OXFORD, Ohio – While most of the Miami University women’s track and field team will have the weekend off to rest up for next weekend’s Mid-American Conference Championships, six RedHawks will compete at Indiana University’s Billy Hayes Invitational on Friday as a final tune-up for the league meet.
Action at IU’s Haugh Track & Field Complex begins at 2 p.m. with the hammer throw, which features redshirt senior Samantha Gable (Greenfield, Ind.), while she will also throw the discus at 6 p.m. Miami’s other five competitors at the meet are all runners, starting with junior Xerina Hughey (Galloway, Ohio) in the 100m hurdles prelims at 3:15 p.m. Senior Layne Baggett (Pittsburgh, Pa.), who typically runs the 100m hurdles, will run the 100m dash instead at 5:35 p.m. Sophomore Taylor Wickware (Geneva, Ill.) follows at 5:50 p.m. in the 800m run while senior Monica Fischer (Cincinnati, Ohio) and sophomore Jess Hoover (Hilliard, Ohio) conclude Miami’s action at the meet, running in the 1500m invitational race at 7:50 p.m.
Several teams will be in attendance at the meet, though only a handful are Division I, including Indiana State, MAC foe Ball State, IPFW, Lipscomb and the host Hoosiers, while MAC rival Ohio has one girl entered in the 1500m invitational. The rest of the teams competing are Division II, III and NAIA schools.
Entering this weekend’s meet, Miami is ranked No. 11 in the latest USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Poll, moving up one spot from last week. Among the teams at the meet this weekend, Indiana State is No. 6 in the Great Lakes Region, while the host Hoosiers are No. 9. Among MAC schools, Kent State is the highest-ranked squad at No. 5 in the Great Lakes Region while Akron is No. 8. Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan sit behind Miami at No. 13 and 14, respectively, in the regional poll. Buffalo is No. 3 in the Northeast Region Poll.
Last weekend, select RedHawks competed at the famed Drake Relays while the majority of the team stayed home to host the RedHawk Invitational. Sophomore Anna Lamb (Granville, Ohio) highlighted the weekend, winning the 10,000m run at the Drake Relays in a school-record time of 34:35.39. Also at the Drake Relays, Baggett earned runner-up in the 100m hurdles while junior Tori Paterra (Elizabeth, Pa.) placed fourth in the javelin, both of which posted their second-best time/mark of the year.
At the final home meet of the year last Saturday, Miami won six events en route to the team title, led by redshirt junior Ashley Zaper (Whitehouse, Ohio), who won the long jump with a personal-best jump of 5.77m/18-11.25, which ranks her eighth in school history. It was one of four events in which she competed, also placing second in the high jump. Freshman Amelia Strickler (Bay Village, Ohio) claimed the shot put also with a personal best, throwing 14.81m/48-7.25, which moves her to third in school history. On the track, freshman Laura Bess (Brownsburg, Ind.) won the 1500m run in a personal-best 4:32.69 while sophomore Alex Chitwood (Carmel, Ind.) crossed first in the 3K steeplechase and classmate Charlotte Myers (Bexley, Ohio) captured the 400m dash. Miami also finished first in the 4x400m relay.
At last year’s Billy Hayes Invitational, Baggett won the 100m hurdles while Hughey was sixth. Fischer ran the 800m last year and placed ninth, but in personal-best time. Runner-up finishes were put in by Kelley Miller in the 800m and Rachael Clay in the 400m, both of whom graduated last year, while junior Kori Tatman (Amanda, Ohio) took second in the pole vault, but she will rest this weekend.
With just one week left before the MAC Championships, several RedHawks sit atop or near the top in the MAC rankings for their respective event(s). Redshirt senior Diona Graves (Fenton, Mo.) boasts the top 100m dash time (school-record 11.62), while she ranks third in the 200m (school-record 24.03). Baggett holds the best 100m hurdles time (school-record 13.31) while Zaper is eighth (14.34). In the 400m dash, freshman Kala Allen (East Amherst, N.Y.) is fourth (55.63) while senior Katie Scannell (Cortland, Ohio) is fifth (55.73). Lamb ranks second in the 10K after the Drake Relays while she is fifth in the 5000m (16:51.18). Sophomores Melissa Girgis (Worthington, Ohio) and Amanda Hancock (Lexington, Ky.) are seventh and eighth, respectively, in the 10K (36:39.05 and 36:57.72). Bess sits eighth in the 1500m after last weekend and ranks ninth in the 800m (2:11.88), while in the steeplechase, junior Erica Howes (Fairfax, Va.) sits third (10:40.85) and sophomore Elisa Frazier (Williamsville, N.Y.) ranks seventh (10:52.63). The ‘Hawks rank second in the 4x400m relay (school-record 3:39.82) and third in the 4x100m relay (46.02).
In field action, Paterra holds the top javelin throw (50.51m/165-8) in the league, while Zaper sits fourth in the heptathlon (4,819 points), is tied for sixth in the high jump (1.68m/5-6) and ranks seventh in the long jump after her leap last weekend. Strickler moved up to sixth in the shot put with her heave at home last Saturday, while sophomore Adaora Anunike (Galena, Ohio) sits eighth in the discus after throwing 47.00m/154-2 at the RedHawk Invitational. Gable ranks 10th in both the discus (45.57m/149-2) and hammer throw (53.48m/175-5).
Several of those marks are also in position to qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds May 23-25, as the top 48 in the East Region in each event advance to the NCAA prelims. Paterra ranks fifth in the javelin in the region and 12th nationally. Baggett sits tied for 11th in the region and tied for 19th nationally in the 100m hurdles, while Graves ties for 36th in the 100m dash in the East Region. Lamb is 25th in the 10K regionally while Miami’s 4x400m relay team of Scannell, Graves, Baggett and Allen ranks 39th in the region. Strickler comes in at No. 41 in the shot put, as well.
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.