Ohio State’s history of sending track and field athletes to the Olympic Games includes Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics. The 2012 Olympics, however, will not include any Buckeyes.
Nine current and former OSU track and field athletes competed in their nation’s Olympic Team Trials hoping to qualify for this summer’s London Games, but none were successful. Eight Buckeyes attempted to qualify for the United States national team, while one competed north of the border in the Canadian trials.
Of the eight Buckeyes who competed at the U.S. trials in Eugene, Ore., five qualified for their event’s final.
Jeff See, a 2010 OSU alum and current volunteer assistant coach to the men’s track and field program, finished 9th in Sunday’s 1,500-meter run final with a time of 3 minutes, 38.81 seconds. In the 3,000-meter steeplechase final held Thursday, redshirt senior Cory Leslie finished 9th (8:33.94) while alum Brian Olinger finished 11th (8:37.93).
Earlier in trials competition, recent OSU graduates Christina Manning and Mike Hartfield also made it to their event’s finals, but failed to qualify for the Olympics. Manning, the 2012 NCAA champion in 100-meter hurdles, finished 5th in that event at trials (12.92 seconds). Hartfield, the 2012 Big Ten long jump champion, placed 6th with a best jump of 7.79 meters.
Sophomore Antonio Blanks was eliminated after finishing 13th in the semifinals of 400-meter hurdles with a time of 51.02 seconds. Recently graduated Matt DeChant finished 18th in shot put with a top throw of 18.13 meters. Senior Alexis Thomas, the 2012 Big Ten hammer throw champion, finished 22nd in the trials hammer throw (56.70 meters).
Maggie Mullen, another OSU alum who completed her Buckeye track and field career in 2012, finished 9th in the hammer throw on Saturday at the Canadian trials, with a best throw of 57.13 meters.
Although OSU will not send any track athletes to this year’s Olympics, 10 current or former Buckeyes have earned tickets to London. OSU athletes and alumni are set to represent at least seven different nations in at least six sports.
The Olympic Games begin July 27 in London.