OXFORD, Ohio – In the first of two home meets, the Miami University men’s and women’s track and field teams will host the 29th annual Miami Invitational Friday and Saturday at the George Rider Track.
Miami welcomes a total of nine women’s teams and 13 men’s teams for this weekend’s event. The Miami women will face Mid-American Conference foe Ball State, while the Miami men will face local rival Dayton. Butler, Cedarville, IPFW, IUPUI, Ohio Dominican, Otterbein, Shawnee State, and Xavier are bringing both their men’s and women’s teams, but only the RedHawk men are scheduled to compete against Williams and John Carroll.
Friday’s action consists of only three events, starting with the hammer throw at 4 p.m. The fast section of the 5000m run begins at 5 p.m., followed by the 10,000m run scheduled for 5:50 p.m. The invitational resumes Saturday at 10 a.m. with the discus, followed by the pole vault, shot put, and long jump at 11 a.m. Field action concludes at 2:30 p.m. with the men’s javelin. Track action starts at 10:55 a.m. with Section II of the 5000m run, followed by the 4x100m relay at 11:40 a.m. The meet concludes at 3:20 p.m. with the men’s 4x400m relay.
There is no charge for Friday’s events, but tickets will be required Saturday during the meet, with admission cost $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. Miami students can get in free with their Miami ID. Fans can purchase tickets for the meet at the gate of George Rider Track, and they are encouraged to park in the West Millett parking lot, free of charge. Heat sheets will also be available for $2.
Last weekend, the men’s team travelled to Cincinnati, Ohio for the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational, while the women’s team took on the Vanderbilt Black & Gold Invitational in Nashville, Tenn. Under head coach Kelly Phillips, the women’s team opened its outdoor season at the Black & Gold Invitational, claiming 14 top-five finishes. Junior Charlotte Myers had Miami’s top finish of the meet, winning the 400m dash in 55.80. Senior Erica Howes then had an impressive finish in the 2000m steeplechase, taking second in the event with a career-high 7:01.40. Senior Erica Mudd was Miami’s best finisher in the 100m hurdles, taking fourth in 14.71, while sophomore Kathie Wollney finished fourth in the 400m hurdles in 1:03.89. In field action, junior Adaora Anunike placed third in the discus with a throw of 43.11m/141-5, while junior Jasmine Watts placed fourth in the long jump with a mark of 5.66m/18-7.
Under head coach Warren Mandrell, the men’s team finished runner-up for a second consecutive year at the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational, finishing behind host Cincinnati. Senior Sam Spallinger led the RedHawks in field action, winning the long jump with a mark of 6.83m/22-5. Sophomore Peter Stefanski also garnered a field victory, earning the best clearance of 1.98m/6-6 in the high jump. Senior Wade Coffin and junior Skyler Coburn led the Red and White in track action, both winning their respective events. Coffin clocked the winning time of 1:55.87 in the 800m run, while Coburn set a season-best with his winning time of 53.60 in the 400m hurdles.
Entering their first home meet of the season, several RedHawks rank within the top five of the Mid-American Conference in their respective event. On the women’s side, Myers ranks third in the 400m dash with her 55.80 time from the Black & Gold Invitational. Sophomore Laura Bess ranks in two events, first in the 800m run where she sits in third with her 2:12.72 time, also recorded at the Vanderbilt meet. She then ranks first in the 1500m run with her time of 4:27.53. Junior Taylor Wickware and sophomore Megan Beaver rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 800m run, as a result of their performances at the Black & Gold meet. Wickware finished fifth at the meet with a time of 2:12.85, while Beaver took eighth in 2:14.60. Sophomore Amelia Strickler is the only RedHawk to rank in field events, sitting in second for the shot put with her mark of 47-10.5.
For the men’s team, seniors Kevin Brown and Wade Coffin rank in the top five in the 800m run, with Brown holding the second-fastest time (1:51.80) and Coffin rounding out the top five times in 1:52.56. Sophomore Ed Wigton ranks fifth in the 1500m run with his time of 4:00.28, while sophomore Joe Stewart holds the third-fastest time in the 5000m run (14:37.53). Coburn then ranks fourth in the 400m hurdles with his time of 53.80, and junior Ryan Moncrieff sits on top of the MAC for the 3000m steeplechase with his time of 9:34.19.
The men’s team also holds several rankings in field events, beginning with Stefanski who ranks first in the high jump with his mark of 6-8. Freshman Austin Cole is already on top of the conference in two events, ranking second in both the long jump (23-2.5) and decathlon (6250). Senior Rob Stein holds the second-best mark in the shot put with his throw of 53-6.5, and junior Tyler Yee ranks second in the javelin with his mark of 211-9.
At last year’s Miami Invitational, both the men’s and women’s teams captured meet victories. On the women’s side, Howes won the 3000m steeplechase in a personal-best 10:54.82, while Lamb ran away with the 10,000m run victory in 35:05.76. In field action, Anunike won the discus (150-5), then took second in the shot put in a personal-best 46-4.
On the men’ side, Stefanski led the RedHawks in field competition winning the high jump in 6-8.75. Stein then placed in the top three for two events, finishing second in the hammer throw and third in the discus with a throw of 159-04.
The RedHawks will host their second and final home meet, the RedHawk Invitational, Saturday, April 26. Following the Miami Invitational, both the men’s and women’s teams will travel to Cincinnati, Ohio for the All-Ohio Championship April 11-12.