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Ohio State men’s track distance team to get a boost for 2014-15 season

The Ohio State men’s track and field team recruited a distance-heavy class for the 2014-15 season, as five of the seven members are expected to make an impact in long interval events.

Associate head coach Brice Allen said the coaching staff started its search looking “from the inside out.” They first looked in the Midwest and then moved to a more national level to find the right fit for the program. Allen said the staff was interested in finding runners who were not only gaining top 10 marks in their class, but men that could perform in multiple events.

All seven recruits who signed to join the Buckeyes next fall are from the Midwest, six of which are from Ohio.

“Primarily, we are looking for top 10 recruits in the country,” Allen said. “The class as a whole, we got them close to home and they are top 10 in the country.”

The coaches recruited distance heavy because they were looking for runners that could not only make an impact in track but in cross-country as well.

Five are set to join the distance program at OSU. These athletes are slated to compete in three seasons: cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track.

  • Kevin Blank, Solon, Ohio
  • Clayton Bowie, Indianapolis
  • Nick Elswick, Chardon, Ohio
  • Mitch Leitch, Columbus
  • Jake Mandel, Columbus

All five of the distance runners coming in placed within the top 10 at their state track meets in 2013. The staff expects that same success when the runners compete next fall.

“They need to make an impact their freshman year but in the realms of being freshmen,” Allen said. “We are hopeful that all seven of these guys will have a national impact in their time here at Ohio State.”

The other two recruits are sprinter/hurdler Davon Anderson from Cleveland and thrower Max Siepel from Avon Lake, Ohio.

“Davon will give us needed depth in both the hurdles and sprints,” coach Ed Beathea said, according to a press release.

Anderson was the 2013 South Carolina state champion in the 110-meter hurdles and runner up in 100 meter dash before moving to Glenville High School in Cleveland for his senior season. In 2012, he won the state championship in the 200-meter.

Siepel placed fifth in the shot put at the 2013 Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I State Championships. Beathea said he is a “fierce competitor” and he is looking forward to Siepel’s development at OSU, according to the release.

In 2013 and 2012, the team also recruited top 10 classes.

Beathea said the coaching staff did a great job with recruiting once again this year, and the team has had “three years of successful recruiting at this level” and that “this class should rival (the) two previous years of top 10 recruiting classes.”

The coaching staff is excited to have this group of seven men join the team and believe that ultimately they will be able to help the team win a Big Ten Championship.

“The talent that these guys are bringing in will add to the quality of our workouts and in turn, add to the quality of our team performance,” Allen said.

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