Ten Buckeyes Begin Title Quests Wednesday at the NCAA Championships
June 5, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ten Buckeyes are set to challenge for national titles this week at the 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championship at Drake Stadium on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Ohio State will be represented by student athletes in six event areas: jumps, distance, hurdles, throws, multi-events and relays. First to compete will be Heath Nickles in the decathlon, with five events scheduled for Wednesday beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET. Nickles, ranked 14th nationally in the multi-event competition, is making his first appearance at the national championships. Joining Nickles in competition Wednesday will be Michael Hartfield in the long jump and Antonio Blanks in the 400m hurdles. Hartfield is making his second trip to the outdoor championships, while Blanks, in his freshman season, competes for the first time.
Thursday competitors include Nickles (4:00 p.m.), Cory Leslie and Adam Green in the 3000m steeplechase (8:25 p.m.), Demoye Bogle (7:50 p.m.) in the 110m hurdles, and the 4x400m relay team (9:05 p.m.). Leslie, ranked second nationally in the event, is set to run in his third-consecutive steeple championship while Green makes his first trip to nationals. Bogle is also competing at the outdoor championships for the first time, and the 4x400m relay team, led by four-time First Team All-American Thomas Murdaugh, runs for the third year in a row. Blanks, Korbin Smith, and Marvel Brooks join Murdaugh as the relay's other three legs.
Matt DeChant, in his second and final outdoor championship, will be last up for the Buckeyes in the shot put at 11:00 a.m. Saturday. Any OSU qualifiers from hurdle, distance or relay semifinals will compete either Friday or Saturday.
Buckeye History at the NCAA Championships
The Buckeyes' lone team championship came in 1929 under head coach F.R. Castleman. Four Buckeyes -- George Simpson, Richard Rockaway and Peter Ramses -- won individual titles that season to secure a title for the Scarlet and Gray. The 1992 season witnessed a second-place finish under head coach Russ Rogers, as the Buckeyes swept both the 4x100m and 4x400m titles that year.
Buckeyes Check-in at No. 19 in USTFCCCA National Rankings
"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."
Follow the Buckeyes on Facebook and Twitter!
Join the Olympian Club!
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
Hartfield got things off to a fast start on the first day of competition, securing his trip to nationals with a sixth-place finish in the long jump at 7.62m (25-0).
Day two witnessed three more Buckeyes advance to Des Moines. Blanks placed third in the 400m hurdles in a PR-time of 50.19, while Leslie (8:41.95) and Green (PR of 8:43.96) finished fifth and seventh, respectively, in the 3000m steeplechase.
Closing the meet in style on day three were Bogle, DeChant, and the 4x4 squad. Bogle tied his PR of 13.81 in the 110m hurdles to place 10th overall, while DeChant finished seventh in the shot put at 18.89m (61-11.75). Murdaugh, Blanks, Smith and Brooks combined for a time of 3:06.08 to take seventh in the 4x400 relay.