Scarlet and Gray bring in top conference honors
May 15, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - After another year of success at the Big Ten championships, the Buckeyes brought home their second consecutive Big Ten outdoor trophy and the second in program history. In recognition of their tremendous efforts, junior thrower Alexis Thomas, All-American Christina Manning and head coach Karen Dennis were honored Tuesday by the Big Ten for their hard work and outstanding achievements this season and over the weekend at the conference championship meet.
Thomas was named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year and Field Athlete of the Championships after an impressive performance in the hammer throw. The Huber Heights native used a Big Ten meet record mark of 64.62m (212 ft.) to win the gold medal and break the Ohio State record. This is the first Big Ten title for Thomas and she is the first Buckeye in history to be named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year and Field Athlete of the Championships.
Manning was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year after a strong outdoor season that included setting a new school record in the 100m hurdles (12.68) at the Tom Jones Memorial and being named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week twice. At the Big Ten championships, the Waldorf, Md., native scored 28 points for Ohio State after winning the 100m hurdles, 100m dash and placing second in the 200m dash. Manning crossed the line with a time of 11.49 to lead the Buckeyes to a 1-2-3-5 finish in the 100m dash. A time of 23.30 was turned in by Manning in the 200m dash on her way to claiming the silver medal. The senior finished well ahead of the second-place finisher in the 100m hurdles with her winning time of 12.71 to collect her second consecutive individual title in the race. As part of the 4x100m relay team, Manning also contributed an additional 10 points as the team won the title in record-setting fashion as both the 16-year-old Big Ten meet record and the Ohio State record fell when the Scarlet and Gray crossed the line in 43.70.
Fellow Big Ten coaches selected head coach Karen as Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season as she kept her team at the head of the conference to successfully defend their title. This season, Dennis helped lead the Scarlet and Gray to four titles, two silver medals and four bronze medals while two school records and Big Ten meet records fell.
Three other Buckeyes joined Manning and Thomas as First Team all-Big Ten selections:
Senior Madison McNary was named a Second Team all-Big Ten performer after her runner-up finish in the 100m dash (11.71). In addition, senior thrower Maggie Mullen was recognized as the Ohio State recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, presented to individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior.
Ohio State will return to action in Jacksonville, Fla., May 24-26 for the 2012 NCAA East Regional Preliminaries.