COLUMBUS, Ohio – Shaniqua McGinnis ran a spirited final leg to give the Ohio State women’s track and field the title in the 4x400m relay on the final day of the 2009 Big Ten Indoor Championships at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
The first-place finish was Ohio State’s only title on the weekend, as the Buckeyes squeaked by Illinois at the wire with a regional qualifying time of 3:38.33.
The overall team title came down to the 4×400. Penn State, by virtue of its third-place finish in 3:38.84, claimed conference championship with 139 points, edging Michigan, second in the team standings with 138.75 points and fourth in the 4×400 at 3:40.45. Minnesota took third in the team rankings, totaling 131.50 points.
Letecia Wright placed second in the finals of the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.43. Michigan’s Tiffany Ofili blew the field away, crossing the finish line in 13:05. Deserea Brown of Illinois took third-place in 13.53 as all nine competitors ran regional qualifying times.
Senior Ayrizanna Favours ran a season best time in the 200m dash, finishing third 23.97. Penn State swept the Top Two, with Shavon Greaves finishing first in 23.35 and Gayle Hunter second with a time of 23.81. Greaves and Hunter both exceeded the regional qualifying standard.
Ohio State finished fourth in the 4x100m relay, a day after qualifying with the top time in the preliminary heats. The 2008 outdoor champions were running in second heading into the final turn, but a sloppy exchange between freshman Christina Manning and Wright doomed the Buckeyes as they crossed the finish line in 45.97. Michigan won the race with a regional qualifying time of 45.53, followed by Penn State at 45.62, a regional qualifier, and Illinois (45.84).
Jordan Jennewine broke the school record in the 1500m run with her sixth-place time of 4:23.37, a regional-qualifying time. Michigan senior Geena Gall was first with a Big Ten season best time of 4:15.09 and Angela Bizzari of Illinois second in 4:16.95, as the Top 10 finishers qualified for regional competition. Ohio State’s distance program continues to make strides under the guidance of assistant coach Chris Neal.
Jennewine ran another regional qualifying time in the 5000m, a personal record of 16:39.78, the fourth-best run in school history. Teammate Sarah Foster finished 11th in a regional time of 16:45.66. Bizarri of Illinois, the runner-up in the 1500m, broke the Big Ten championship record with her first-place run of 15:54.86.
A Big Ten championship record fell in the triple jump. Renee White, a senior from Iowa, broke the previous record set in 2000 by Christine Gulbrandsen of Minnesota (13.35m), with her jump of 13.38. The Top 6 qualified for the regional championships.
The Buckeyes will compete next weekend at the 2009 NCAA Regional Championships in Louisville, Ky.
2009 Big Ten Outdoor Championships
Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium – Columbus, Ohio
1) Penn State – 139
2) Michigan – 138.75
3) Minnesota – 131.50
4) Illinois – 100
5) Indiana – 74.25
6) Purdue – 64
7) Michigan State – 57.25
8) Ohio State – 45
9) Wisconsin – 38.25
10) Iowa – 31