Shelby Lum / Lantern photographer
As the Jesse Owens Track Classic opened to calm and overcast weather on Friday night, Ohio State senior distance runner Adam Green remarked that there was “beautiful weather, which seems like the first time in a few years (for the Jesse Owens Track Classic).” However, rain returned for nearly all of Saturday’s session of the meet.
OSU athletes won 12 of 39 total events contested in this year’s edition of the annual two-day meet held at OSU’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
The Buckeyes had a slow start to the meet, not winning any of the 10 events contested on the first day of the meet on Friday. Victories for OSU came in with the rain on Saturday. Eight Buckeye individual athletes won events, and OSU won all four relays contested.
Senior Christina Manning, who recently set a school record with a time of 12.68 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles at the Jim Click Shootout on March 31, followed up that performance with a winning time of 13.06 seconds on Saturday.
Manning was also on the winning 4×100-meter relay team along with senior Madison McNary, sophomore Chesna Sykes and junior Christienne Linton. Manning said that she believes that this relay team can be a big contender going forward this season.
“I really think that we should be a top team for nationals,” Manning said.
Another winning performance that stood out to OSU head coach Karen Dennis was that of senior Maggie Mullen, who won the hammer throw with a throw of 196 feet, 4 inches.
“I thought Maggie had an outstanding throw,” Dennis said.
Other individual winners on the women’s side were junior Nyjah Cousar in the 400-meter hurdles (58.98), freshman Aisha Cavin in the 200-meter dash (24.24), and senior Ashley Galbraith in the high jump (5-feet-7-inches) . Also victorious were the women’s 4×400-meter relay team of Cavin, Cousar, freshman Alexandria Johnson and senior Shaniqua McGinnis, with a time of 3 minutes, 45.12 seconds.
Redshirt junior Cory Leslie was victorious in the men’s mile run on Saturday. Leslie finished with a time of 4:01.99, exactly five seconds ahead of Rob Myers, an OSU alum who is now a professional runner. Myers holds the meet record in the mile with a time of 3:59.43, set in 2007 during his time as a Buckeye.
Leslie sometimes trains with Myers, and said that he enjoyed competing against him.
“It’s fun,” Leslie said. “It’s always nice when you train a little bit with these guys to actually being able to race them.”
In the 400-meter hurdles, OSU men took the top four spots in the event. Freshman Antonio Blanks won in a time of 52.56 seconds. Following him were freshman Luke Norris (52.74), junior Marcus Brooks (52.78) and sophomore Demoye Bogle (53.90).
Individual winners for the men’s team also included junior Marvel Brooks in the 400-meter dash (47.64) and freshman Timothy Faust in the 100-meter dash (10.75). The men were also victorious in both the 4×100 (40.94) and 4×400 relays (3:12.66).
One meet record was set on Friday night. Unattached runner Jeff Schirmer, an alum of Southern Illinois University, set the record in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 13:59.59.
Due to the inclement weather, the men’s and women’s pole vault had to be moved inside to OSU’s French Field House. OSU sophomores Heath Nickles and Cody Marshall tied for second on the men’s side, clearing a height of 16 feet, 6 3/4 inches. Kim Concillado was OSU’s top performer on the women’s side. She placed 17th with a clearance of 10 feet, 8 inches.
All of the other events were still held as planned and on schedule.
OSU men’s interim head coach Ed Beathea said that his team did well considering the weather conditions.
“I thought the team competed well both days,” Beathea said. “We’ve done pretty well with dealing with weather in the past six years.”
Dennis, on the other hand, felt that her team needs to respond better to weather conditions in the future.
“We have to learn how to compete better in adverse conditions,” Dennis said.