Ohio State Returns Home to Host Jesse Owens Track Classic

Go Buckeyes! Jesse Owens
Go Buckeyes!
Jesse Owens
Go Buckeyes!

April 11, 2012

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State men's track and field team returns to Columbus this Friday and Saturday, April 13-14, as host of the 27th Jesse Owens Track Classic.

Like the classics of the past, the 2012 edition will serve as a stage for scholastic, collegiate and post-collegiate athletes to perform at their highest levels in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. In its history, the Jesse Owens Track Classic has served as a top venue for many future and former Olympians. Current and past record holders for the Jesse Owens Track Classic include Olympic medalists John Drummond, Michelle Finn, Allen Johnson, Edwin Moses, Dwight Stones and former Buckeyes Diane Dixon, Joe Greene and Butch Reynolds. Others of Olympic fame include Judi Brown, Roger Kingdom, Carl Lewis, Louise Ritter and Calvin Smith, as well as past OSU Olympians Mark Croghan and Stephanie Hightower. This weekend, more than 450 athletes are scheduled to compete.

Action Friday evening begins with the discus at 4:00 p.m. ET, with running events slated for 8:25 p.m. Field events begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, followed by running events at noon. A complete recap will be available at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com at the conclusion of each day of competition.

Meet Quick Facts
Days: Friday, April 13 (4:00 p.m. - 10:15 p.m.) and Saturday, April 14 (10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
Venue: Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium
Live Results: www.finishtiming.com; www.twitter.com/OhioState_MTRK    
Admission: Free

Murdaugh Named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week
Senior All-American Thomas Murdaugh was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week by the conference office on April 4 after an impressive season-opening performance at the Jim Click Shootout.

Murdaugh placed first in the 400m dash in a time of 45.96, tops in the Big Ten and sixth nationally, while also helping the 4x400m relay team to a third-place finish. The weekly laurel was the fifth of his career and his first since March 2011.

Ohio State 31st in USTFCCCA Week Two Rankings
The Buckeyes fell three spots to No. 31 in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Top 25, released Tuesday.

Seven Big Ten teams are featured in the Top 35, with No. 9 Indiana leading the way, followed by No. 15 Nebraska, No. 17 Iowa, No. 24 Wisconsin, No. 28 Illinois, No. 30 Penn State and the Buckeyes. Florida is the top-ranked team in the nation, followed by No. 2 Florida State and third-ranked LSU.

Buckeyes Add Nine for 2013
Ohio State associate head coach Ed Beathea announced the signing of nine student-athletes for the 2012-2013 academic year Tuesday.

"This is the best recruiting class we have put together in my time at Ohio State," Beathea said. "I have been a huge believer in the amount and quality of talent from Ohio and will remain so. However, we expanded our search nationally this year to include recruiting most of our signees from inside the very best on the national list.

I believe our consistency at remaining inside the Top 3 in the conference during the track season and qualifying for the cross country national meet over the last five years has built a strong foundation to start recruiting more talented student-athletes that will help us make the next jump into the elite. It is time to start scoring at nationals and winning Big Ten titles."

In all, the Buckeyes will welcome five Ohio products and four accomplished out-of-state prospects to campus next fall. Meet the future Buckeyes:

• Donovan Robertson // Hurdles - Berea, Ohio - Berea
• Joseph Velez // Throws - Providence, R.I. - Classical
• Champ Page // Sprints - Marlboro, Md. - Henry Wise
• Justin Burke // Sprints - Virginia Beach, Va. - First Colonial
• Billy Stanley // Javelin - South Park, Pa. - South Park
• Steven Weaver // Distance - Napoleon, Ohio - Napoleon
• Jack Kincade // Multi-Events - Hilliard, Ohio - Hilliard Davidson
• Nicholas Pupino // Distance - Copley, Ohio - Copley
• Jordan Redd // Distance - Fairborn, Ohio - Fairborn

Ohio State Hosts LiFE Sports Clinic
Kids were all smiles at the March 31 track and field clinic hosted by LiFE Sports and the Ohio State men's and women's track and field team at French Field House. The free clinic was held in lieu of the free summer camp hosted by LiFE Sports this coming summer.

The clinic was composed of four track and field events: relay race, basic sprint, shot put, and long jump. Each event included a demonstration by a student-athlete. Afterwards the kids had a chance to show off their skills.

Children in the Columbus area were able to have fun while learning about track and field. OSU LiFE Sports holds clinics and camps throughout the year, all free of charge. Check out LiFE Sports at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/camps/life-sports.html.

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!
The Ohio State Olympian Club is a fund-raising initiative that 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.

Last Time Out
Murdaugh and sophomore Kenny Stephens picked up wins for the Buckeyes at the Jim Click Shootout April 1 in Tucson, Ariz.

Murdaugh earned his win in the 400m dash with a time of 45.96 while Stephens won the javelin with a throw of 62.07m (203-8) -- one week after throwing 186 feet.

This wasn't your typical meet, as it featured a conference event scoring with the Pac-12 duo of Arizona and California winning with a score of 460, ahead of the Big Ten combination of OSU and Penn State, who combined to score 422.33. Clemson and Miami represented the ACC with a total of 266. On a team-by-team level, Arizona won the event with 120 points, followed by the Buckeyes in second (107). Penn State and Cal tied for third with 96 points each.

The meet was capped off with a combined men's 4x400-meter relay, which saw the Big Ten team of Marvel Brooks and Antonio Blanks team up with Penn State's Aaron Nadolsky and Brandon Bennett-Green. The team came away with a victory in a time of 3:10.69.

Meanwhile, Heath Nickles used a personal-best score of 7,451 to finish sixth in the decathlon at the 85th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Texas.

Finishing five points off of Ray Hupp's school record in the event, Nickles turned in a first-place tie in the pole vault (5.10m/16-8.75) and individual PRs in four events: the 100m (11.53), 110m hurdles (14.98), discus (39.41m/129-3) and javelin (60.48m/198-5). Cory Kunze finished 16th for the Buckeyes with a score of 6,467, setting PRs in the long jump (7.23m/23-8.75), 100m (11.14), discus (38.49m/126-3) and 1500m (4:47.91).

Up Next
Ohio State is scheduled to compete at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., April 19-21 and at the All-Ohio championships in Oxford, Ohio, April 20-21.