AKRON, Ohio – Despite scoring in just one event on day two of the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Championships Friday, the Miami University women’s track and field team held steady in fourth place while 10 RedHawks qualified for Saturday’s track finals. The three-day league meet is hosted by the University of Akron at Lee R. Jackson Track & Field Complex. Halfway through the track prelims Friday, a thunderstorm halted competition for a little over an hour, while the remainder of the meet was run in a light rain.
The RedHawks, who had 19 points after day one Thursday, now have 27 points through eight events, with 13 finals set for Saturday. Kent State leads the meet with 74 points while Buffalo is second with 53.5. The host Zips sit in third with 50 points while Toledo and Eastern Michigan are right behind Miami with 25 and 24.5 points, respectively.
Miami earned all eight points on day two in the 3000m steeplechase final, led by junior Erica Howes (Fairfax, Va.), who finished fourth in 10:41.92, just missing a personal best. Sophomore Elisa Frazier (Williamsville, N.Y.) collected the remaining three points, crossing in sixth in a personal-best 10:44.84, while she already ranked fifth in school history.
In the 100m dash prelims, redshirt senior Diona Graves (Fenton, Mo.) posted the top qualifying time in a school-record 11.54, breaking her own mark of 11.62 from earlier this year. Her time also tied the meet record from 2007. Senior Layne Baggett (Pittsburgh, Pa.) also won her heat to qualify for Saturday’s 100m final in third place, clocking a personal-best 11.68, which ties for the third-best time in school history while she already ranked second at Miami all-time behind Graves. In addition to her 100m school record, Graves set the 200m dash school record as well, qualifying for the final in fifth in 23.99, topping her own mark of 24.03, which she set when she first set the 100m record too.
Baggett was the top qualifier in the 100m hurdles prelims, as well, crossing in 13.36, which is her second-best time ever and is the third-fastest time in school history. Redshirt junior Ashley Zaper (Whitehouse, Ohio) also qualified for Saturday’s final, taking second in her heat and sixth in the prelims in 14.22, after posting a personal best in the event Thursday as part of the heptathlon (13.97).
All three RedHawks entered in the prelims qualified for the 400m dash final Saturday, all in personal-best times. Sophomore Charlotte Myers (Bexley, Ohio) led the way by taking second in her heat and fifth in the prelims in a personal-best 54.99, which ranks her seventh in school history, as she shed nearly a second off her previous best. Senior Katie Scannell (Cortland, Ohio) qualified sixth in 55.16, also a personal best, as she was also second in her heat and now ranks ninth in school history. Freshman Kala Allen (East Amherst, N.Y.) rounded out the group, qualifying seventh despite running a bit faster at 55.13, as she was third in her heat and ranks eighth in school history.
A pair of RedHawks advanced to the 1500m final, as freshman Laura Bess (Brownsburg, Ind.) was second in her heat and fourth in qualifying in 4:33.89, while senior Monica Fischer (Cincinnati, Ohio) was the 12th and final qualifier in the prelims in a season-best 4:37.24.
In the 400m hurdles, freshman Kathie Wollney (Cary, Ill.) just missed making the finals, placing 11th in prelims in a personal-best 1:02.75. Sophomore Taylor Wickware (Geneva, Ill.) also took 11th, doing so in the 800m prelims in 2:13.72.
In the long jump, sophomore Jasmine Watts (Carmel, Ind.) was Miami’s top finisher as she just missed scoring, taking ninth with a leap of 5.55m/18-2.5. In the shot put, freshman Amelia Strickler (Bay Village, Ohio) was Miami’s top finisher, placing 13th with a toss of 13.80m/45-3.5.
Zaper, who was in seventh place through four events in the heptathlon Thursday, posted a long jump of 5.41m/17-9 in the first event on Friday to place fifth. She fouled on all three javelin attempts, however, and decided to then drop out of the seven-event competition.
The MAC Championships conclude Saturday, beginning with the discus at 12:05 p.m., while the triple jump and high jump are also contested. The first track final is the 4x100m relay at 2:10 p.m. with the rest of the finals taking place throughout the day and wrapping up with the 4x400m relay at 5:40 p.m. The awards ceremony then follows at 6 p.m. Live results and a live stream of the MAC Championships are available on MURedHawks.com and MAC-Sports.com.