Big Ten win first Challenge
Buckeyes help conference beat SEC in inaugural event
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Ohio State women's track and field team contributed a conference high 123 points to help the Big Ten defeat the Southeastern Conference 379-349 at the SEC/Big Ten Challenge Saturday afternoon at Mississippi State University.
Superior field and distance student-athletes helped the Big Ten capture the victory in the inaugural conference clash. Although the Buckeye claimed only two event titles on the day, their overall team depth played a large part in the Big Ten's win, as the Scarlet and Gray contributed valuable points in 15 out of 19 events.
Here's an event-by-event breakdown of the Buckeyes performance Saturday:
All-Americans Madison McNary and Christina Manning turned in a pair of Top 10 finishes for the Buckeyes and the Big Ten in the 100m. McNary earned five points with a fourth-place time of 11.87, while Manning claimed a single point with an eighth-place sprint (11.98). Mississippi State's Richesa McCaleb was victorious in a time of 11.80.
Ohio State's All-American hurdling duo of Manning and Letecia Wright pulled off another 1-2 finish in the 100m hurdles, earning 18 points for the conference. Wright cruised to first-place in 13.18, while Manning finished in 13.33. Tamika Robinson of Illinois took third in 13.53.
Third-place and six points went to Buckeye junior Shaniqua McGinnis in a time of 55.32. Kristen Bridges of Ole Miss finished in first-place with a 54.56 second sprint.
Sophomore Nyjah Cousar used a PR of 1:00.45, earning eight points and a second-place finish behind Sofie Persson of Ole Miss (58.81). Jackie Dim collected a single point with an eighth-place run of 1:05.13.
Freshman Meredith Wagner contributed a single point for the Big Ten, finishing ninth in 4:44.61. Indiana's Breanne Ehrman took home the title in 4:31.65.
Molly Jacobson and Sarah Lowe turned in a pair of Top 5 finishes and a total of nine points in the 3000m. Jacobson finished fourth in 10:15.68, while Lowe took fifth in 10:25.05. Mississippi State's Haley Greenwell was first with a time of 9:56.38.
Sophomore Tori Brink broke her own school record in the steeple with a first-place time of 10:38.47, good for 10 points toward the conference total. Leslie Boozer of Georgia was the runner-up in 10:44.71.
Second-place and eight points went to Ashley Galbraith at 1.77m (5-9.75). Auburn's Maya Pressley finished first.
Runner-up Kelcey McKinney posted an 11.95m (39-2.50) jump to earn eight points for the Big Ten. Rachael Mack picked up two points with a seventh-place finish at 11.42m (37-5.75), well behind champion Rochelle Farquharson of Mississippi State (12.10m/39-8.50).
Ohio State captured two Top 10 finishes and seven points in the long jump. Freshman Adenike Pedro claimed fourth-place with a 5.71m (18-9) leap, while sophomore Christienne Linton used a mark of 5.69m (18-8), to finish seventh. Purdue's Leah Eber finished first at 6.04m (19-9.75).
The Buckeye collected 16 points for the conference in the hammer. Sophomore Alexis Thomas shattered her PR with a first-place throw of 56.55m (185-6), while junior Maggie Mullen finished just off of her PR with a third-place toss of 55.03m (180-6).
The Buckeyes placed three student-athletes in the Top 7, leading to 13 points for the conference. Third-place went to Norianna Brown, who set a PR with a 47.05m (154-4) toss, fifth-best in school history. Brown was followed by fifth-place finisher Mullen (43.65m/143-2) and sixth-place finisher Madeline Hurdt (42.02m/137-10). Betty Williams of Ole Miss won the event at 53.92m (176-11).
Amanda Henderson made her Buckeye debut in the javelin, capturing third-place at 32.32m (106 ft.). Elaine Gilbert of Purdue won the event with a mark of 35.78m (117-5), while Ashley Galbraith was sixth for OSU (28.10m/92-2). In all, the Buckeye javelin throwers contributed nine points for the Big Ten.
Ohio State's 4x100m relay team of Wright, Linton, Manning, and McNary posted the fifth-fastest time in school history, finishing second overall in 44.98. Auburn cruised to first-place in a time of 44.39.
Cousar, Dim, Taylor James and Kachay Hullum finished fourth for the Buckeyes in 3:46.73. Ole Miss won the relay with a time of 3:36.62.
Ohio State heads to Tucson, Ariz., next Friday and Saturday, April 1-2, for the Jim Click Shootout.