May 12, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Michael Hartfield won the Big Ten title in the long jump Saturday afternoon at the 2012 Big Ten Outdoor Championships in Madison, Wis., highlighting the second day of competition from Dan McClimon Memorial Track for the Ohio State men’s track and field team.
Hartfield successfully defended his 2011 outdoor title in the same event with a personal-best jump of 7.96m (26-1.50), the fourth-best mark in Division I this season and a top-5 performance in the Ohio State record books. The senior led a Buckeye long jump contingent that placed three athletes in the Top 6 and accumulated a total of 19 points for the team. Korbin Smith tied his PR in the event (7.68m/25-2.50, No. 16 nationally) to earn the bronze medal, while Steve MacDonald used a PR of 7.58m (24-10.50) to place sixth overall.
"The first jump, it was a big foul," Hartfield said. "This was my first meet jumping off my left leg the entire season so I wasn't sure how it would go. So my first jump I got so much height I didn't know what to do with it. So I kind of just landed all kind of crazy but ended up faulting anyways. But then the next one I got in control a little bit and that was the winning jump with 7.96, which is actually a PR by .01. So to come out with a PR after a season of jumping off the opposite leg ... I mean this is really a blessing.
"It feels good especially after getting your behind kicked all year, you know. To come back at Big Tens and really make a statement, it feels good."
Cory Leslie was the other big scorer for the Buckeyes on day two. The junior claimed eight team points with a runner-up finish in the 3000m steeplechase in a PR-time of 8:32.48, a performance that ranks him second in Division I this season and among the Top 5 in the event in school history. Michigan’s Craig Forys won the gold medal in a meet-record time of 8:28.90, tops in DI this season.
As a team, Ohio State sits in fourth place with 42 points after two days of competition. Host and 15th-ranked Wisconsin is in first with 62 points, followed by defending indoor champion and eighth-ranked Indiana (44), and No. 17 Nebraska (42.50)
Here’s a recap of the rest of day two action for the Scarlet and Gray:
Placing second in his section and fifth overall in a season-best time of 10.50 helped Timothy Faust qualify for Sunday’s final. Stanley Azie (10.35) of Illinois owns the top time headed in to the championship sprint.
Faust also advanced in the 200m by placing second in his heat and fifth overall in a PR of 20.83. The leader after the prelims is Indiana’s Kind Butler (20.45).
110m Hurdle Prelims
Demoye Bogle placed first in his heat in a time of 13.93 to book his ticket to the finals. Iowa’s Ethan Holmes is first after day one (13.83).
400m Hurdle Prelims
Antonio Blanks advanced to the finals by taking second in his section and fourth overall in a PR of 51.28. Miles Ukaoma was first overall in 50.94 seconds.
The Buckeyes qualified two athletes for Sunday’s final. Chris Fallon posted a PR of 3:44.20 in the fastest heat of the day to finish tied for the second-best time of the preliminary, while Leslie won his heat in a time of 3:53.19. Indiana’s Andy Bayer was first overall in 3:44.17.
Ohio State collected a total of seven points in the event thanks to a 5-7 finish from Heath Nickles and Cory Kunze. Nickles totaled a final score of 7635 on the heels of PRs in the 100m, 400m and high jump, shattering the previous school-record mark by nearly 200 points and placing himself among the top-15 performances in Division I this season. Kunze’s 7226 points were a career best and included PRs in the 100m, 400m, 1500m and javelin. Nebraska’s Bjorn Barrefors won the conference title with 7897 points.
Faust, Bogle, Brandon Blackwell and Nick Batcha finished third in their heat and fifth overall in a season-best time of 39.97, good for a berth in tomorrow’s final. Indiana completed the relay in 39.60 seconds to lead the field.
Team Rankings – Eight Events Scored
1. Wisconsin – 62 points
2. Indiana – 44
3. Nebraska – 42.50
4. Ohio State – 42
5. Minnesota – 33.50
6. Michigan – 28
7. Michigan State – 14
8. Iowa – 12.50
9. Illinois – 12
10. Penn State – 11
11. Purdue – 10.50
Championship Sunday begins at 11:55 a.m. ET tomorrow morning.