OXFORD, Ohio – Making its second trip to the state of Tennessee this season, the Miami University men’s track and field team heads south to Knoxville for the Sea Ray Relays Thursday to Saturday, hosted by the University of Tennessee. The RedHawks opened outdoor season at the Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational in Nashville.

Action at LaPorte Stadium opened Thursday night with the hammer throw, which saw junior Rob Stein (Villa Park, Ill.) place 20th with a throw of 53.09/174-2 (hammer results). The majority of the meet takes place Friday, beginning with the discus at 12:15 p.m., which features freshman Paul Golen (Elmhurst, Ill.). The first men’s track event on Tom Black Track is the 110m hurdles at 1:20 p.m., which has sophomores Sam Chester (Medina, Ohio) and JaShawn Combs (Dayton, Ohio) entered. The shot put, which will also see Stein and Golen throw at 6:30 p.m. is the final field event Friday, while the day concludes with the 10,000m run at 8:15 p.m. when three RedHawks will run.

Saturday features several showcase races and relays, as well as some field events. The high jump at 12:15 p.m. is the first field event, which features junior Matt Gambill (Dover, N.H.) and freshman Peter Stefanski (Aurora, Ill.), while the first track event is the 1500m showcase at 12:35 p.m., in which senior Jarrod Eick (Hartville, Ohio) is entered. The javelin at 3 p.m. is the final field event while the meet concludes at 4:40 p.m. with the 4x400m relay.

Over 60 men’s and women’s teams and 1,200 athletes will be participating in the 47th annual Sea Ray Relays. Among the teams Miami will see this weekend are Big Ten foes No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 23 Ohio State and Purdue, as well as Mid-American Conference foes Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan. Other teams in attendance include East Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, Indiana State, Middle Tennessee State, Milwaukee, local rival Xavier and the host Volunteers.

In Miami’s last outing last weekend, the RedHawks won their first home meet of the season, the Miami Invitational, totaling 186.5 points to finish well ahead of runner-up Findlay (162 points) in a 16-team field. Individual winners included Eick, who claimed the 1500m run, and Stefanski, who has won the high jump at all three outdoor meets this year and in four straight meets dating back to indoor season. Senior John Cantwell (Holland, Pa.) won the triple jump and was second in the long jump, while Stein earned runner-up in the hammer throw with the 10th-best throw in school history (55.40m/181-9). The ‘Hawks also won the 4x100m relay.

With five weeks left until the MAC Championships, several RedHawks rank near the top of the league. Junior Jahquil Hargrove (Norristown, Pa.) holds the top 400m dash time of 47.97 while classmate Robert Balzano (Poland, Ohio) is third with a time of 48.57, both clocked two weeks ago at Cincinnati. Hargrove will be in the 400m dash showcase this weekend while Balzano will run in the regular 400m dash. Four RedHawks claim spots three through six in the 800m, led by senior Jack Spilman (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) with a time of 1:51.02. Eick is fourth in the 800m and has the top 1500m time in the MAC of 3:51.01 while he also ranks second in the 5K (14:35.27). Combs sits fifth in the 110m hurdles after clocking 14.48 while fellow sophomore Skyler Coburn (La Porte, Ind.) is fourth in the 400m hurdles (54.16), both of which were recorded at home last weekend.

In field events, Stefanski ties for first in the MAC with a clearance of 2.09m/6-10.25, recorded at the Vanderbilt meet, while Cantwell has the best long jump of 7.26m/23-10. He is also third in the triple jump (14.46m/47-5.25). Stein ranks fourth in the hammer throw after last weekend and is fourth in the shot put (16.22m/53-2.75) while he is fifth in the discus (50.52m/165-9).

This weekend will be Miami’s first trip to the Sea Ray Relays for all of the current RedHawks as Miami only sent decathletes to the meet two years ago when the ‘Hawks last competed in Knoxville. No team scoring will be kept at the meet. Live results for the meet are available on MURedHawks.com while free live streaming of the meet is available for Friday and Saturday and is linked on MURedHawks.com.

Following the Sea Ray Relays, Miami returns to the Buckeye State for the Jesse Owens Classic April 19-20 in Columbus, hosted by Ohio State.

--MURedHawks.com--