OXFORD, Ohio – Two RedHawk men will test their endurance Thursday, kicking off the weekend for the Miami University men’s track and field team at the Penn Relays, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania at Franklin Field. The Red and White will then host the RedHawk Invitational, the second and final home meet of the season, Saturday.
Sophomore Joe Stewart is the first RedHawk to compete in the Penn Relays at 9:20 p.m. in the 5000m championship race. He currently ranks eighth in the event with an automatic-qualifying time of 14:37.53 from the Wake Forest Open nearly one month ago. The second and final competitor from Miami is senior Dave Wing, who will try for a new personal-best in the 10,000m at 10:55 p.m. The last time Wing competed in this event was at last season’s conference championship where he ran a career-high 31:17.69 to earn fourth-place.
The Penn Relays welcomes over 200 college and university teams this weekend, including 124 NCAA Division I squads. Among those teams includes four of the five top teams in the country as ranked by the USTFCCCA, including No. 1 Oregon, No. 3 Texas A&M, No. 4 Arkansas, and No. 5 Florida State.
The meet will be a tune-up for the conference meet in May, as both RedHawk men will race against competitors from other Mid-American Conference teams. Stewart will only run with one competitor from Eastern Michigan, but Wing will see where he stands against runners from Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, and Buffalo.
Following the Penn Relays, the RedHawks will host their final home meet of the season Saturday at George Rider Track, welcoming 445 athletes from 10 schools. The Red and White will compete against local teams such as Cedarville, Cincinnati, Dayton, Xavier, and Wright State, while also seeing some conference action against Ohio.
The meet is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. with the women’s hammer throw, followed by the men’s shot put at 11 a.m. and the men’s hammer at 12:30 p.m. As field action continues through 3 p.m., excitement on the track begins at 12 p.m. with the 5000m, followed by the 4x100m relay at 12:45 p.m. The meet wraps up at 3:55 p.m. with the 4x400m relay.
At last year’s RedHawk Invitational, the Miami men dominated the meet with 311 points, earning 10 event wins with seven of them happening on the field. Senior Rob Stein led the RedHawks with three event victories, winning the shot put (51-3), the discus (171-4.75), and hammer throw (178-7). Alum John Cantwell also rounded up a pair of wins at the meet, taking first in the long jump with a mark of 23-4 and first in the triple jump with a clearance of 45-9.
Sophomore Peter Stefanski added another top performance to Miami’s growing list, winning the high jump with a personal-best mark of 6-10.75, while senior Matt Gambill placed second with a jump of 6-4.75. Junior Tyler Yee claimed Miami’s final field event victory of the day, winning the javelin with a throw of 185-1.
Last weekend, the Miami men competed at the Kentucky Relays, running away with five top-five finishes. Coburn had an impressive day at the meet, placing fourth in the 400m hurdles in a career-high 52.15, then helping Miami’s relay team to a second-place finish in the 4x400m relay in 3:11.84. Senior Jahquil Hargrove had Miami’s final top track finish, placing runner-up in the 400m with a sprint of 47.05. On the field, Stefanski took third in the high jump with a mark of 6-8.25, followed by senior Sam Spallinger who placed fifth in the long jump by clearing 22-9.75.
After this weekend’s action, the Red and White will travel to Bloomington, Ind. for the Billy Hayes Invitational Friday, May 2. This will be the final tune-up before the MAC Championships May 15-17.