Kelly Roderick / Lantern photographer
Men’s Tennis loses to Illinois in Big Ten Tournament Final
All was going as planned for the No. 3 Ohio State tennis team when they reached the Big Ten Tournament final for the seventh consecutive year, but Illinois threw that plan off track Sunday. The Illini defeated the Buckeyes, 4-3, and earned the Big Ten Tournament Championship at the Vandy Christie Tennis Center in Evanston, Ill.
Illinios and OSU weren’t strangers in the conference final. In six of the last seven years, the two teams met in the final with the championship on the line. But for the first time, the Buckeyes did not come away with the victory.
OSU led 3-1 after the first four matches, but two Illini victories tied the match, 3-3.
The Big Ten Championship came down to the final match of the contest between OSU sophomore Blaz Rola and Illinois senior Roy Kalmanovich. They split the first two sets, but Kalmanovich broke Rola twice in the final set to win the match and the Big Ten Championship.
The OSU team will await to hear what seed it will be in the NCAA Tournament which begins May 10.
Men’s golf sputters in Big Ten Championships
The Ohio State men’s golf team lost its mojo at the Big Ten Championships over the weekend, finishing ninth with a team score of 1220 (+68).
Entering the competition, the Buckeyes had top-five finishes in their previous three events, including a win earlier this month at the Wildcat Invitational.
OSU’s ninth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships, played Friday through Sunday in French Lick, Ind., ties its worst-finish at the event in the last six seasons. The Buckeyes finished ninth in 2010 as well.
Freshman Grant Weaver led OSU with a 14-over 302 in his first conference championship. Weaver shot 75s in each of the first three rounds on the par-72 Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort, and closed out the tournament with a 77.
The Buckeyes No. 1 golfer, senior Alex Redfield, struggled after an opening-round 72. The Columbus-native finished 24-over shooting 85, 75 and 80 in the final three rounds, respectively. The 85 was his highest round of the season.
Freshmen Boo Timko and Logan Jones each finished the championship 22-over while junior Matt Turner finished the event at 23-over.
Illinois won the event and the automatic bid to the NCAA Regional Tournament with a four-round score of 1175 (+23). The Illini also captured the individual title as senior Luke Guthrie posted a 5-under 283, four strokes better than Northwestern senior Sam Chien.
The Buckeyes top individual finisher was Weaver, finishing tied for 21st.
The NCAA Regional Tournament begins May 17, but the field of teams and individuals competing has not been set.
Women’s track finds success in relay competition
The No. 22 Ohio State women’s track and field team closed out competition at the 118th Penn Relays Saturday with performances in the 4×400-meter and 4×800-meter relays.
The Buckeyes began the three-day competition in Philadelphia on Thursday. Thirteen members of the Scarlet and Gray competed during the opening day of the meet.
In the first running event of the meet, junior Nyjah Cousar posted a time of 58.64 to finish third in the 400-meter hurdles race. Senior Big Ten rival Latoya Griffith from Illinois claimed first with a time of 57.88.
Senior Norianna Brown set a personal record of 15.48 meters (50-9.5) and took the bronze medal in the shot put.
Freshman Carly Pendleton joined Cousar and Brown in collecting bronze for the Buckeyes. Pendleton set a personal record throw of 47.86 meters (157-0) in the discus throw college division; Brown took ninth overall with a mark of 44.16 meters (144-10).
Also taking the track Thursday was the distance medley relay team. The Buckeyes competed in the Championship of the America division, which highlights the best college relay teams in the country. The team consisted of redshirt senior Jordan Jennewine, freshman Alexandria Johnson, junior Tori Brink and freshman Katie Betts, who finished 10th with a time of 11:52.34.
In the 100-meter dash college division, senior Christina Manning (11.68) qualified for the finals, while sophomore Chesna Sykes (11.90) came in 17th. In the college division of the 100-meter hurdles, junior Christienne Linton (14.19) placed 21st.
The sprint medley team also competed in the Championship of America division. Recording the second-best time in OSU history were Linton, Johnson, senior Jackie Dim and senior Shaniqua McGinnis, who posted a 3:53.90.
On the final day of competition, Cousar, Dim, Cavin and McGinnis competed in the Championship of America division to earn a fourth-place finish in the 4×400 with a time of 3:36.53. The Buckeyes will head to Madison, Wis. for the 2012 Big Ten Championships May 11-13.