OXFORD, Ohio – After heading south for its first two meets of outdoor season, the Miami University women’s track and field team stays closer to home this weekend, taking part in the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational, hosted by the University of Cincinnati Friday and Saturday.

Action at UC’s Gettler Stadium begins Friday with the men’s decathlon at 11:30 a.m. while the women’s heptathlon at noon is the first event involving a RedHawk, as redshirt junior Ashley Zaper (Whitehouse, Ohio) will take part in the seven-event competition. The women’s hammer throw, held at nearby Coy Field, begins at 1 p.m. and has three RedHawks entered in the event. The 10K is also held Friday night but no ‘Hawks will run in the race.

The meet resumes Saturday with the final three events of the heptathlon, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The women’s shot put and long jump at 11 a.m. are the first field events of the day while the 5000m run is the first women’s track event at 12:12 p.m. The meet then concludes at 5:20 p.m. with the 4x400m relay.

Among the teams competing at the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational this weekend are Kentucky, Marquette, Dayton, Eastern Kentucky, Northern Kentucky, Xavier, Butler and Southeast Missouri State, as well as the host Bearcats, while Division II schools will also be in attendance. Notre Dame also has athletes competing in the heptathlon.

Last weekend Miami competed at the Black and Gold Invitational, hosted by Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. The RedHawks won three events, including the 4x400m relay which saw seniors Katie Scannell (Cortland, Ohio) and Diona Graves (Fenton, Mo.), sophomore Charlotte Myers (Bexley, Ohio) and freshman Kala Allen (East Amherst, N.Y.) clock the third-fastest time in school history. Junior Tori Paterra (Elizabeth, Pa.) beat her own meet record to win the javelin by over 23 feet while sophomore Anna Lamb (Granville, Ohio) was Miami’s only individual winner on the track, claiming the 3000m run.

Several RedHawks posted the top time in the Mid-American Conference this season in their respective events at the Vanderbilt meet, as well. Allen’s 55.63 in the 400m dash earned her third and ranks first in the MAC while senior Layne Baggett (Pittsburgh, Pa.) took second in the 100m hurdles in 13.69, which is also tops in the MAC so far this season. Graves holds the second-best time in the league in the 100m dash after clocking 11.87 to finish second last week while freshman Laura Bess (Brownsburg, Ind.) was third in the 1500m run in 4:33.33, which ranks first in the MAC. Paterra’s winning throw in the javelin of 46.95m/154-0 also is the best in the conference so far this year.

At last year’s Oliver Nikoloff Invitational, Miami placed third behind host Cincinnati and Marquette. The lone RedHawk to win an event last year was Graves in the 100m dash while her, Scannell and Baggett helped Miami take second in the 4x100m relay. The ‘Hawks also earned runner-up in the 4x400m relay with Scannell also running on that relay team. Paterra placed fourth in the javelin last year, as well.

Following the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational, Miami returns home to host the Miami Invitational next weekend, April 5-6, at George Rider Track in the first of two home meets this year.

--MURedHawks.com--