UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Ohio State women’s track and field team sits in eighth-place at the end of the first day of competition at the 2010 Big Ten Indoor Championships.

While the points may not have piled up for the Buckeyes Saturday afternoon, Ohio State nevertheless enjoyed a successful first day at Ashenfelter Indoor Track on the campus of Penn State.

Letecia Wright turned in the top performance for OSU, qualifying in first position for Sunday’s 60m hurdle final with a blazing time of 8.19, the seventh-best in the NCAA this season and the fourth-best in Ohio State indoor history. Teammate Christina Manning used a time of 8.23 – ninth-best nationally – to take the second-best time into tomorrow’s finals. Freshman Christienne Linton will also represent the Buckeyes in the hurdles, as she qualified in ninth position with a personal record time of 8.57.

Wright, Manning and Linton would also qualify for the 60m dash finals, with Manning’s time of 7.46 leading the way. Wright would post a time of 7.51 and Linton 7.52 – all three times were PRs.

Manning followed up her 60 hurdle and dash efforts with a new PR of 23.84 in the 200m dash preliminaries, the third-best on the day and a Top 25 time nationally. Shaniqua McGinnis will also compete for the 200m title Sunday after posting a PR run of 24.19.

McGinnis led Ohio State in the 400m dash prelims with a PR of 23.93, the fourth-best in school indoor history and the second-best in the qualifying round. Senior Latoya Sanderson will join McGinnis in the final race after running a PR of 54.80, eighth-best on the day.

Katie Williams set the school indoor record in the mile with a time of 4:49.66, but failed to qualify for the championship round after finishing in 10th. Molly Beckwith of Indiana will head into Saturday’s final with the top time of the preliminary round (4:07.02).

The Buckeyes earned a total of seven points in the heptathlon. Alana Gray placed fifth with a total score of 3670, matching her finish at last season’s conference championship. The junior from Blackjack, Mo. put together three Top 3 finishes, including a first-place finish in the 60m hurdles (8.75). Sophomore Ashley Galbraith used a PR score of 3600 to finish in sixth, with her top performance coming in the high jump, where she set a PR with her second-place jump of 1.78m (5-10). Wisconsin senior Dorcas Akinniyi won the heptathlon title with an NCAA provisional score of 3979.

Ohio State recorded four points in the distance medley relay, as the team of Sanderson, Williams, Victoria Brink, and Kesha Brooks finished in fifth-place with a time of 11:32.80, the second-best in school history. Michigan used an NCAA provisional time of 11:21.55 to take the DMR title back to Ann Arbor.

Freshman Rachael Mack earned the final two points on day one for the Scarlet and Gray, finishing seventh in the long jump at 5.78m (18-11.75). Purdue senior Christina Madison finished in first-place with an NCAA provisional jump of 6.21m (20-4.50).

Action in the 600m preliminaries was the closest all day as the Top 5 – including senior Ashley Caldwell – all finished within 50 seconds of one another. Iowa junior Bethany Praska leads the pack after her run of 1:30.05, but Caldwell will be in the mix Sunday after finishing with the fifth-best time on day one (1:30.64).

Defending champion Minnesota is in first-place at the conclusion of day one with a total of 41 points, followed by Illinois (37) and Purdue (36). The high jump will kick off the second round of competition tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Team Standings (Day One)
1. Minnesota – 41 points
2. Illinois – 37
3. Purdue – 36
4. Wisconsin – 34
5. Indiana – 22
6. Penn State – 21
7. Michigan – 14
8. Ohio State – 13
9. Michigan State – 10
10. Iowa – 6