OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami University women’s track and field team will split for the first time this season, with seven of its top track athletes racing in the 56th annual Mt. SAC Relays hosted by Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif. The rest of the team will compete at the 2014 Jesse Owens Classic, hosted by The Ohio State University.

The RedHawks will face a large competitive field tonight and tomorrow at the Mt. SAC Relays, racing against athletes from New Mexico, Hillsdale, Minnesota St., Boise St., USC, UNLV, and Marquette, among others. Miami will also see competitors from Mid-American Conference (MAC) foe Akron.

The Red and White will race in four events at Hilmer Lodge Stadium, beginning with senior Erica Howes and junior Elisa Frazier, who will kick off the meet for Miami tonight at 9:48 p.m. ET in the 3000m steeplechase. Juniors Melissa Girgis and Anna Lamb will then race in the 10k races at 10:45 p.m. and 11:27 p.m. ET. The RedHawks return to the track Friday at 2 p.m. ET when sophomore Laura Bess runs the 1500m event, followed by junior Charlotte Myers who is scheduled to race in the 800m run at 5:30 p.m. Junior Jess Hoover closes the meet for Miami Friday night when she races in the 5000m run.

The rest of the Miami women will stay closer to home this weekend, competing at the Jesse Owens Classic at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Stadium. The Red and White will use this weekend’s meet as a conference tune-up, facing MAC foes Akron, Ohio, Kent State, Toledo, Ball State, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan.

Action begins at 4 p.m. with the javelin throw, followed by the discus at 6:30 p.m. and the first section of the women’s 50000m run at 7:30 p.m. Friday night’s events are scheduled to conclude at 9:55 p.m. with the men’s 30000m steeplechase. Competition resumes Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with the men’s pole vault, and track action begins at noon with the 4x100m relay. The meet wraps up at 4:25 p.m. with the 4x400m relay.  

The RedHawks finished third at last weekend’s All-Ohio Championship, led by senior Tori Paterra and junior Taylor Wickware. Paterra improved her own school record in the javelin throw, earning a career-high mark of 172-4 that now ranks eighth in the nation. Wickware then claimed the 800m, clocking a first-place time of 2:12.30.

In further field action, junior Adaora Anunike earned eight points at the meet by placing second in the discus with a throw of 166-11, while sophomore Amelia Strickler earned a fifth-place throw of 47-9.25, racking up another four points for her team.

The RedHawks also found more success on the track when Hoover placed second in the 1500m run in 4:39.26. Freshman Lauren Hoover also earned points in the event with her sixth-place time of 4:47.10. Sophomore Julia Valencia then earned runner-up in the 5000m run 18:26.80, while freshman Alexus Jimson-Miller finished third in the 100m hurdles (14.16). Jimson-Miller, sophomore Kathie Wollney, Leah Coleman, and Myers then closed out the meet with a second-place finish in the 4x400m relay with a combined time of 3:46.01.

With the MAC Outdoor Championships less than a month away, a number of RedHawks sit at the top of the conference in their respective events. Paterra ranks first in the MAC for the javelin after her stellar performance at the All-Ohio Championship, while Anunike ranks fifth in the discus for her 166-11 throw from last weekend’s meet. In track action, Bess holds the second-fastest time in the conference in the 1500m run (4:27.53), while Myers holds two automatic qualifiers. She sits in fourth in the 800m run for her 2:10.38 time from the Miami Invitational, and rounds out the top-five in the 400m with her 55.80 time from the Vanderbilt Black & Gold meet. Lamb then sits in third with her automatic qualifier in the 5000m run (16:46.32), and Jimson-Miller ranks fourth in the 100m hurdles with an automatic-qualifying time of 14.16.

Following this weekend’s action, the RedHawks will split for a second straight weekend, with part of the team traveling to Des Moines, Iowa for the Drake Relays April 24-26. The rest of the team will remain in Oxford, Ohio to host the RedHawk Invitational Saturday, April 26.