CINCINNATI, Ohio – Led by five first-place finishes on the track, the Miami University women’s track and field team earned runner-up at the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational, hosted by the University of Cincinnati Friday and Saturday at Gettler Stadium.
The RedHawks totaled 146.5 points among the 12 teams that scored, finishing behind only the host Bearcats, who compiled 216.5 points. Dayton placed third with 112 points followed by Marquette (93.5) and Southeast Missouri State in fourth and fifth, respectively. Xavier (sixth), Kentucky (eighth) and Notre Dame (11th) were also among the field Friday and Saturday.
Redshirt senior Diona Graves (Fenton, Mo.) tied her own school record in the 100m dash, first set in 2011, by clocking 11.68 seconds to win the race. The ‘Hawks earned another win in the 100m hurdles as senior Layne Baggett (Pittsburgh, Pa.) crossed first in 13.57 while junior Xerina Hughey (Galloway, Ohio) took seventh in the race in 14.79 as the duo combined for 12 points.
In the 800m run, freshman Laura Bess (Brownsburg, Ind.) was victorious in 2:11.88, which ranks her seventh in school history despite running the event for the first time. It was also her first collegiate individual win. Junior Erin Riley (Avon Lake, Ohio) claimed sixth in the 800m in 2:15.69. In the 1500m run, junior Erica Howes (Fairfax, Va.) earned runner-up in a personal-best 4:35.03 while sophomore Jess Hoover (Hilliard, Ohio) was sixth in 4:41.23.
The RedHawks’ final individual winner on the track came from sophomore Anna Lamb (Granville, Ohio), who crossed first in the 5000m run in a personal-best 16:51.18, which ranks her sixth in school history in the event. Classmate Melissa Girgis (Worthington, Ohio) was fourth in an outdoor personal-best 17:19.78 in the 5K while freshman Brenna Poulsen (Indianapolis, Ind.) placed seventh in 17:55.11.
Baggett, Graves, freshman Kala Allen (East Amherst, N.Y.) and junior Erica Mudd (Cincinnati, Ohio) earned runner-up in the 4x100m relay in 46.02, which ranks fourth in school history, as the Bearcats just edged the ‘Hawks out for first. In the 4x400m relay, Miami finished first for another 10 points as Allen, senior Katie Scannell (Cortland, Ohio), freshman Kathie Wollney (Cary, Ill.) and sophomore Charlotte Myers (Bexley, Ohio) combined to clock 3:47.33, this time just beating out Cincinnati.
In addition to her relays, Allen captured fourth in the 200m dash in 24.93. Myers was the runner-up in the 400m dash in a personal-best 55.96, which ranks her 10th in school history, while Scannell crossed right behind in third in an outdoor personal-best 56.16. Wollney was third, as well, in the 400m hurdles in a personal-best 1:04.47.
In field action, redshirt junior Ashley Zaper (Whitehouse, Ohio) captured second in her first heptathlon of the season, totaling 4,819 points. She was first in the long jump (5.48m/17-11.75), second in the 100m hurdles (14.70), tied for third in the high jump (1.65m/5-5) and was sixth in the shot put with an outdoor personal best of 10.05m/32-11.75.
Mudd performed well in the long jump, as well, taking second with a leap of 5.65m/18-6.5. In the high jump, freshman Jess Baker (Aurora, Ohio) placed sixth, clearing 1.63m/5-4.25, which equaled the fifth-place finisher but in more attempts. In the pole vault, junior Kori Tatman (Amanda, Ohio) took eighth, topping 3.60m/11-9.75. Sophomore Taylor Brown (Hilliard, Ohio) cleared the same height, which is her outdoor personal best, but in more attempts as she placed ninth while she now ranks seventh in school history with her clearance of 3.60m/11-9.75.
In the throws, redshirt senior Samantha Gable (Greenfield, Ind.) posted a trio of fourth-place finishes, led by a personal best in the discus with a heave of 44.72m/146-9, which ranks her eighth in school history. She was also fourth in the shot put (season-best 14.18m/46-6.25) and the hammer throw (50.26m/164-11). Sophomore Adaora Anunike (Galena, Ohio) was sixth in the shot put with an outdoor personal best of 13.37m/45-0.5, as she ranks eighth in school history. She also took seventh in the discus (42.75m/140-3).
Miami returns home next weekend to host the Miami Invitational Friday and Saturday, April 5-6, in the first of two home track meets this year at George Rider Track.