COLUMBUS, Ohio – Five members of the Ohio State track and field team advanced to the NCAA outdoor championships Friday evening at the 2016 NCAA East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla. Six Buckeyes have now secured tickets to the national championships next month in Eugene, Ore., through two days of competition at Hodges Stadium.
Senior Alexis Franklin continued her impressive late-season form for the Scarlet and Gray Friday evening, finishing second in her heat and second overall in the women’s 400-hurdle quarterfinals in a time of 55.28, the fourth-fastest time in the nation this season. In the process Franklin, a native of Millersville, Md., cut nearly half a second off her previous school-record time of 55.66 set at the Big Ten championships earlier this month.
Another Buckeye senior advanced in the 400 hurdles on the men’s side, as senior Antonio Blanks, a Dayton native, secured a return trip to Eugene with a second-place finish in his heat and ninth-place performance overall in a season-best time of 50.61.
In the women’s 400-meter dash, senior SoSo Walker used a season-best time of 51.93 to win her section and place third overall. Walker, a Lawrenceville, Ga., product and the OSU-record holder in the event (51.53), will compete at the outdoor championships for the second year in a row.
Freshman Nick Gray, a native of Pickerington, Ohio, enjoyed a productive day for the Scarlet and Gray, advancing to Eugene in the men’s 100-meter dash and securing a birth in the men’s 200-meter quarterfinals Saturday. In the 100, he finished 13th overall in a time of 10.42 but captured the final qualification spot by virtue of a third-place finish in his heat. He was a winner in his 200-meter heat and third overall in a personal-best time of 20.45, the No. 5 time in the OSU record book.
Out in the field, junior Bill Stanley earned the final qualification spot in the men’s javelin with a 12th-place throw of 67.50 meters (221-5.00). Stanley, a native of South Park, Pa., will return to the NCAA championships for the first time since 2013 after redshirting the past two seasons.
Aisha Cavin and Chantel Ray advanced to quarterfinals in the women’s 200 dash and 100 hurdles, respectively. Cavin, a senior from Columbus, was second in her heat and 12th overall in 23.23 seconds, while Ray, a sophomore from Hampton, Va., was 23rd overall in a personal-best time of 13.47.
Ohio State's NCAA Qualifiers
Zack Bazile – men's long jump
Antonio Blanks – men's 400-meter hurdles
Alexis Franklin – women’s 400-meter hurdles
Nick Gray – men’s 100-meter dash
Bill Stanley – men’s javelin
SoSo Walker – women's 400-meter dash