OXFORD, Ohio – Looking to improve its finish from last year's conference meet, the Miami University men’s track and field team is set to go after the 2014 Mid-American Conference (MAC) Outdoor Track and Field Championships title this weekend. The meet is hosted by Ohio University. at its Goldsberry Track & Field Complex.
The conference meet opens Thursday at 10:30 a.m. with the women’s hammer throw, followed by the men’s pole vault and hammer throw, and women’s javelin. The decathlon and heptathlon also begin Thursday, and the the 10,000m is the lone track event of the day, scheduled to start at 8:15 p.m. The decathlon and heptathlon wrap up Friday at 10 a.m., followed by the women’s long jump at 1 p.m. Track action also resumes at 1 p.m. with the 1500m, and the 3000m steeplechase concludes the second day of action at 5:20 p.m. The women’s discus kicks off the third and final day of championship action Saturday at 10:30 a.m., and the conference meet concludes at 4:40 p.m. with the 4x400m relay.
At last season’s MAC Championship, Miami finished fourth totaling 125 points behind two event wins. Akron won the conference title for a third consecutive year with 195 points, while Kent State took runner-up with 183 points. Eastern Michigan finished ahead of Miami in third with 142.5 points, while Buffalo took fifth (97.5) and Central Michigan finished sixth (67).
Senior Sam Spallinger had the first victory of the 2013 MAC Championships, garnering the farthest leap in the long jump with a recorded personal-best mark of 7.43m/24-4.5. Spallinger’s win in the event marked him only the second Miamian to win the long jump in the past 30 years. Now graduated John Cantwell claimed runner-up honors in the event after clearing a distance of 7.40m/24-3.5. Alum Jarrod Eick had the second and final victory of the conference meet for the RedHawks, winning the 1500m title in 3:51.66 to make him the second Miamian to win the track event in the last 45 years.
Heading into this weekend’s meet, Akron is the highest-ranking MAC team in the region, sitting in second in the latest USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Poll, followed by Kent State in fifth. Eastern Michigan ranks seventh in the region, while Miami ranks 13th with Central Michigan closely following in 14th. Buffalo is also ranked regionally, sitting in third in the Northeast Region Poll.
The RedHawk men had one final tune-up before the conference meet two weeks ago at the Billy Hayes Invitational, claiming two event victories. Spallinger had the lone individual win of the day, soaring across the sand put and recording a first-place mark of 7.33m/24-0.75 in the long jump. The RedHawks then claimed the 4x400m victory when sophomore Adam Bodrick, junior Skyler Coburn, and seniors Robert Balzano and Jahquil Hargrove earned a combined time of 3:12.66, two seconds faster than Indiana State’s runner-up relay team.
Going into the 2014 MAC Championships, a number of Miami men rank at the top or near the top of the conference in their respective events. The list below provides all the RedHawks that are competing this weekend with their current seed time/mark. Where they rank in the MAC going into this weekend is also listed in parentheses.
JaShawn Combs – 14.63 (9th)
Jahquil Hargrove – 21.48 (11th)
Adam Bodrick – 21.74 (15th)
Jahquil Hargrove – 46.96 (2nd)
Adam Bodrick – 48.37 (13th)
Robert Balzano – 48.86 (19th)
Skyler Coburn – 52.15 (3rd)
Vincent Minosky – 53.78 (8th)
Tyler Gittins – 54.51 (10th)
Wade Coffin – 1:51.71 (8th)
Kevin Brown – 1:51.80 (9th)
Joey Comisford – 1:52.72 (17th)
Stephen Biebelhausen – 3:52.61 (10th)
Andrew Dusing – 3:53.90 (19th)
Ed Wigton – 3:58.39 (25th)
Zack McBride – 9:21.93 (4th)
Vince Moeglin – 9:31.78 (9th)
Ryan Moncrieff – 9:32.29 (10th)
Joe Stewart – 14:37.53 (8th)
Dave Wing – 14:48.23 (11th)
Daniel Garleb – 14:58.89 (17th)
Dave Wing – 30:07.56 (1st)
Matt Stewart – 31:17.74 (8th)
Peter Stefanski – 2.12m/6-11.5 (1st)
Matt Gambill – 1.95m/6-4.75 (14th)
Sam Spallinger – 7.41m/24-3.75 (3rd)
Calen Settles – 6.86m/22-6.25 (19th)
Calen Settles – 13.81m/45-3.75 (12th)
Rob Stein – 18.03m/59-2 (3rd)
Andrew Vollet – 16.01m/52-6.5 (8th)
Rob Stein – 49.18m/161-4 (12th)
Andrew Vollet – 46.92m/153-11 (13th)
Zubin Coleman – 45.14m/148-1 (17th)
Rob Stein – 55.95m/183-7 (8th)
Zubin Coleman – 48.13m/157-11 (15th)
Tyler Yee – 64.55m/211-9 (2nd)
Taylor Celestin – 55.34m/181-7 (10th)
Live results for the MAC Championships can be found here. The conference meet is the final meet of the season for the team, but those RedHawks who qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds will travel to Jacksonville, Fla. May 29.