OXFORD, Ohio – For the first time all season, the Miami University men’s and women’s track and field teams will compete at home as the RedHawks host the 28th annual Miami Invitational Friday and Saturday at George Rider Track. The meet is the first of two home competitions for the RedHawks this season.

Including Miami, a total of 16 men’s teams and 15 women’s teams will invade Oxford for this weekend’s meet. Among the teams scheduled to compete are local rivals Dayton, Wright State and Xavier while Cincinnati will only send its men’s team to the meet. Other Division I schools attending include Butler, Eastern Illinois, IPFW, IUPUI and Morehead State, all of which are bringing both a men’s and a women’s team. Several Division II, Division III and NAIA programs are also competing, including Cedarville, Findlay, Malone, Ohio Northern, Otterbein and Shawnee State. Team scoring will be kept at the meet.

Action begins Friday at 2 p.m. with the women’s hammer throw followed by the men’s hammer. The fast section of the 5000m run begins at 5 p.m. on the track with the women running first, while the 10,000m run is the only other event scheduled Friday, beginning at 5:50 p.m. The meet resumes Saturday at 10 a.m. with the women’s discus (followed by the men) while several field events begin at 11 a.m. The track heats up again at 10:55 a.m. with section II of the men’s 5000m run while the 4x400m relay at 5:55 p.m. is the final event of the meet.

There is no charge for Friday’s events, however admission to the meet will be charged on Saturday. Tickets will be required from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and cost $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. Admission is free for Miami students with a Miami ID. Tickets can be purchased at the gate to George Rider Track. Fans are encouraged to park in the West Millett parking lot, which will be free of charge. Programs with heat sheets will be available for $2 at the ticket window.

Last weekend, both the Miami men’s and women’s teams earned runner-up at the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational, hosted by the University of the Cincinnati. On the women’s side, the RedHawks finished behind only the host Bearcats while they were well ahead of third-place Dayton, which Miami will see again this weekend. Redshirt senior Diona Graves (Fenton, Mo.) won the 100m dash, tying her own school record of 11.68, while senior Layne Baggett (Pittsburgh, Pa.) took first in the 100m hurdles. Freshman Laura Bess (Brownsburg, Ind.) won the 800m run in her first time running it, while sophomore Anna Lamb (Granville, Ohio) captured first in the 5000m run in 16:51.18, which ranks her fourth in school history. Miami’s 4x400m relay team of freshman Kala Allen (East Amherst, N.Y.), senior Katie Scannell (Cortland, Ohio), freshman Kathie Wollney (Cary, Ill.) and sophomore Charlotte Myers (Bexley, Ohio) also earned first place at the meet.

On the men’s side, the RedHawks finished second behind another Redhawks, as Miami was just seven points back of Southeast Missouri State while finishing ahead of the host Bearcats. Senior Jarrod Eick (Hartville, Ohio) captured first in the 5000m run while freshman Peter Stefanski (Aurora, Ill.) won the high jump for the third straight meet. Miami also finished first in both the 4x100m and 4x400m relays last Saturday. Junior Jahquil Hargrove (Norristown, Pa.), who ran on both relay teams, earned second in the 400m dash, as well. He will run the 200m and 400m dash on Saturday. Senior John Cantwell (Holland, Pa.) placed second in the long jump and third in the triple jump, posting personal bests in both, as well.

Entering the Miami Invitational, several RedHawks rank near the top of the Mid-American Conference in their event. For the women, Graves, who will run the 200m dash Saturday, leads the MAC in the 100m dash with her time of 11.68 clocked last week. Baggett is also first in the 100m hurdles with her time of 13.57 recorded at Cincinnati. Allen, who will run the 400m dash Saturday, ranks second in the MAC in the event (55.63). Allen, Graves and Baggett will run the 4x100m relay together Saturday with the ‘Hawks leading the MAC with a time of 46.02 from last week. Miami ranks second in the 4x400m relay (3:44.72), as well. Bess’ time in the 800m from last week places her fifth in the league while she sits second in the MAC in the 1500m run, which she will run in Saturday. Lamb’s time of 16:51.18 from last week ranks her third in the 5K though she will run the 10K Friday. In field action, junior Tori Paterra (Elizabeth, Pa.) is first in the MAC in the javelin (46.95m/154-0) while redshirt junior Ashley Zaper (Whitehouse, Ohio), who will compete in the shot put and javelin this weekend, is second in the heptathlon after finishing second at UC last week with a score of 4.819.

On the men’s side, Hargrove ranks first in the 400m dash after his time of 47.97 last Saturday while junior Robert Balzano (Poland, Ohio) is second (48.57) after last week, as well. Four RedHawks own spots three through seven in the 800m run led by senior Jack Spilman (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) with his time of 1:51.02 while Eick is fourth (1:51.89). Eick, who will run the 1500m Saturday, leads the MAC in the event with his clocking of 3:51.01 while he also ranks second in the 5000m run (14:35.27) after winning last week. Redshirt senior Brett Wagner (Toledo, Ohio) has the top 3000m steeplechase time (9:35.32), which he posted last week, though he will run the 1500m Saturday. Stefanski ties for second in the high jump (2.08m/6-9.75) while Cantwell leads the MAC in the long jump (7.26m/23-10) and is second in the triple jump (14.46m/47-5.25) after posting both marks at Cincinnati. Junior Rob Stein (Villa Park, Ill.) ranks fourth in the league in both the shot put (16.22m/53-2.75) and the discus (50.52m/165-9), as well, while he will take part in those plus the hammer throw this weekend.

At last year’s Miami Invitational, the RedHawk women romped to a victory in an 18-team field, beating MAC foe Western Michigan by nearly 70 points. Baggett. Graves and Scannell combined to take first in the 4x100m relay while Graves won the long jump and was second in the 200m dash, as well. Sophomore Elisa Frazier (Williamsville, N.Y.) took first in the 3000m steeplechase while classmate Melissa Girgis (Worthington, Ohio) won the 10,000m run, as both will compete in the same events this year.

Miami’s men were also victorious at last year’s meet, winning by over 50 points. Senior Sam Wildeman (Naperville, Ill.) won the pole vault while sophomore Tyler Yee (Florida, N.Y.) claimed first in the javelin. Balzano and Hargrove helped the ‘Hawks win the 4x400m relay while current assistant coach Jordan Goffena was first in the 110m hurdles as a senior.

Live results for this weekend’s meet will be available on MURedHawks.com, as will complete results following the meet.

Miami’s second and final home meet will be the RedHawk Invitational on Saturday, April 27. Following the Miami Invitational, the men head to Knoxville, Tenn. for the Sea Ray Relays April 10-13, hosted by the University of Tennessee, while the women travel east to Athens, Ohio for the All-Ohio Championships, hosted by Ohio University, April 12-13.

--MURedHawks.com--