OXFORD, Ohio – For the second and final time this season, the Miami University men’s track and field team will compete in front of its home fans as the team hosts the RedHawk Invitational Saturday at George Rider Track. The majority of Miami’s women’s team will also be at the meet, though some ‘Hawks are at the Drake Relays.
The RedHawk Invitational begins at 11 a.m. with the men’s shot put and two women’s field events while the men hit the track at 12:25 p.m. in the 3000m steeplechase. The final field event to start is the discus at 3 p.m. while the final race on the track is the 4x400m relay at 3:25 p.m.
Admission to the RedHawk Invitational is free and fans are encouraged to park in the West Millett Parking Lot, though accessible parking is located around Yager Stadium. Heat sheets will be available for fans at no cost.
A total of 16 men’s and women’s teams will take part in the RedHawk Invitational, including seven men’s squads. Among the teams coming to Oxford are Mid-American Conference rival Ohio and local rival Cincinnati. Other teams in attendance will be Kentucky, which is ranked fifth in the Southeast Region, as well as Valparaiso and Division II schools Kentucky State and Southern Indiana.
In the latest USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Poll, Miami remained at No. 12, just ahead of MAC foe Eastern Michigan. Akron is the top-ranked MAC team at No. 5 while Kent State is No. 8. The rival Bearcats are just ahead of the RedHawks at No. 11.
Last weekend, Miami competed at the Jesse Owens Track Classic, hosted by Ohio State. Freshman Peter Stefanksi (Aurora, Ill.) tied a personal best to earn runner-up in the high jump while junior Rob Stein (Villa Park, Ill.) was fifth in the discus with a personal-best throw that ranks him third in school history (55.79m/183-0). On the track, senior Jarrod Eick (Hartville, Ohio) placed fifth in the 1500m run while junior Daniel Garleb (Pickerington, Ohio) crossed seventh out of 44 in the 5K. Senior John Cantwell (Holland, Pa.) claimed fifth in the long jump while classmate Jack Spilman (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) was sixth in the 800m run.
At last year’s RedHawk Invitational, junior Jahquil Hargrove (Norristown, Pa.) won the 200m dash with classmate Robert Balzano (Poland, Ohio) right behind in second, as the duo looks to go 1-2 again this year. Sophomore Skyler Coburn (La Porte, Ind.) was victorious in the 400m dash, as well, though he will run the 400m hurdles this year. Junior Matt Gambill (Dover, N.H.) took first in the high jump while classmate Taylor Celestin (Mason, Ohio) won the javelin as a total of six RedHawks won events at the meet. Stein, meanwhile, finished in the top three in the discus, hammer throw and shot put.
With just two weeks remaining until the MAC Championships, several RedHawks rank near the top of the league in their respective event(s). Hargrove sits third in the 400m dash (47.97) while Balzano is seventh (48.57). In the 800m, Spilman is fourth (1:51.02) and Eick is sixth (1:51.89), while Eick is also second in the 1500m (3:48.95) and third in the 5000m run (14:35.27). Garleb is sixth in the 5K (14:41.78), while redshirt senior Steve Kiplagat (Iten, Kenya) is seventh (14:42.62). In the 10K, senior Matt Marol (Evanston, Ill.) sits fifth (31:18.75), as does sophomore JaShawn Combs (Dayton, Ohio) in the 110m hurdles (14.48), while Coburn is seventh in the 400m hurdles (54.16). Redshirt senior Brett Wagner (Toledo, Ohio) ranks fourth in the 3K steeplechase (9:23.63), though he will run the 1500m on Saturday.
In field action, two RedHawks lead the long jump as Cantwell is first with a leap of 7.34m/24-1 while junior Sam Spallinger (Pandora, Ohio) is right behind in second (7.29m/23-11). Cantwell also sits second in the triple jump (14.55m/47-9). Stefanski ranks second in the high jump with his leap of 2.10m/6-10.75 that he matched last weekend, while Gambill is sixth (2.00m/6-6.75). Stein ranks in the top four in three events, sitting third in the discus after last weekend, while he is fourth in the shot put (16.22m/53-2.75) and hammer throw (55.40m/181-9). In the javelin, sophomore Tyler Yee (Florida, N.Y.) ranks sixth with a toss of 61.76m/202-7.
Live results for Saturday’s home meet are available on MURedHawks.com. Following the RedHawk Invitational, Miami will have one final tune-up before the MAC Championships as the RedHawks head to the Billy Hayes Invitational, hosted by Indiana University on Friday, May 3 in Bloomington. The MAC Championships are set for May 9-11 in Akron Ohio.