Feb. 24, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Heath Nickles won the Big Ten title in the pole vault Friday afternoon at the 2012 Big Ten Indoor Championships in Lincoln, Neb., highlighting the first day of competition for the 13th-ranked Ohio State men’s track and field team at the Devaney Indoor Track. As a team, the Buckeyes sit in third place with 27 points after five events. Nebraska leads with 45 points while Wisconsin is second with 32.
The junior won the second Big Ten title of his career – he claimed first place in the decathlon at last May’s outdoor championships – by clearing the bar at a PR-height of 5.32m/17-5.50. The winning mark is the second-best in OSU indoor history and among the top 20 in Division I this season.
Led by Michael McCarty, Ohio State collected a total of nine points in the long jump. McCarty placed fifth at 7.48m (24-6.50), while teammates Michael Hartfield (7.42m/24-4.25) and Korbin Smith (7.40m/24-3.25) finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
Cory Leslie enjoyed a successful first day as well, qualifying for a pair of Saturday finals with a second-place finish in the 800m and third-place effort in the mile. The junior won his section of the 800m in a top-10 Division I time of 1:48.42, just .31 seconds off of his own school indoor record.
Here’s a recap of the rest of the first day of competition:
Brandon Blackwell used a PR of 6.75 to finish third in his heat and qualify fifth overall for the championship sprint. Illinois All-American Andrew Riley completed his sprint in 6.63 seconds for the top qualifying time.
60m Hurdle Prelims
Demoye Bogle booked his ticket for tomorrow’s championship race by placing second in his heat and fifth overall in a time of 7.95. Illinois’s Riley leads the field after posting a 7.74.
All-American Thomas Murdaugh qualified for the finals with a win in his section and sixth-place finish overall in 21.43. Kind Butler of Indiana (20.98) is first overall.
Murdaugh will defend his Big Ten title after taking first in his heat and a second overall in the opening round race in 46.98, a top-25 nationally. Minnesota’s Harun Abda is the leader of the pack after day one with a time of 46.92.
With a PR time of 1:19.57, Marvel Brooks finished first in his heat and sixth overall to secure a spot in Saturday’s final. Nebraska’s Tommy Brinn (1.17.98) placed first overall in the prelim.
Leslie crossed the finish line behind Indiana All-American Andy Bayer and Penn State’s Robby Creese in a time 4:06.30. Chris Fallon also qualified for tomorrow’s final.
Adam Green picked up two points for the Scarlet and Gray by finishing seventh in the 3000m run in a PR of 8:04.97. Indiana’s Bayer won the title in 8:01.38.
Distance Medley Relay
Ohio State’s team of Fallon, Josh Sabo, Antonio Blanks, and Dan White contributed four points towards the Buckeyes’ team score with a fourth-place time of 9:48.64, a top-20 time nationally. Penn State won the event in 9:44.40.
McCarty sits in third place after four events with 3159 points thanks to a runner-up finish in the long jump and fourth-place performance in the 60m dash. Japheth Cato of Wisconsin leads the competition with 3281 points, while Cory Kunze (2960) and Nickles (2874) are ninth and 13th, respectively.
Team Standings – Five Events Scored
1) Nebraska - 45
2) Wisconsin - 32
3) Ohio State - 27
4) Indiana - 23
5) Minnesota - 22
6) Penn State - 15
7) Michigan St. - 9
7) Michigan - 9
9) Iowa - 6
10) Purdue - 4
11) Illinois - 3