying time of 45.61 at the Sea Ray Relays. The time is ranked second in the Big Ten and 11th in the Mideast Region.
THE RETURN OF GRIFFIN
Jenna Harris returns for her final season as a Buckeye in the 2008 outdoor season. She returns to the team as Jenna Griffin after her marriage over the summer to former Ohio State sprinter Gerald Griffin. Jenna Griffin holds the Ohio State school record in the indoor 400-meter dash. She also holds the fourth and fifth-best times in Ohio State history in the 100-meter dash and holds the fourth and sixth-best times in OSU history in the 200-meter dash. Griffin is a three-time Big Ten champion and earned All-America honors in the 2007 indoor season in the 400-meter dash.
Friday: Ohio State competed in the Sea Ray Relays in Knoxville, Tenn. Veronica Jatsek took fifth in the hammer throw with a toss of 195 feet, 3 inches. Former Buckeye and current volunteer coach Ketaruh Lofton took third competing unattached with a toss of 205-9. In the 400-meter dash, Griffin took ninth with a time of 54.88. She was closely followed by Ayrizanna Favours who finished 10th in a time of 55.01. Kesha Brooks took 17th in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:59.20. The 4×800-meter relay team took seventh with a team of all underclassmen. Freshmen Jordan Jennewine, Desmond and Brooks joined Jones to come in with a time of 9:13.41.
Saturday: In 4×100-meter relay the Buckeyes took fourth with a time of 45.61. The team of Bever-Leigh Holloway, Favours, Wright and Griffin finished first in their heat. Favours then went on to take fourth-place in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.90. The mark is an NCAA regional qualifying time and is the 18th-best time in the country this season. In the 800-meter run Emily Thompson took second in her section and 28th overall with a time of 2:19.89. Wright also placed eighth in the 100-meter hurdles with a regional qualifying time of 13.84.
LAST SEASON AT THE ALL-OHIO CHAMPIONSHIPS
On the last day of the event, the Buckeyes were led by Ayrizanna Favours, who won the 400-meter dash in a time of 54.32 and also won the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.22. Favours was one of three Buckeyes to score points in the 400m. Chandra Krempel took third with a time of 55.41 and Ashley Caldwell came in fifth with a time of 56.99. Favours also added a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.00. Favours ended the day scoring 25 points for the Buckeyes. Krempel also took fourth in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:03.89. The day before, Jatsek won the weight throw a distance of 201-8. She placed third in the shot put with a toss of 47-6 3/4.
JATSEK COLLECTS BIG TEN ACCOLADES
Veronica Jatsek earned her first Big Ten field athlete of the week award on Jan. 15 after opening the season with a win in the weight throw at the Kentucky Invitational. Jatsek, a native of Walton Hills, Ohio, won the weight toss with a mark of 67 feet, 11 inches topping the field by almost eight feet. The mark for Jatsek provisionally qualifies her for the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. The toss also is the fifth-best in Ohio State history and is the second-best toss of the Jatsek’s career. Last season, Jatsek was an All-American in the weight throw, joining her brother and fellow Buckeye Lenny as an All-American. Jatsek shared the honor with Alicia Rue of Minnesota.
Jatsek earned her second Big Ten field AOW following a personal-best performance at the time in the Akron Open. Jatsek won the weight throw in the Akron Open with a personal-best toss of 68 feet, 8 inches. The throw by Jatsek is the fourth-best toss in the country this season and the best in the Big Ten. Jatsek won event defeating Akron’s Stevi Large, who holds the third-best toss in country this season. Jatsek’s toss also is the eighth-best toss by an American this year. Jatsek also posted a second-place finish in the gold division shot put with a toss of 48 feet, 6 inches.
Jatsek earned her third AOW following a win at the All-Ohio Championships in her final tune up for the Big Ten championships. Jatsek tossed a career-best weight throw with an NCAA-automatic qualifying mark of 69-01.25 (21.06m). Jatsek’s toss ties her with Jessica Pressley of Arizona State for the fourth-best weight toss in the country and is the best in the Big Ten this season.
THE JATSEK’S: ALL-AMERICAN SIBLINGS
Veronica Jatsek and her brother, Lenny, 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.
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 Craig 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,” Ohio State women’s head Coach Karen Dennis. “Veronica earned this honor through nothing other than hard work and commitment. We had hoped she would finish in the Top 3, but she certainly improved on last seasons seventh place finish at nationals and we are happy with that. She had solid throwing performances throughout the year including a Big Ten championship performance. Completing the season with an All-American honor is wonderful for Veronica and our program.”
JATSEK RETURNS TO DEFEND 2007 HONOR
The Big Ten announced its all-conference teams following the 2007 Women’s Indoor Championships in Champagne, Ill. Ohio State had two of the team’s top competitors honored. Veronica Jatsek was named second team All-Big Ten with her second-place finish in the weight throw. Jatsek’s toss of 68-5 3/4 is the fourth-best in Ohio State history and a season-best. It is an NCAA provisional qualifying toss and sixth-best in the country this season. Jatsek had the best throw by a non-senior by 12-11 1/4. It is Jatsek’s first Big Ten postseason award. Jatsek’s brother, Lenny, also took Big Ten honors in the weight throw after winning the league title in the men’s event. It is the first time that a brother-sister combination has taken All-Big Ten honors in the same year since Tonya and Tyrone Williams of Illinois were both on the All-Big Ten team in 1995.
The Buckeyes will head to Des Moines, Iowa, next weekend — the site of this season’s NCAA championships — for the Drake Relays.