OXFORD, Ohio – With the Mid-American Conference Championships looming next week, the Miami University men’s track and field team heads to Bloomington, Ind. Friday for the Billy Hayes Invitational, hosted by Indiana University, looking to make final adjustments before the league meet.
Action at IU’s Haugh Track & Field Complex gets underway at 2 p.m. with the javelin, which features sophomore Tyler Yee (Florida, N.Y.) and junior Taylor Celestin (Mason, Ohio), while the first event on Hayes Track is the 110m hurdles prelims at 3 p.m., in which sophomores JaShawn Combs (Dayton, Ohio) and Sam Chester (Medina, Ohio) are entered. The final field events to get underway are the triple jump, which has two RedHawks competing, and the discus, which features a trio of RedHawks, both at 8 p.m. The meet concludes with the 4x400m relay at 8:20 p.m. though Miami is not entered in the race.
Although several teams will be in attendance at the meet, the only Division I schools competing on the men’s side are the host Hoosiers, as well as Indiana State and Lipscomb, while Kentucky has select athletes entered. The rest of the field consists of Division II, III and NAIA athletes and teams.
Entering the meet, Miami is ranked No. 13 in the latest USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Poll, slipping one spot from last week. Among other MAC schools ranked, Akron is No. 5, while Kent State is No. 10 and Eastern Michigan is 12th in the region. Buffalo is No. 3 in the Northeast Region. Among teams at the meet this weekend, Indiana is No. 3 in the Great Lakes Region while Indiana State is No. 8 and Kentucky is No. 5 in the Southeast Region Poll.
Last weekend, Miami hosted the RedHawk Invitational, the second and final home meet of the year, and ran away with the team title, more than doubling up runner-up Cincinnati. Miami won 10 events at its home meet, led by three first-place finishes from junior Rob Stein (Villa Park, Ill.), who won the shot put, discus and hammer throw, and will compete in all three again on Friday. Senior John Cantwell (Holland, Pa.) captured the long jump and triple jump while freshman Peter Stefanski (Aurora, Ill.) won the high jump for the fourth time this season, matching his personal-best clearance. Yee won the javelin, as well, as the seventh field event winner for the ‘Hawks. On the track, winners included senior Jack Spilman (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) in the 800m, redshirt senior Steve Kiplagat (Iten, Kenya) in the 1500m and sophomore Skyler Coburn (La Porte, Ind.) in the 400m hurdles. Of the trio, only Coburn will run this weekend, however, as the other two will rest for the MAC meet.
At last year’s Billy Hayes Invitational, which was delayed by severe thunderstorms, junior Jahquil Hargrove (Norristown, Pa.) was Miami’s lone winner, claiming the 400m dash in a then personal-best time. He will look to repeat this year. Stein took third in the shot put while Cantwell was sixth in the long jump. Junior Kevin Brown (Lewis Center, Ohio) and senior Jarrod Eick (Hartville, Ohio) placed fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 800m, both in Miami all-time top-10 clockings, while Coburn was seventh in the 400m hurdles as a freshman. Eick will run the 1500m invitational run this year, however, while Brown will rest.
With just one week until the MAC Championships, several RedHawks sit near the top of the league in their respective event(s). On the track, Eick sits second in the 1500m (3:48.95) while Kiplagat is seventh (3:55.30) after last weekend. Eick also ranks fifth in the 5000m run (14:35.27) with junior Daniel Garleb (Pickerington, Ohio) eighth (14:41.78) and Kiplagat ninth (14:42.62). Hargrove is third in the 400m dash (47.97) while three ‘Hawks rank in the top seven in the 800m with Spilman fourth (1:51.02), Eick sixth (1:51.85) and Brown seventh (1:52.22), with the latter two clocking their time last weekend at home. Combs is sixth in the 110m hurdles (14.48) with Chester eighth (14.60), while Coburn is eighth in the 400m hurdles (54.16). Redshirt senior Brett Wagner (Toledo, Ohio) ranks fifth in the 3K steeplechase (9:23.63).
In field action, Stefanski ranks second in the high jump (2.10m/6-10.75) while junior Matt Gambill (Dover, N.H.) is tied for sixth (2.00m/6-6.75). In the long jump, Cantwell is third (7.34m/24-1) while junior Sam Spallinger (Pandora, Ohio) ties for fourth (7.29m/23-11). Cantwell also ranks third in the triple jump (14.55m/47-9). In the throws, Stein is third in the discus (55.79m/183-0), fourth in the shot put (16.22m/53-2.75) and fourth in the hammer throw (55.40m/181-9). In the javelin, Yee sits sixth (61.76m/202-7) while Celestin is ninth (53.10m/174-2).
In the East Region rankings, Stefanski is 33rd in the high jump while Cantwell is 35th in the long jump and Spallinger is tied for 47th. Stein ranks 20th in the discus in the region as well, with the top 48 in each event qualifying for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds May 23-25 in Greensboro, N.C.
Live results for Friday’s meet are available on MURedHawks.com. Following the Billy Hayes Invitational, Miami heads to the MAC Championships, hosted by the University of Akron from May 9-11 at Akron’s Lee R. Jackson Track & Field Complex.