Buckeyes Look to Bring Big Ten Title Back to Columbus
May 9, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State men's track and field team travels to Madison, Wis., this weekend for the 2012 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, looking to capture its first team title in 19 years.
The three-day championship event at Dan McClimon Memorial Track at the University of Wisconsin features one of the deepest fields in recent memory, as a total of eight teams enter the weekend ranked among the Top 40 nationally. No. 8 Indiana is the favorite to repeat as conference champions following its indoor title in February, but a number of squads will challenge the Hoosiers for the top spot, including defending outdoor champ and 21st-ranked Iowa, host and 15th-ranked Wisconsin, No. 17 Nebraska, 25th-ranked Minnesota, winner of two of the last three conference crowns, and the Buckeyes.
Events are scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. ET Friday afternoon. Recaps will be available at the end of each day of competition at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Follow along on Twitter @OhioState_MTRK to keep track of the Buckeyes' progress throughout the weekend.
Cory Leslie - Ranked third nationally in both the 1500m and 3000m steeplechase, Leslie is enjoying his best season as a Buckeye in 2012. The redshirt junior owns a total of five Ohio State records and has set personal bests in both the 1500m and steeplechase during the outdoor campaign.
Thomas Murdaugh - A seven-time Big Ten champion, Murdaugh has run well during the outdoor season despite being limited by injury. He owns the 15th-fastest time in the nation in the 400m dash (45.96) and helped the 4x400m relay team to a blistering time of 3:04.01 at the Drake Relays, a mark that was ultimately vacated due to a controversial lane violation call.
Heath Nickles - The 2012 Big Ten indoor champion in the pole vault and the 2011 outdoor decathlon champion, Nickles owns the nation's 18th-best point total in the decathlon (7,451), a personal-best mark that he set at the Texas Relays in finishing five points off of the Ohio State school record.
Buckeye History at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships
The Scarlet and Gray dominated the Big Ten in the early 1990s under longtime coach Russ Rogers, winning back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993 while taking second in both 1991 and 1994. Rogers was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1993 based on his team's outstanding accomplishments.
Recapping the 2011 Big Ten Championships
The Buckeyes won a total of five individual titles over the three days of competition to close the meet with a total of 109 points. Iowa won its first conference title in more than 40 years on its home track, scoring 125.50 points - 110.50 of those on the final day - in a surprising upset of two-time defending conference champion Minnesota. The Gophers finished in second place with 123 points.
Buckeyes Check-in at No. 31 in USTFCCCA National Rankings, Third Regionally
Cory Leslie - No. 3 in the 1500m run and 3000m steeplechase
Buckeyes Add Nine for 2013
"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."
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