It was a big weekend for the Ohio State men’s track and field team, who were able to beat out Nebraska in the final meet of the day to win the Big Ten Championship. This marks the first indoor conference title for the men’s team since 1993, and the fifth indoor title for a Buckeye team under coach Karen Dennis (the first four with the women’s team).
It came down to the final 4x400 relay, with the Buckeyes holding on to a narrow 2-point lead over the Cornhuskers. Ohio State foursome of Asa Burke, Nick Gray, Drelan Bramwell and Andre Jeff were ready to defend their lead, and did so while also setting a school record with a time of 3:05.09 — good enough to win gold in the event and secure the Big Ten title for the Buckeyes.
“I’m most proud of these seniors,” director of track and field and cross country Karen Dennis said. “Nick Demaline, Cole Gorski and Zack Bazile are all seniors and they got us off to a great start on Friday. They are the ones who have bought into this program. They have really motivated everyone else.
Nick Gray contributed to more than just the 4x400 relay, he claimed gold in the 200m dash — his third consecutive title in the event — and set a new school, as well as meet records in the process, with a time of 20.45. He’s bested his own time the last three times he’s won. He also scored in the 60m dash, winning bronze with a time of 6.72 — just one spot behind football player Kendall Sheffield, who finished with a time of 6.68.
Other Buckeye contributors included triple jump duo DaJuan Seward and Zack Bazile; Seward finished having gone a career-best distance of 15.77m (for a bronze medal), and Bazile finished just behind his with a jump of 15.69m. Mid-distance (800m) runner Alex Lomong finished at No. 4 with a time of 1:51.06, and long distance runner Luke Landis finished No. 6 in the mile and Ryan Harrington finished No. 8 in the 600m race.
It’s been over two decades since the last time the men’s team were the inddoor Big Ten Champions, and they should be celebrating for quite awhile.