Of the 29 men’s and women’s track and field events contested in Friday night’s third annual Buckeye Classic track meet, Ohio State athletes won 25 of them.
On Friday night, The Ohio State University hosted the Buckeye Classic inside the French Field House. The members of the Ohio State men’s and women’s track and field teams competed against athletes from Ohio University, Wright State University and Shorter University.
The men’s team had a tremendous performance, with a Buckeye athlete winning all 14 events contested. Two athletes, junior Donny Roys and sophomore Demoye Bogle, each won two events. Roys won the mile run in a time of 4:16.12, and followed that up with a time of 1:59.84, to finish first in the 800-meter run. Bogle won the 60-meter hurdles in a time of 7.86 seconds, and followed that up with a winning time of 6.76 seconds in the 60-meter dash.
Other men’s winners on the track were sophomore Brandon Blackwell in the 200-meter dash (22.09), freshman Antonio Blanks in the 400-meter dash (48.75), senior Dan White in the 600-meter run (1:20.16), junior Chris Fallon in the 3,000-meter run (8:40.43), and the 1600-meter relay team of junior Marcus Brooks, junior Marvel Brooks, freshman Luke Norris and Blanks (3:17.90). In the field, winners were senior Michael McCarty in the long jump (24’6 ¼”), freshman Brant Reardon in the high jump (6’8”), senior Tyler Branch in the shotput (58’3 ¾”), junior Max Mays in the weight throw (66’11 ¼”) and junior Heath Nickles in the pole vault (15’11 ¾”).
But the night was not completely positive for the Buckeyes. Senior Thomas Murdaugh, who has won the Big Ten 400-meter dash title each of the past season, did not finish his race in that same distance tonight. As Murdaugh took the final turn on his second lap of the race, he pulled up and dropped out of the race before rounding the corner.
Head coach Robert Gary said the coaching staff “was 50-50 on whether to run him,” but did not think his injury is significant, and he “certainly expects him to compete next week”.
The women’s team also had a very strong performance, winning 11 of the 15 events contested. Junior Christina Manning, the 2011 Big Ten Athlete of the Year in indoor track, did not disappoint. She finished the 60-meter hurdles in 8.19 seconds and the 60-meter dash in 7.40 seconds, both winning times.
On the track, other women’s winners for the Buckeyes were freshman Aisha Cavin in the 200-meter dash (24.32), junior Shaniqua McGinnis in the 400-meter dash (56.30), freshman Janel Olberding in the 600-meter run (1:38.36), and freshman Katie Betts in the 800-meter run (2:18.12). In the field, winners were sophomore Adenike Pedro in the long jump (19’4”), junior Kelcey McKinney in the triple jump (39’11 ¼”), junior Ashley Galbraith in the high jump (5’7 ¾”), junior Norianna Brown in the shotput (45’8”) and junior Maggie Mullen in the weight throw (62’10”).
Women’s track and field head coach Karen Dennis admitted that the team has “some areas we really need to work on,” but she felt there were “some really solid performances” in this meet. Dennis said she was impressed with how many runners on her team finished with personal bests, and that many of her runners opened the season better this year than they had last season.
While this meet might not have been highly competitive for the Buckeyes, it served as a tune-up for next weekend’s dual meets versus Michigan. On Jan. 14, the women’s track and field team will be hosting Michigan at the French Field House, while the men’s team will be competing in Ann Arbor.