OXFORD, Ohio - Looking to claim its first indoor Mid-American Conference title in program history, the Miami University women's track and field team heads to Ypsilanti, Mich. this weekend for the Indoor MAC Championships, hosted by Eastern Michigan at EMU's Bowen Field House.
The RedHawks will be competing against its 11 fellow MAC foes, which include Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo and Western Michigan. The meet will be scored using a 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system with the top eight finishers in each event earning points.
The two-day championships get underway Friday at 10:30 a.m. with the 60m hurdles portion of the pentathlon, which features redshirt junior Ashley Zaper (Whitehouse, Ohio). The first track event on Bob Parks Track is the 60m hurdles prelims at 3:20 p.m. while the first women's field event is the pole vault at 3 p.m. Day one concludes with the distance medley relay at 7:10 p.m. Action resumes Saturday at 10 a.m. with the men's heptathlon while the first women's event is the weight throw at 11:30 a.m. The track heats up again at 1:15 p.m. with the mile run final while the MAC Championships conclude at 4:15 p.m. with the 4x400m relay.
At last year's MAC Indoor Championships, Miami placed fifth with a total of 66 points while Kent State cruised to the title. Buffalo was just ahead of Miami in fourth with 73.5 points while Toledo was second and WMU third.
The RedHawks return two All-MAC performers from last year's indoor meet as senior Layne Baggett (Pittsburgh, Pa.) is a two-time Second-Team All-MAC performer in the 60m hurdles, as she finished second in the event each of the last two years. She also won the 100m hurdles outdoors at the MAC meet the last two years.
Redshirt senior Alexandra Roberts (Hilliard, Ohio) is also a two-time Second-Team All-MAC recipient indoors, earning the honor in the shot put by taking second the last two seasons. Roberts has also finished second twice in the shot put at the outdoor MAC meet. Four school records were broken last year, as well, including Roberts in the shot put and the 4x400m relay, which placed third. Junior Erica Mudd (Cincinnati, Ohio) is also a former MAC champion, winning the high jump indoors as a freshman, as she'll compete in both that and the long jump this weekend.
In their final tune-up for the MAC Championships last Friday, the RedHawks rested several of their top runners at the Ball State Quadrangular while finishing third among the four MAC schools in attendance. WMU won the meet while NIU was second and the host Cardinals were fourth. Sophomore Taylor Brown (Hilliard, Ohio) won the pole vault for her first collegiate win while redshirt senior Samantha Gable (Greenfield, Ind.) was second in the weight throw, as was Roberts in the shot put. Senior Monica Fischer (Cincinnati, Ohio) crossed second in the mile, which she'll run at the MAC meet, while sophomore Taylor Wickware (Geneva, Ill.) was runner-up in the 800m run, which she'll also run this weekend.
Entering the MAC Championships, Miami has several athletes ranked in the top eight in the league in an event, which would be scoring position. Baggett is third in the 60m hurdles with her school-record time of 8.45 while freshman Kala Allen (East Amherst, N.Y.) ranks fifth in the 400m dash (56.19). Sophomore Anna Lamb (Granville, Ohio) ranks fourth in the 5K (17:04.68) while sophomore Melissa Girgis (Worthington, Ohio) sits eighth in the 3000m run (9:48.57). Wickware is just outside the top eight in ninth in the 800m run (2:13.11).
In field events, Mudd and Zaper are tied for fourth in the high jump (1.73m/5-8) as Zaper will also compete in the high jump in addition to the pentathlon, while Mudd is fifth in the long jump (5.77m/18-11.25). Roberts ranks fifth in the shot put (15.05m/49-4.5) while Zaper also is fifth in the pentathlon with 3,521 points. Junior Kori Tatman (Amanda, Ohio) is just outside the top eight tied for ninth in the pole vault (3.80m/12-5-5).
Following the MAC Championships, select RedHawks will run at the Notre Dame Last Chance meet March 1-2 in South Bend, Ind. in an effort to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships, which are March 8-9 in Fayetteville, Ark.