The championships get underway at 1:15 p.m. with both the javelin and the first event of the decathlon, the 100m dash. The next four events of the decathlon occur the rest of the day, while the 10,000m run final completes the first day at 7 p.m. On Friday, action resumes at 10 a.m. with the hammer throw while the long jump and shot put also take place on day two. The last five events of the decathlon begin with the 110m hurdles at noon, while the track heats up at 2:40 p.m. with the 110m hurdles prelims. The final event on Friday is the 3000m steeplechase final at 6:20 p.m. The meet then concludes Saturday, starting at noon with the high jump, while three other field events happen throughout the day. The first track event is the 4x100m relay at 2 p.m. with race finals leadings up to the 4x400m relay, which is the final event at 5:30 p.m. An awards ceremony follows at 6 p.m.
Only six MAC schools sponsor men’s track and field, as joining the RedHawks in Akron will be the host Zips, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Kent State. At last year’s MAC Championships, Miami finished sixth with 111 points, its most since 2008, while Akron won with 161 points. Kent State was second while CMU was third. EMU won the MAC Indoor Championships this season. Miami’s 15 MAC titles are third-most in league history, last winning the crown in 1993.
Entering the meet, the RedHawks are ranked 14th in the latest USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Poll, down one spot from last week. Akron is the highest-ranked MAC team at No. 5 in the region, while Kent State is No. 10 and Eastern Michigan is 13th. Buffalo is also ranked, but in a different region as the Bulls are fourth in the Northeast Region. CMU is not ranked in a regional poll.
Tickets to the MAC Championships are $25 for a three-day pass for adults while youth (ages 3-14) are $10 for the weekend. Single-day tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth while students of all MAC schools get in free with a school ID. Parking for the meet is free and spectators are encouraged to park in Lot 9, on the corner of Spicer and East Exchange near Akron’s football stadium.
At last year’s MAC Outdoor Championships, two RedHawks earned individual MAC titles, led by current junior Jahquil Hargrove (Norristown, Pa.), who was named the meet’s Outstanding Track Performer. Hargrove won the 400m dash in school-record time to collect First-Team All-MAC honors and took third in the 200m dash. Sophomore JaShawn Combs (Dayton, Ohio) earned the other win in the 110m hurdles as a freshman, also garnering First-Team All-MAC. The duo was Miami’s first individual champions since 2008. Junior Kevin Brown (Lewis Center, Ohio) and then senior, now assistant coach Jordan Goffena each picked up Second-Team All-MAC after earning runner-up in the 800m and decathlon, respectively. Senior Jarrod Eick (Hartville, Ohio) was a Second-Team All-MAC performer in the 1500m as a sophomore, as well.
Last Friday, Miami tuned up for the MAC Championships at the Billy Hayes Invitational, hosted by Indiana University, winning three events. Senior John Cantwell (Holland, Pa.) easily won the long jump with a personal-best leap that ranked him second in school history (7.58m/24-10.5). Junior Rob Stein (Villa Park, Ill.) won the discus and posted a personal best in the hammer, while sophomore Tyler Yee (Florida, N.Y.) was first in the javelin. Eick took sixth in the 1500m invitational run in a personal-best 3:46.07, which earned him the final MAC Track Athlete of the Week honor this year on Tuesday. Freshman Peter Stefanski (Aurora, Ill.) placed second in the high jump, as he’s finished first or second in the high jump in each meet this season.
Entering the MAC Championships, several RedHawks rank at the top of the league or near the top in their respective event(s). Below is a list of which RedHawks are competing in which events, along with their seed time/mark and where they rank in the MAC (in parentheses).
Skyler Coburn – 53.62 (t-6th)
Jarrod Eick – 3:46.07 (1st)
Rob Stein – 56.47m/185-3 (4th)
Sam Chester – No score this year
In addition to the MAC rankings, some RedHawks are ranked in the East Region and even nationally, while the top 48 competitors in each event in the East Region qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds May 23-25. Cantwell is the highest-ranked RedHawk in the East Region at No. 16 in the long jump, while Stefanski sits tied for 36th in the East Region in the high jump. Spallinger is 53rd in the long jump, as well. Hargrove is tied for 42nd in the 400m dash regionally, while Eick is tied for 42nd in the 1500m run. Stein ranks 21st regionally in the discus, while Yee is 58th in the region in the javelin. In the national rankings, Cantwell is tied for 29th in the long jump while Stein is 42nd in the discus.
Live results for the MAC Championships will be available on MURedHawks.com while MAC-sports.com will have live streaming of the league meet. The MAC Championships is the final meet of the year for the whole team, however those RedHawks that qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds will head to Greensboro, N.C. in two weeks.