March 26, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 13th-ranked Ohio State men’s track and field team defeated three of the top teams in the country – No. 3 Florida, No. 7 Texas and No. 16 USC – at the Power Conference Cardinal & Gold Challenge Saturday in Los Angeles.
Behind individual wins from redshirt senior J.C. Murasky, redshirt junior Bill Stanley, junior Jared Fleming and sophomore Kevin Blank, Ohio State closed the meet with 127 team points, finishing eight points ahead of the home-standing Trojans. Florida was third with 102 points, followed by Texas (96).
Murasky and Stanley were major standouts in the field for the Buckeyes. Murasky won the shot put with a throw of 19.45 meters (63-9.75), No. 3 in the NCAA this season, while Stanley claimed the javelin title at 72.98 meters (239-5.00), No. 9 in the NCAA season.
Fleming and Blank earned crucial points for OSU in the middle distance events. Fleming crossed the finish line in the 800-meter run in a season-best 1:50.69, the 11th-fastest time in the nation so far this season, while Blank finished in a season-best time of 3:53.33.
Other top performers on the men’s side included:
• Freshman Nick Gray, who made this season debut in the 400-meter dash, finishing third overall and racing to a personal-best time of 46.11, the fourth-fastest outdoor time in the NCAA this year;
• Sophomore Zack Bazile, who cleared a personal-best 7.69 meters (25-2.75) in the long jump, the No. 6 jump in the NCAA this outdoor season;
• And junior Aaron Zedella, who was second in the hammer throw (62.07 meters/203-8.00) and third in the discus (49.36 meters/161-11.00).
On the women’s side, No. 16 Ohio State finished fourth overall with 110 points. No. 4 USC was first with 129 points, followed by No. 7 Texas and No. 10 Florida in a second-place tie with 115 points.
Two individual champions reigned for the Buckeye women: senior Tammy Berger, who used a season-best time of 4:27.83 to win the 1500-meter run, and freshman Mikaela Seibert, who cleared 12.28 meters (40-3.50) to win the triple jump.
Other top performers on the women’s side included:
• Senior SoSo Walker, who turned in an impressive time of 52.47 in her outdoor 400-meter dash season debut, the fourth-fastest time in the nation;
• Junior Alexis Franklin, runner-up in the 100-meter hurdles (13.51) and fourth in the 400-meter hurdles (58.24). Both times rank in the Top 15 nationally;
• Junior Rachel Weber, who was runner-up in the 800-meter run in a season-best 2:09.37;
• And freshman Sade Olatoye, who placed fifth or better in three events, highlighted by a runner-up and personal-best performance in the hammer throw (58.44 meters/191-9.00), the top throw in the Big Ten this season.
Ohio State heads to Gainesville, Fla., for the Florida Relays April 1-2.
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