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Bussey Breaks Out

TF2K24: Johnson, Kebe Impress at Jesse Owens

By Winners OnlyPublished 2 months ago Updated about a month ago 3 min read
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Above: (Left to right) UConn's Jaia James, Ball State's Makayla Sumrall, Ohio State's Nya Bussey and Findlay's Jordan Taylor finishing the 100 meters final.

A week ago, in Columbus, Ohio, the yearly Jesse Owens Classic took place on two cool but mostly sunny spring days on the campus of Ohio State. Let's take a look at some of the strong performances from the event.

Dayton's Kendall Johnson wins again

Above: Dayton's Kendall Johnson a day after winning at the Jesse Owens Classic.

Freshman Kendall Johnson's outstanding rookie campaign continues. The Tulsa, Oklahoma native won the Atlantic 10 Indoor long jump gold medal along with setting Dayton's indoor record at 5.99 meters. She started the outdoor season by setting the school's outdoor record at 6.32 meters at her first collegiate outdoor competition in Cincinnati on March 30. On April 19, Johnson landed at 6.23 meters as she captured a victory at the Jesse Owens Classic. Including the indoor season, Johnson has participated in five collegiate long jump competitions. She has won each of the last four. For the second straight competition Johnson edged out Miami University jumper Ella Scally who led the field of 31 jumpers for most of the competition. Scally jumped 6.03 meters on her third attempt. Johnson opened the competition with a mark of 5.90 meters where she stood until recording her 6.23 mark in clutch fashion on her final attempt.

All-American Nya Bussey gets first Jesse Owens 100 victory

Above: Ohio State's Nya Bussey just before her race.

Nya Bussey is one of the most accomplished sprinters in the history of Ohio State. On April 20, the 2022 Big Ten 100 meters champ did something she'd never done in multiple chances at the Jesse Owens Classic. The Twinsburg, Ohio native sprinted in the 100 meters final of her school's home meet from 2021 to 2023, placing fourth, third and second in each respective appearance. This year, Bussey continued her progression to the top winning the final round at 11.27 seconds, ahead of Ball State's Makayla Sumrall and Findlay's Jordan Taylor. The times were wind-aided on an incredible level of 7.1 which made them non-legal in counting in this season's NCAA rankings. Bussey also was one fourth of the winning 400-meter relay squad of 44.33 seconds earlier in the day. She teamed up with Sydney Bryant, Leah Bertand and Avery Clark for the first place finish. Last season, Bussey and Bertrand made up half of Ohio State's fifth place 400-meter relay team at the NCAA Championships.

Mabinty Kebe returns after transfer, tops conference hurdles list

Above: Western Michigan's Mabinty Kebe prepares for the 400-meter hurdles on opening day at the Jesse Owens Classic.

Western Michigan's Mabinty Kebe, returned to the home track of Ohio State, where she competed as a Buckeye a season ago. This year as a Bronco, she had a good showing in both the 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles. Kebe ran on this same track when she won a 300-meter hurdles state championship at Westerville Central High School. On April 19, she placed third in the 400-meter hurdles at 59.78. This was her second straight sub-one minute finish. Kebe recorded her personal best time of 59.15 seconds in Austin, Texas, March 28. On the next day, Kebe earned a top six placing in the 100-meter hurdles with a 14.26 second finish. In the Mid-American Conference rankings, Kebe is tops in the 400-meter hurdles at 59.15. She's eighth in the 100-meter hurdles at 14.11, which was recorded on her home track two weekends ago. During indoor season Kebe won the conference silver medal in the 60-meter hurdles.

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