How even are arch-rivals Ohio State and Michigan in women’s track and field? So even that Saturday’s head-to-head meet ended in an 81-81 tie after 15 events.
The outcome of the meet, known as “The Dual,” came down to the final event — the 1600-meter relay. Trailing by two going into the race, the Buckeyes’ team of sophomore Kachay Hullum, junior Nyjah Cousar, freshman Aisha Cavin and senior Shaniqua McGinnis won the event and earned five points for the team.
However, Michigan sophomore Amber Smith, junior Jillian Smith, senior Alex Williams and senior Brittani Williams finished second in the relay. In accordance to meet rules that the two coaching staffs agreed upon, three points were awarded for second place in the event, which resulted in the meet, held at OSU’s French Field House, ending in a tie.
Leading the way for the Buckeyes during the meet was senior sprinter Christina Manning, who won all three events that she competed in. Manning ran to victory in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.12 seconds, the 60-meter dash in 7.36 seconds and the 200-meter dash in 24.24 seconds.
Manning was not the only impressive sprinter for the Buckeyes in this meet.
OSU took the top four places in the 60-meter dash, the top three places in the 400-meter dash, and the top two places in the 60-meter hurdles and 200-meter dash. Junior Christienne Linton finished second in both the 60-meter hurdles (8.43 seconds) and 60-meter dash (7.46). McGinnis, who ran the final 400 meters as the anchor leg of the 1600-meter relay, also won the individual 400-meter dash in a time of 55.63 seconds.
The Buckeyes controlled the sprinting events, but the Wolverines were equally dominant in the mid-distance and distance events.
Michigan’s most notable win came in the mile run, in which junior Rebecca Addison and freshman Shannon Osika both broke the previous French Field House record in the event, with respective times of 4:43.64 and 4:43.79. Osika was also victorious for the Wolverines in the 3,000-meter run (9:40.45), while Addison was victorious in the 800-meter run (2:11.55). The Wolverines took the top two places in all three of those events.
Michigan junior Jillian Smith broke a site record as well, winning the 600-meter dash in a time of 1:31.15.
The Buckeyes had two winners in the six field events. Senior Ashley Galbraith had a great performance in the high jump; she cleared a height of 5 feet, 9 1/4 inches, with the bar barely staying up as she made light contact with it on the way down. Senior Maggie Mullen was also victorious in the weight throw (67 feet, 5 1/4 inches).
Ohio State coach Karen Dennis said she thought her team had a “good meet” and was content tying Michigan. Dennis also said the team needs “to go back to the drawing board and fix what is broken.”
The women’s track and field team competes next at the Rod McCravy Invitational on Jan. 27-28 in Lexington, Ky.
The men’s and women’s track and field teams will continue to work toward the Big Ten Championships, on Feb. 24-25 in Lincoln, Neb.