Big Ten tops SEC in first Challenge
Ohio State helps conference to 399-337 win in Starkville
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Ohio State men’s track and field team and the Big Ten Conference posted a 399-337 victory against the Southeastern Conference Saturday in the inaugural SEC/Big Ten Challenge, held at Mississippi State’s newly-renovated Carl Maddox Track.
The Big Ten used balance to defeat its southern rivals, dominating in the field events and distance competition. Ohio State contributed a meet high 117 points toward the final conference point total, highlighted by five individual titles.
“I was real proud of the team today,” Ohio State head coach Robert Gary said after the meet. “We had a number of strong performances, and it was a lot of fun to team up with the other Big Ten schools and beat the SEC.
“We talked as a team this week about the need to get off to a fast start this outdoor season and I feel like our guys took that to heart,” Gary continued. “It was great to see freshmen like Will Lauricella and Cody Marshall step up, as well as veterans like Max Mays and Jared Hall.”
Junior All-American Thomas Murdaugh turned in the performance of the meet, running a blazing time of 46.41 in the 400m to upset Mississippi State All-American Tavaris Tate, the runner-up in 46.61. The Dublin, Ohio, native also anchored the Buckeye 4x400m relay team to a second-place finish in 3:07.73 behind Tate and Bulldogs (3:05.24). In all, Murdaugh contributed a total of 18 points toward the Big Ten’s cumulative point total.
“Thomas took a big step today in knocking off Tate from MSU,” Gary said of his star junior. “We are looking forward to big things from him this outdoor season.”