Shelby Lum / Lantern photographer
For the senior athletes on the Ohio State men’s and women’s track teams, the 27th annual Jesse Owens Memorials Track Classic was a last opportunity to compete on their home track and leave their best efforts at the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium where their collegiate careers began three seasons ago.
All-American senior Christina Manning, who was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week for the ninth time in her career April 2, said the final home meet led to reminiscing upon her career at OSU.
“It means a lot. It’s bittersweet actually,” Manning said. “I just get so many memories of when I was a freshman, to sophomore year, junior and right now. I just want to leave something here on this track. So hopefully I have.”
Manning won the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.06, the ninth best in Division I this season. Manning, senior Madison McNary, sophomore Chesna Sykes and junior Christienne Linton also took home the victory in the 4×100-meter relay with a time of 44.55.
Senior sprinter Shaniqua McGinnis said that since this was her last home meet, she was glad her relay team, which included McGinnis, freshman Aisha Cavin, freshman Alexandria Johnson and junior Nyjah Cousar, would win the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 3:45.12.
“I just wanted to bring it home as a win,” McGinnis said. “This is my last time running on this track as a collegiate athlete at a meet, so I’m just glad I can bring this win in. It means a lot. To be able to win it like this with the race, it’s something I’ll always remember.”
Senior Ashley Galbraith’s high jump of 1.70 meters claimed the win during her final day of competition in the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Senior Maggie Mullen was first in the hammer throw, with a personal record throw of 59.84 meters/196-04, the fifth-best in school history.
The men’s team earned wins in six events, including the 4×100-meter and 4×400-meter relays.
The Buckeyes competed in the 4×400-meter relay without senior All-American Thomas Murdaugh, and claimed a win with a time of 3:12.66.
Interim coach Ed Beathea said redshirt junior Cory Leslie’s performance in the mile run was one of the standout performances for the Buckeyes. All-American Leslie finished first with a time of 4:01.99, the third-best in OSU outdoor history.
Senior Dan White finished sixth for the Buckeyes in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:52.15.
Adam Green, a redshirt senior who placed eighth in the men’s one mile run, said he hoped the Jesse Owens Classic will give him the push he needs for the rest of the season.
“It’s a great meet, we love having it. We love competing here. Hopefully this will spring me forward for this season,” Green said.
In his first meet of the year, All-American senior Michael Hartfield placed second in the long jump with a jump of 7.45 meters.
Women’s coach Karen Dennis said seniors play an important leadership role on the team.
“This is what I need our senior and our juniors to understand … there’s a significance in beginnings and endings,” Dennis said. “How you begin something is important, as well as how you end something. And that’s what I’ve been trying to impress upon our juniors and seniors. We need you to leave here leaving everything that you can on the track for the team, so that our freshmen and sophomores see how to leave and how to lead when they become juniors and seniors.”
The women’s track and field team’s next competition is the Florida Invitational, set for April 20 in Gainesville, Fla. The men’s team will compete at the Mt. SAC Relays April 19-21 in Walnut, Calif., and at the All-Ohio championships in Oxford, Ohio, April 20-21.