COLUMBUS, Ohio – Seniors Michael Hartfield and Korbin Smith of the No. 23 Ohio State men’s track and field team are the first two Buckeyes to punch their tickets to the NCAA Championships taking place in Eugene, Ore., June 5-8. Hartfield and Smith each finished in the top 12 overall in the long jump at the NCAA East Regional competition Thursday afternoon in Greensboro, N.C.
Hartfield, the Ohio State outdoor record holder in the event, used a jump of 7.66m (25-1.75) to finish third overall. The Manchester, Conn., native will be making his third straight appearance in the long jump at the championships, his best finish coming in 2012 when he finished 10th.
Smith used a jump of 7.38m (24-2.50) to finish 10th and make the NCAA championships for the first time in this event. He finished one spot out at the regional in 2011 with a 13th place finish and placed 23rd at the 2012 regional competition. Jeff Artis-Gray from Virginia Tech had the best overall mark of the day with a jump of 7.83m (25-8.25).
In preliminary competition in the 400m hurdles, sophomore Antonio Blanks and junior Jordan Rispress both advanced to Friday’s semi-final race. With the top three from each six heats, plus the next six fastest times, advancing to the semis, Blanks used a time of 51.31 to win his heat and have the fourth best time overall. Rispress finished third in his heat with a time of 52.24. Scottie Hearns of Mississippi State had the best time overall of 50.63.
Senior Chris Fallon also advanced to Saturday’s semi-final race in the 1500m run, using a time of 3:48.34 to finish fourth in his heat. Jeremy Rae of Notre Dame held the day’s top time of 3:43.33. The top five in each of four heats advanced plus the next four fastest times. Out of the 24 in Saturday’s race, 12 will advance on to Eugene.
NCAA East Regional competition picks up again Friday at 12 p.m. beginning with the javelin.