Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith, Columbus Blue Jackets star Brandon Dubinsky and Michael Parkhurst of Columbus Crew and the U.S. Men's National Team will headline the 2015 Panel Of Champions at the OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon.
Nick Arciniaga and Craig Leon, two of the best distance runners in the United States, and Katie Smith, the all-time leading scorer in women's professional basketball, will also appear on the star-studded Panel Of Champions. Anthony Schlegel, a former Ohio State linebacker who is now the team's assistant strength and conditioning coach, will also appear.
The 2015 Panel of Champions will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 30 at the OhioHealth Health & Fitness Celebration at the Battelle Grand at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Jeff Hogan of WBNS-10TV will emcee the event, which is open to the public.
“All year long, we celebrate and cheer for the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Blue Jackets and the Crew,” Race Director David Babner said. “The Panel Of Champions offers these great athletes the opportunity to return the favor and Celebrate You and your commitment to participating the OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon.”
The event's star power continues on Race Day when Columbus Blue Jackets singer Leo Welsh will sing the national anthem, while Blue Jackets personality Jody Shelley and Crew brand ambassador Frankie Hedjuk highlight a list of celebrities and dignitaries who will appear with Babner on the Start Stage.
Ohio State Great Troy Smith won the Heisman Trophy in 2006 when he threw for 2,507 yards and 30 touchdowns with just five interceptions in leading the Buckeyes to a 12-1 record, Big Ten championship and National Championship runner-up.
Dubinsky is a nine-year NHL veteran who has spent the past three years with the Blue Jackets. He had 13 goals and 23 assists this year despite playing in just 47 games.
Parkhurst, a defender for the Crew, returned to Major League Soccer in 2014 after playing professionally in Europe for seven years. He has made 25 appearances with the U.S. Men's National Team since 2007.
Arciniaga, a member of Team Under Armour, finished 7th (2nd among Americans) at the 2014 Boston Marathon and 10th (3rd among Americans) at the 2014 New York City Marathon.
Leon, sponsored by Mizuno USA, has won several half marathons and long-distance events, including the 2014 Capital City Half Marathon. Leon, an Ohio University graduate who lives and trains in Eugene, Ore., finished 12th overall and was the 5th-fasted American at the 2014 Boston Marathon.
Katie Smith, who led Ohio State to the NCAA championship game as a freshman in 1993, scored more than 7,000 points in her career in the American Basketball League and WNBA. She was a seven-time WNBA All-Star and was voted to the WNBA's All-Decade Team in 2006.