OXFORD, Ohio – After garnering four event victories and posting 15 top-five finishes, the Miami University women’s track and field team cruised through the 2014 RedHawk Invitational Saturday afternoon at George Rider Track.
Junior Melissa Girgis kicked off the meet in the 5000m, keeping a fast pace and leading the 27-woman pack until she crossed the finish line with a first-place time of 18:01.44. Senior Mattie Moncayo followed Girgis in third (18:01.61), sophomore Julia Valencia took fourth (18:31.12), and freshman Jackie Mullins placed sixth (18:40.68).
The Miami women also posted victories in the 800m and 3000m steeplechase. Sophomore Megan Beaver had a stellar race in the 800m, cruising to victory in a career-high 2:13.80. Senior Erica Howes blew away all competition in the 3000m steeplechase when she won the event in a season-high 10:46.83, 36 seconds faster than teammate junior Elisa Frazier who took second in 11:22.32.
The Red and White continued to find success on the track when junior Jess Hoover took runner-up in the 1500m (4:43.55). Senior Leah Coleman then rounded out the top three in the 400m with a sprint of 57.98. She also finished seventh in the 200m dash with a sprint of 25.40.
Sophomore Adaora Anunike had the lone field victory of the day, posting the top mark in the discus with a throw of 48.31m/158-6. She competed in two other events Saturday, finishing third in the shot put (13.55m/44-5.50) and 10th in the hammer (48.53m/159-3). The RedHawks posted two ties in two other events, first in the high jump where senior Erica Mudd and sophomore Jess Baker finished fourth, both earning a mark of 1.61m/5-3.25. Senior Kori Tatman and junior Taylor Brown then tied for fifth in the pole vault after each clearing a height of 3.53m/11-7.
The RedHawk women saw several other strong finishes in their second and final home meet of the season. Freshman Alexus Jimson-Miller placed sixth in the 100m hurdles (14.33), while sophomore Aryelle Player finished sixth in the 400m with a personal-best 58.89. Junior Taylor Wickware than had the sixth-fastest time in the 800m (2:20.19), and the RedHawks closed out competition in the relays, taking third in the 4x100m relay (48.14) and with a fourth in the 4x400m relay (4:01.29).
In further field action, freshman Olivia Cummings had two top-eight finishes, taking sixth in the shot put with a personal-best throw (13.38m/43-7.75) and eighth in the discus (41.91m/137-6). Freshman Arionna Darling also had an exceptional finish in the shot put, placing eighth with a personal-best mark of 13.06m/42-10.25. Junior Jasmin Watts then took seventh in the long jump after clearing a distance of 5.43m/17-9.75.
With the conclusion of the RedHawk Invitational, women’s track and field has one final tune-up at the Billy Hayes Invitational Friday, May 2 before trekking to Athens, Ohio for the 2014 MAC Championships May 15-17.