May 25, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Cory Leslie, Adam Green and Antonio Blanks advanced to the NCAA championships with impressive performances Friday evening at the NCAA East Regional Preliminaries in Jacksonville, Fla., highlighting day two at Hodges Stadium for the Ohio State men’s track and field team.
“We had a strong showing today. The guys really competed hard and represented Ohio State well,” interim head coach Ed Beathea said. “Both Cory and Adam made it clear that they plan to be contenders in the steeple at the championships in Des Moines. Antonio established himself as a strong freshman threat in the 400m hurdles while also positioning himself with a solid mark for the Olympic Trials in 14th place on the U.S. list. We are looking for similar efforts tomorrow in the final day the meet.”
Leslie and Green ran the fifth- and seventh-fastest times of the 3000m steeplechase preliminary, respectively, to move on to next month’s national championships in Des Moines. Leslie placed second in his heat in a time of 8:41.95, while Green won his section in a personal-record time of 8:43.96. Eastern Kentucky’s Ben Torotich posted the top time of the 12 championship qualifiers, crossing the finish line in 8:37.03.
Blanks, competing in the 400m hurdles, booked his ticket to nationals by finishing first in his heat and third overall in a PR of 50.19 seconds, the fourth-best performance in Ohio State history. The top time of the day belonged to South Florida’s David Aristil (49.60).
Here’s a recap of the rest of the day from Jacksonville:
110m Hurdle Prelim
A time of 13.85 seconds helped Demoye Bogle to third place in his section and 13th overall, more than enough to secure a spot in tomorrow’s quarterfinal race. Miami’s Devon Hill placed first overall in 13.36 seconds.
Timothy Faust will run in tomorrow’s quarterfinal after placing sixth in his heat and 25th overall in a time of 21.11. Maurice Mitchell of Florida State (20.22) owned the top time of preliminary round.
Fighting through injuries that have plagued him throughout the outdoor season, Thomas Murdaugh (48.40) finished 25th overall in the final individual race of his prolific Ohio State career – the senior All-American will run with the 4x400m relay team tomorrow in an attempt to advance to the eighth national championship of his career. George Mason’s David Verburg led the list of qualifiers with a time of 45.08.
Dan White finished eighth in his heat and 21st overall in his final race as a Buckeye, crossing the finish line in a time of 1:50.79. Georgia’s Aaron Evans placed first overall in 1:47.31.
Max Mays (60.15m/197-4.00) placed 20th in his final collegiate competition, while teammate Thomas Davis finished 35th (56.32m/184-9.00). Princeton’s Conor McCullough was the winner at 72.40m (237-6.00).
Competition resumes tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. ET with the pole vault.
Buckeye Spotlight - Zack Bazile