OXFORD, Ohio – With five weeks to go before the start of the 2014 outdoor season, the Miami University men’s track and field team heads to Bloomington, Ind. Friday to take on the Hoosier Hills Invitational, hosted by Indiana University at the Harry Gladstein Fieldhouse.
Miami will compete against a strong field of teams this weekend including Cincinnati, Dayton, Louisville, and Kentucky, among others, with action beginning Friday at 5 p.m. with the weight throw. Track action gets underway at 5:20 p.m. with the 60m hurdles prelim and semi-final races, followed by the 60m dash at 5:55 p.m. Field action ends with the triple jump at 9:45 p.m., while track events do not conclude until 10:35 p.m. Day two of the invitational begins Saturday at 11:30 a.m. with the 60m hurdles finals, and the meet finishes with the 3000m run at 1 p.m.
For many returning RedHawks, the Hoosier Hills Invitational is a good way to see where they are at physically before beginning their outdoor season at the Wake Forest Invitational Friday, Mar. 21. Junior Sam Chester will kick off the meet for Miami in the 60m hurdles, while sophomore Joe Stewart will try his endurance in the mile after missing the majority of the 2013 cross country season due to injury. His brother, Matt Stewart will represent Miami in the 3000m run, alongside teammates Patrick Santino and Zack McBride. Senior Matt Gambill and sophomore Peter Stefanski will heat up the field events in the high jump, while senior Calen Settles and redshirt senior Sam Spallinger take on the long jump.
This weekend’s invitational will also be a career debut for many of Miami’s freshmen. Tyler Gittens and Austin Cole will be the first of their class to compete in a collegiate event, participating in the 60m hurdles. Vincent Minosky will represent Miami in the 400m dash, while Jacob Willey, a transfer from Purdue, will make his Miami career debut in the 200m dash. In field events, freshmen Kyle Peterson and Cody Swisher will take on the pole vault, while Andrew Vollet will compete in the shot put.
The RedHawks will look to improve their 2012-2013 season, after finishing fourth at the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Now graduated Jarrod Eick won the 1500m run, while alum Jack Spilman earned runner-up in the 800m final. Senior Dave Wing also had a strong performance at the conference meet, placing fourth in the 10,000m with a personal-best time of 31:17.69. Spallinger led the way for Miami in field events, winning the long jump with a career-high mark of 7.43m. Stefanski then took second in the high jump with a clearance of 2.07m, while Gambill took seventh in the event with a mark of 1.98m.
With the conclusion of the Hoosier Hills Invitational, the RedHawks will travel two hours north to Columbus, Ohio for the Ohio State Tune-Up Friday, Feb. 21. Live stats for this weekend’s invitational can be found here.