Men's XC: Ohio State Heads to NCAA Pre-Nationals

Go Buckeyes!
Go Buckeyes!

Go Buckeyes!

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State men’s cross country team will compete Saturday in the NCAA Pre-Nationals on the campus of Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Ind.

 The men’s race will start at 11 a.m. on the campus of Indiana State University and the race will be on an 8-kilometer course. The field will feature 27 ranked teams and nine of the Top 10 teams in the country in the poll.
Meet Information:

The Buckeyes took third among NCAA Division I teams Friday at the All-Ohio Championships in Delaware, Ohio. The Buckeyes posted the Top 3 showing despite not entering their Top 5 runners. 
After a long road trip to Oregon last week, head coach Robert Gary decided to rest his Top 5 in the 90-degree heat. Gary also brought a majority of the track and field team to support.
The Buckeyes raced a team of sophomores and freshmen led by true freshman Chris Olinger, who took seventh overall in a time of 26:41.2. Sophomores Taylor Candella (26:44.0) and Donald Hanigosky (27:13.0) rounded out the team’s Top 3 finishing eighth and 17th, respectively.

“This is a big team-building exercise. We started doing this last season and it really brings the team closer together.”

Chris Olinger, a freshman, was named the Big Ten runner of the week Tuesday.
Olinger, from North Bloomfield, Ohio, led the Buckeyes to a third-place finish at the All-Ohio Championships Friday in Delaware, Ohio. Olinger finished seventh among Division I runners in a time of 26:41.2 on an 8-kilometer course.
Arnio led Ohio State, which rested its entire Top 5 at the event. Olinger is the first Buckeye to win R.O.W as a freshman.
The award is the first career runner of the week honor for Arnio and the Buckeyes’ first R.O.W. since Jeff See took home the honor Sept. 4, 2007, following the Kent State Short Course Open. Olinger is the ninth Big Ten R.O.W. the Buckeyes have claimed in the over the past four seasons more than any other Big Ten team in that span. 

Jeff See and Chris Olinger have added two more Big Ten runner of the week awards to the Buckeyes collection this season. See won his on Sept. 4, and Arnio on Oct. 9. Ohio State now has won nine R.O.W. in the last four years more then any other Big Ten team in that span.
Alex Bailey won the award on Oct. 10, 2006 following the All-Ohio Championships, the men’s team took home the conference honor in each of its first three meets a year ago.
John Ealy won R.O.W. honors following the Xavier (Sept. 12, 2006) and Buckeye Invitational (Sept. 19, 2006). Ealy has taken most of the awards as he has won three, R.O.W. over the past two seasons. Ealy also was named the 2004 Big Ten Freshman of the year. 
Bailey has taken home two R.O.W. each following the All-Ohio Championships in the past two years. 
Ohio State has also had 16 student-athletes named to the Academic All-Big Ten over the last three years. The Buckeyes also were named by the NCAA as an All-Academic cross country team.

Jeff See was named the co-Big Ten runner of the week Sept. 4 and shared the award with Penn State’s Brian Fuller.
See, a junior from Middletown, Ohio, led the Buckeyes at the Short Course Open Aug. 31 on the campus of Kent State as he took home the individual title in a time of 15:14.5. The mark was a collegiate career best time for See on a 5-kilometer course.
The award was the first career runner of the week honor for See and the Buckeyes’ first R.O.W. since Alex Bailey took home the honor Oct. 10, 2006, following the All-Ohio Championships.
The award rounds out a solid summer for See as he became the first Buckeye to break the four minute mark in the mile competing unattached June 2, during his redshirt season at the Music City Distance Classic. 

The Buckeyes started season with wins at the Kent State Short Course Open race Aug. 31 and the Tennessee Twilight Invitational Sept. 14. Ohio State has now won the opening race of its season in three consecutive years. The Scarlet and Gray were led to victory by junior Jeff See in both meets. The win for See at Kent State was the first individual title of his Ohio State career. See won the race in a career-best time on a 5-kilometer course, 15:14.5.
See was tightly followed at Kent by senior John Ealy who finished second overall and came in at a time of 15:15.5. Sophomore Chad Balyo came in third in time of 15:16.7 as the Buckeyes ran away with the team title in a sweep of the Top 3 overall positions. At Tennessee once again Ealy came in second and Balyo third.

Ohio State opened the 2006 season with victories in each of their first three events. The team used that momentum to post a Top 10 finish at the Great Lakes Regional. Individually, John Ealy came out of the gate with a pair of wins in the first two meets of the season while Alex Bailey had Top 3 finishes in each of the first three events of the year.
“Last year was tough on the team because I had just begun the head track job,” Gary, who took over the track and field team in August, said. “Our program relies on being extremely individualized when it comes to training plans and we are already very focused toward this.”

Ohio State welcomes the best in the Big Ten conference Oct. 28 at the OSU Golf Course. That meet highlights a strong schedule, which started Aug. 31 at Kent State with a first-place finish. At the Tennessee Twilight Invitational Sept. 14 the Buckeyes won their second consecutive meet in Knoxville, Tenn. A trip west to Eugene, Ore., for the Bill Dellinger Invitational was a tough test for the Buckeyes Sept. 28 but the Scarlet and Gray came always with a 10th-place finish.
“The Big Ten cross country championships should be a great event,” Gary said. “Not only do I feel our team will respond to the great opportunity of being at home, but I have a feeling there will be a ton of both former and present Buckeyes out there cheering. I have organized the first OSU cross country reunion for the evening beforehand and the response has been what you can expect from Ohio State student-athletes.”
Last week Buckeyes went to the 2006 All-Ohio Championship next week in Delaware, Ohio and finished third resting their Top 5. This week the Scarlet and Gray head to the NCAA Pre-Championship Meet in Terre Haute, Ind.
In November, Ohio State will return to Bloomington, Ind., to run at the Great Lakes Regional Meet Nov. 10 in hopes of gaining a bid to the NCAA Championships Nov. 19, again in Terre Haute, Ind.
“Then obviously, the focus of our season is the Big Ten meet on our beautiful Ohio State University golf course, the Great Lakes Regional, and NCAA’s. All of those meets take place in just over a 3-week span. Ultimately, the NCAA Championships is where our team expects to measure itself every year. That was the main ingredient to our 2005 Big Ten runner-up and third-place regional finish.”

“We had a very strong distance group this recruiting cycle that I am very excited about,” Gary said. “Led by Jake Edwards’ fantastic spring on the track with a 4:07 mile that ranked No. 5 in U.S., Brian Gallagher (9:10 two-mile), Daniel White (1:52 800-meters), Taylor Williams (9:21 two-mile), and our lone out-of-state recruit Adam Green (1:52, 4:14, 9:14), I am very excited to have them together as a group.
“They made up the majority of the Ohio Mideast Cross Country team that really dominated. I am hoping that a couple years from now they’ll be doing the same at the Big Ten and NCAA level.”

The Buckeyes will take a week off and then play host to the 2007 Big Ten Championships on the Ohio State University Golf Course on Oct. 28. The race is scheduled to start at 11:30.