OXFORD, Ohio – With the calendar officially turning to spring, the Miami University men’s track and field team begins its outdoor season Friday and Saturday at the Black and Gold Invitational, hosted by Vanderbilt at the Vanderbilt track and field complex.

Action begins at 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT with several field events, including the hammer throw, triple jump and pole vault while the shot put follows the women’s shot put at 5 p.m. ET. The lone races Friday are the 1500m invitational run at 7 p.m. ET and the 3000m invitational run at 7:30 p.m. ET. Senior Jarrod Eick (Hartville, Ohio) will run in the 1500m invitational while junior Daniel Garleb (Pickerington, Ohio) and redshirt senior Brett Wagner (Toledo, Ohio) qualified for the 3K invite.

The meet resumes Saturday at 11 a.m. ET with the discus while the high jump and long jump begin at noon ET. The track heats up at noon ET as well with the regular 3000m run. The invitational then concludes at 6:10 p.m. ET with the 4x400m relay.

The RedHawks will be competing against several regional teams at the meet, including Ohio State, DePaul, Louisville, Bradley, Southern Illinois, Loyola (Ill.) and Western Kentucky, as well as several schools in Tennessee, including Memphis, Belmont, Middle Tennessee State and Lipscomb, along with the host Commodores, who will only compete in distance events as Vanderbilt does not sponsor men’s track.

Miami competed in two indoor meets in preparation for outdoor season. The RedHawks most recent meet was March 1 in a dual meet against Cincinnati, which the Bearcats narrowly won on the final relay. Miami was paced by Eick at the meet, as he won both the mile run and 3000m run. The RedHawks’ other indoor meet was Feb. 15 at the Buckeye Tune-up, where Eick won the 1000m run. Junior Wade Coffin (Willoughby, Ohio) took second in the 1000m run while classmate Kevin Brown (Lewis Center, Ohio) was runner-up in the 600m run. Freshman Peter Stefanski (Aurora, Ill.) earned second in the high jump in his collegiate debut, as well.

At last year’s Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational, current senior Jack Spilman (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) crossed first in the 800m run in a time that ranked him ninth in school history. Junior Jahquil Hargrove (Norristown, Pa.) claimed the 400m dash in meet-record time while Eick was victorious in the 1500m run for the second straight year at the meet. Sophomore Tyler Yee (Florida, N.Y.) was the runner-up in the javelin as a freshman, ranking fourth in school history, and returns for the RedHawks after suffering an injury midway through last year’s season that sidelined him the rest of his rookie campaign.

Heading into outdoor season, the RedHawks will be looking to improve on last year’s sixth-place finish at the MAC Championships. Miami will be led by Hargrove, who was a First-Team All-MAC performer and earned Outstanding Track Performer at the MAC Championships last year after winning the 400m dash in a school-record time. Sophomore JaShawn Combs (Dayton, Ohio) also garnered First-Team All-MAC after winning the 110m hurdles as a rookie while cracking Miami’s all-time top 10 list. Brown and then senior, now assistant coach Jordan Goffena were both tabbed Second-Team All-MAC in 2012 after Brown claimed second in the 800m run while Goffena was second in the decathlon. The RedHawks also bring back three NCAA regional qualifiers from a year ago in Eick (1500m), Hargrove (400m) and junior Rob Stein (Villa Park, Ill.), who qualified in the discus for a second straight year.

Following the Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational, Miami makes the short trek to Cincinnati as the RedHawks take part in the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational, hosted by the University of Cincinnati, Friday and Saturday, March 29-30.

--MURedHawks.com--