March 22, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The 25th-ranked Ohio State men's track and field team travels to Starkville, Miss., this Friday, March 23, for the second-annual Big Ten/SEC Challenge and the start of the 2012 outdoor season.
Saturday's scored meet pits five schools from the Big Ten against three SEC institutions. The Big Ten will be represented by the Buckeyes, Purdue, Illinois, eighth-ranked Indiana, and No. 22 Wisconsin, while 14th-ranked Mississippi State, No. 21 Mississippi, and Tennessee will carry the banner for the SEC. Points are awarded to the top-4 finishers in each event and scored in a 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 format. Each conference can score a max of four athletes per event.
Action from the Carl Maddox Track on the campus of Mississippi State University is scheduled to begin at approximately 10:30 a.m. ET with competition in the hammer throw. A complete recap will be available after the meet at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Ohio State 25th in USTFCCCA Preseason Top 25
The Buckeyes checked in at No. 25 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Preseason Top 25, released Thursday.
Five Big Ten teams are featured in the Top 25, with No. 8 Indiana leading the way, followed by No. 15 Nebraska, No. 18 Iowa, No. 19 Wisconsin and the Buckeyes. Florida is the top-ranked team in the nation, followed by No. 2 Florida State and third-ranked LSU.
Preseason national team rankings are calculated using data from previous seasons as a base of evaluation. Marks gained in the early part of this season will supersede previous-year marks if they are superior.
Follow the Buckeyes on Facebook and Twitter!
The Ohio State men's track and field team is on Facebook and Twitter. Visit www.facebook.com/OSUtrackXC and www.twitter.com/OhioState_MTRK to catch up on the latest Buckeye news and notes.
Join the Olympian Club!
A fund-raising initiative created by head coach Robert Gary, the Ohio State Olympian Club hopes to generate financial support for track and field/cross country projects that are beyond the budget but extremely valuable in enhancing the experiences of the program's student-athletes.
Besides supporting the members of the Ohio State track and field/cross country teams both on and off the track, donations will afford the Buckeyes the opportunity to continue to operate in a first-class manner, while setting a new standard for Division I programs.
For more information, visit the men's track and field home page at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Recapping the 2011 Big Ten/SEC Challenge
Ohio State and the Big Ten Conference posted a 399-337 victory over the Southeastern Conference in the inaugural Big Ten/SEC Challenge last March.
The Big Ten used balance to defeat its southern rivals, dominating in the field events and distance competition. Ohio State contributed a meet-high 117 points toward the final conference point total, highlighted by five individual titles.
All-American Thomas Murdaugh turned in the performance of the meet, running a blazing time of 46.41 in the 400m to upset Mississippi State All-American Tavaris Tate, the runner-up in 46.61. The Dublin, Ohio, native also anchored the Buckeye 4x400m relay team to a second-place finish in 3:07.73 behind Tate and the Bulldogs (3:05.24). In all, Murdaugh contributed a total of 18 points toward the Big Ten's cumulative point total.
Last Time Out
Ohio State turned in a 26th-place finish at the NCAA indoor championships March 11.
Murdaugh, making his seventh NCAA appearance overall, picked up a pair of First Team All-American awards by finishing seventh in the 400m dash and, along with teammates Antonio Blanks, Korbin Smith and Marvel Brooks, fifth in the 4x400m relay.
Matt DeChant (shot put) and the Distance Medley relay team of Cory Leslie, Korbin Smith, Chris Fallon, and Dan White also earned First Team All-American honors for the Buckeyes by finishing eighth in their respective events.
Second Team All-Americans for the Buckeyes included Max Mays (11th) and DeChant (13th) in the weight throw, and Leslie (13th) in the mile.
Ohio State heads to Austin, Texas, next week for the Texas Relays.
Buckeye Spotlight - Zack Bazile