OXFORD, Ohio – For the second time this season, the Miami University women’s track and field team will take on two meets Friday and Saturday, with two RedHawks trekking to Des Moines, Iowa for the 105th Drake Relays at Drake Stadium. The remainder of the team will host the RedHawk Invitational, the second and final home meet of the season, Saturday at George Rider Track.
The RedHawks will compete with teams from all over the country at the prestigious Drake Relays, including No. 5 Oregon, No. 9 Arkansas, No. 18 Baylor, and No. 22 Notre Dame. Miami will also see some conference action at the meet, competing against MAC foe Kent State.
Senior Tori Paterra and sophomore Amelia Strickler are scheduled to represent Miami in their respective field events Friday at the Relays, which actually began Wednesday and run through Saturday. Strickler will face a tough 30-woman field in the shot put at 1 p.m. ET/12 p.m. CT, with Paterra to follow at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT in the javelin.
This will be Paterra’s third go at the Drake Relays this year, having competed in the meet during her sophomore and junior seasons. She finished 11th in the javelin during her first trip to the Relays, but then finished fourth in the event a year later after earning the sixth-best throw in school history by clearing a distance of 160-3.
Several other RedHawks also garnered top finishes in last year’s Drake Relays. Junior Anna Lamb blew all the competition off the track after winning the 10,000m in a record-breaking 34:35.39, 21 seconds faster than second-place finisher Brittni Hutton from Oakland. Alumna Layne Baggett also finished strong in the final Drake Relays of her RedHawk career, placing second in the 100m hurdles with a clocked time of 13.47.
As Strickler and Paterra wrap up competition in Iowa, the remainder of the women’s team will be back in Oxford prepping for the RedHawk Invitational Saturday. This is Miami’s second and final home meet of the season before taking on the MAC Championships May 15-17.
A total of 445 athletes from 20 men’s and women’s teams will descend upon Oxford this weekend for the meet. While the men’s team will compete against nine teams, the women’s team will face off against 11, including local squads Cedarville, Cincinnati, Dayton, Wright State, and Xavier, among others. The RedHawk women will also see some conference action against Ohio and Ball State.
Competition begins at 10 a.m. with the women’s hammer throw, followed by the men’s shot put at 11 a.m. and the women’s shot put at 12 p.m. Field action continues through 3 p.m., while track action picks up at 12 p.m. with the women’s 5000m. The meet is scheduled to conclude at 3:55 p.m. with the men’s 4x400m relay.
At last season’s RedHawk Invitational, Miami claimed six event victories to win the meet with 216.5 points. Now-graduated Ashley Zaper led the RedHawks on the field by winning the long jump with a personal-best mark of 18-11.25. Strickler also won an event of her own, placing first in the shot put, also with a personal-best mark of 48-7.25.
Miami’s other four victories came on the track, beginning with sophomore Laura Bess who won the 1500m in a personal-best 4:32.69. Junior Alex Chitwood then won the 3000m steeplechase in 11:13.57, while junior Charlotte Myers nabbed the 400m dash victory in 55.99. The Miami women clinched the meet win by claiming the 4x400m victory when Myers, and sophomores Kala Allen, Aryelle Player, and Megan Beaver clocked a combined time of 3:48.75.
Following the Drake Relays and RedHawk Invitational, the Red and White will travel to Bloomington, Ind. to take on the Billy Hayes Invitational Friday, May 2.