No. 15 Buckeyes Set for Big Weekend at the NCAA Championships
March 7, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Five individuals and two relay teams will represent the 15th-ranked Ohio State men's track and field team at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships this Friday and Saturday, March 9-10, in Nampa, Idaho.
Thomas Murdaugh will be making his seventh appearance at an NCAA championship meet as he challenges the field in the 400m and anchors an OSU 4x400m relay team featuring Antonio Blanks, Korbin Smith, and Marvel Brooks. Cory Leslie will also pull double duty for the Scarlet and Gray as he battles for the national titles in the mile and as a member of a Buckeye Distance Medley team that includes Smith, Chris Fallon and Dan White.
Matt DeChant and Max Mays will represent the field contingent for the Buckeyes as they compete in the weight throw, while Demoye Bogle makes his first trip to the national championships as a contender in the 60m hurdle finals.
Ohio State Schedule
7:00 p.m. - Mile prelims (Leslie)
7:30 p.m. - 60m hurdle prelims (Bogle)
8:00 p.m. - 400m prelims (Murdaugh)
11:05 p.m. - DMR finals
6:00 p.m. - Weight throw trials and finals (DeChant and Mays)
8:15 p.m. - Mile finals
8:35 p.m. - 60m hurdle finals
8:55 p.m. - 400m finals
10:25 p.m. - 4x400m finals
Scouting the Field
400m - Murdaugh is seeded seventh overall. Expect a three-person race between Georgia’s Torrin Lawrence, Mississippi State’s Tavaris Tate, and Tony McQuay of Florida.
Mile - The No. 5 seed entering the meet, Leslie will compete against one of the most balanced fields in recent memory. BYU’s Miles Batty is the No. 1 seed after posting a time of 3:54.54 in early February.
Weight Throw - DeChant and Mays are seeded ninth and 11th, respectively. Virginia Tech’s Marcel Lomincky and Alexander Ziegler are the top-2 seeds are and separated by .01 meters heading into the finals.
Distance Medley - Ohio State is seeded 11th in a wide-open DMR. BYU owns the top time of the qualifiers, while Indiana is second overall headed into the final.
4x400m - The Buckeyes own the seventh-best time in a field that features six sub-3:06 times. Arkansas owns the top time in the country (3:03.76) by nearly two seconds.
Buckeye History at the National Championships
Ohio State athletes have posted over 75 First Team All-America performances at the indoor championships. Murdaugh (400m, 2010) and OSU head coach Robert Gary (3000m, 1994 and 1995) are just a few of the former Buckeyes that have earned the title of All-American.
As a team, the Buckeyes have put together seven top-20 finishes, the last coming in 2004 when OSU took ninth overall. Ohio State's best finish all-time took place in 1993, when the team finished fifth under long-time head coach Russ Rogers.
Five Buckeyes Named First Big Team All-Big Ten
Buckeyes in the Individual Top 25 Rankings
Leslie - No. 7 in the mile and No. 11 in the 800m
Ohio State 15th in USTFCCCA Top 25, First in Great Lakes Regional Rankings
Seven Big Ten teams are featured in the Top 25, with No. 8 Minnesota leading the way, followed by No. 14 Indiana, OSU, No. 19 Nebraska, No. 22 Wisconsin, No. 23 Illinois, and No. 24 Penn State. Florida is the top-ranked team in the nation, followed by No. 2 Arkansas and third-ranked Texas A&M.
Meanwhile, Ohio State is ranked first in the Great Lakes regional poll for the sixth-consecutive week. With a total of 439.79 points, the Buckeyes have the fifth-highest team score in the nation. Indiana is the second-ranked team in the Great Lakes with a score of 401.04, followed by Wisconsin, Michigan and Notre Dame.
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Last Time Out
On Friday, Fallon, Smith, White and Leslie used a sixth-place time of 9:31.71 in the finals of the Distance Medley to best the previous school record by more than 16 seconds. The next night, the 4x400m relay team ran a fourth-place time of 3:06.15 to better a 19-year-old record.
In individual competition, Murdaugh ran well in the 400m dash, finishing third overall in a career indoor-best time of 46.17, a top-10 mark nationally.