OXFORD, Ohio - For the first time this year, the Miami University women's track and field team will split up this weekend with some RedHawks heading to the Tom Wright Classic, hosted by Bowling Green, while others will head south to the Rod McCravy Memorial, hosted by the University of Kentucky.
The Tom Wright Classic, held at BGSU's Perry Field House, is on Friday only. The meet begins at 5 p.m. with multiple field events while the first track event is the 3000m run at 6 p.m. Among the RedHawks competing in Bowling Green are Miami's throwers and pole vaulters, as well as a handful of sprinters, jumpers and distance runners. The meet, which is women only, concludes at 8:45 p.m. with the 4x400m relay.
Miami will face mostly Mid-American Conference competition at the Tom Wright Classic, as both Ohio and the host Falcons will be in attendance. In addition, Wayne State will also be competing. Toledo was scheduled to take part in the meet but after its coach resigned Thursday, the Rockets pulled out of the meet.
The RedHawks will see a much larger and tougher field at the Rod McCravy Memorial, which is both Friday and Saturday in Lexington at UK's Nutter Field House. Miami will be sending its top distance runners and sprinters to the Rod McCravy Memorial, while a few will also compete in the jumps.
The Kentucky meet gets underway at 10 a.m. Friday with men's heptathlon and women's pentathlon, though no RedHawks are competing in the pentathlon. The first event Miami will compete in is the invitational long jump at 4 p.m., which features junior Erica Mudd (Cincinnati, Ohio). The first track event Friday is the 5000m run at 8 p.m. while day one concludes at 8:40 p.m. with the distance medley relay. The meet resumes Saturday at 10:15 a.m. with the 3000m run and concludes with the 4x400m relay at 4:30 p.m.
Among the teams Miami will see at the Rod McCravy Memorial is the No. 1 team in the country in Clemson, as well Georgia Tech, both from the ACC. The host Wildcats and Missouri will represent the SEC while Big Ten foe Ohio State will be in attendance along with Louisville and local rival Cincinnati of the Big East. Other teams competing at Kentucky include Appalachian State, Chattanooga, Eastern Kentucky, Florida A&M, Kentucky State, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, Missouri State, Southern Illinois, UNC Ashville, Western Carolina, Western Kentucky and Marshall.
Last weekend, Miami competed at the Gladstein Invitational, hosted by Indiana University. Highlighting the weekend was sophomore Charlotte Myers (Bexley, Ohio), who broke the school record in the 600m run with a time of 1:34.01, besting the previous record that had stood since 1996 by 0.38 seconds. Her mark is the top 600m time in the MAC this year. Senior Layne Baggett (Pittsburgh, Pa.) also was strong on the track, finishing third in the 60m hurdles with an all-time top-10 time while also qualifying for the finals of the 60m dash.
Redshirt junior Ashley Zaper (Whitehouse, Ohio) was Miami's top performer in field action, as she earned runner-up in the pentathlon with 3,521 points. Sophomore Taylor Brown (Hilliard, Ohio) set a personal best for indoor pole vault at the meet, as did several distance runners, including sophomores Jess Hoover (Hilliard, Ohio) in the mile run, Melissa Girgis (Worthington, Ohio) in the 3000m run and Anna Lamb (Granville, Ohio) in the 5K.
Girgis' time of 9:56.37 last weekend ranks fourth in the MAC in the 3K so far this year while Lamb's clocking of 17:23.15 ranks second in the conference in the 5K. Baggett sits third in the MAC in the 60m hurdles with her prelim time of 8.51. Mudd and Zaper are tied for third in the league in the high jump after both cleared 1.73m/5-8 at the season-opening meet in December. Mudd also ranks third in the long jump (5.77m/18-11.25) while Zaper's pentathlon score is second in the MAC. Senior Alexandra Roberts (Hilliard, Ohio) is fifth in the MAC in the shot put after her heave of 14.72m/48-3.5 last weekend at Indiana.
At last year's Rod McCravy Memorial, Baggett took 11th in the 60m hurdles final while sophomore Elisa Frazier (Williamsville, N.Y) placed ninth in the mile as a freshman. She will run the mile again this year at the meet. The RedHawks did not participate in last year's Tom Wright Classic.
Live results will be available for both meets this weekend on MURedHawks.com while Kentucky will also have live streaming of the Rod McCravy Memorial for a fee.
Following this weekend's meets, Miami reunites as it heads to Akron for the Akron Invitational Feb. 1-2.