Senior Christine Fredericks runs in the distance medley relay race Friday Feb. 23, 2018 at Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Credit: Ethan Clewell | Lantern Reporter

Ohio State will be racking up plenty of mileage Friday when it sends only its distance runners to the Raleigh Relays in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The relays will consist of more than 120 teams, including Division I, II and III teams and several professional athletes.

“There are very few opportunities to race quality fields in the 5,000 and 10,000 and the steeplechase,” distance and cross country coach Sara Vergote said.

This is Ohio State’s first meet of the season that includes a 10,000-meter race, with 79 women and 114 men competing in that event alone. There are more than 200 people running in the men’s 3,000-meter race.

Men’s preview

Junior Luke Landis began the season with back-to-back personal-record-breaking performances at the Black and Gold Challenge, finishing in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 14:57.85 and the 1,500-meter run with a time of 3:55.69. He will be competing in the 5,000-meter race.

Ohio State sophomore Aaron Wood also will compete in the 5,000-meter race, making his collegiate debut after not competing at all as a freshman. Wood will be joined in the event by two teammates, senior Clayton Bowie and senior Jake Mandel.

Junior Mitch Leitch is the lone runner in the 10,000-meter race, and it might be his only race for a while. Vergote said the event can be demanding and that it could take Leitch several weeks to fully recover.

Women’s preview

Sophomore Sarah Kanney will be the lone steeplechase runner. Just like with Leitch, Kanney might require some time to recover from the event in order to be fully ready for another event. Even though it is shorter than the 10,000-meter race at just 3,000 meters, Vergote said the added elements of hurdles and water make for a long recovery time.

Senior Christine Frederick and junior Claire Wiles will make their respective season debuts in the 10,000-meter race.

The meet will begin at 9 a.m. Friday in Raleigh, North Carolina.