OXFORD, Ohio – After each had career-best performances over the weekend that led to team victories, the Miami Athletes of the Week connected by Frontier Communications for the week of March 18-24 are freshman sprinter Kala Allen for the women and sophomore second baseman Ryan Elble on the men’s side.

<a class=Allen (East Amherst, N.Y.) had a strong meet at the Black and Gold Invitational, hosted by Vanderbilt on Saturday. She placed third in a field of 23 in the 400m dash in a personal-best 55.63, which ranks her ninth in school history. She was just over half a second behind the race winner from Louisville and was edged out by a Michigan runner for second by .05 seconds. Her 400m dash time is the fastest in the MAC this season and qualifies her for the MAC Outdoor Championships. It ranks 37th in the NCAA East Region, as well. Allen also anchored Miami’s 4x400m relay team that won the race in a field of 12 that included teams from Michigan, DePaul, Southern Illinois and Memphis, among others. The relay team clocked 3:44.72, which is the third-best time in school history and also set a meet record. Miami finished eight seconds ahead of Austin Peay, which was the runner-up in the relay.

The Miami Female Athlete of the Week is the first such honor for Allen while she is the second straight track athlete to claim the accolade.

<a class=Elble (East Grand Rapids, Mich.), the opening-day starter at second base, returned to the lineup on a regular basis last Tuesday and shattered his career batting highs. He entered the week with six career hits and five career RBIs. In the five games alone this past week, he hit .550 with 11 hits in 20 at-bats, driving in five runs. Twice he registered a career high for hits with three (Tuesday vs. Indiana and Friday vs. Eastern Michigan), while gaining two hits on two other occasions. He tied his career best with three runs batted in Saturday's nightcap vs. EMU. His bases-loaded double with two outs in the seventh reversed a 3-2 deficit for a 6-4 win over the Eagles. His other hit that contest was also a double, giving him three for the week. He scored four runs, stole two bases and had a sacrifice fly during the week, as well. 

Elble claimed his first Miami Male Athlete of the Week honor Tuesday, as well. He is also the second straight baseball player to earn Miami Male Athlete of the Week. Elble was named Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week on Monday for his efforts, as well.

Allen and the women’s track and field team return to action this weekend at the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational, hosted by the University of Cincinnati Friday and Saturday, March 29-30. Elble and the baseball team head north to Toledo for a three-game conference series against the Rockets Friday through Sunday, March 29-31. First pitch Friday is set for 3 p.m. while the next two days start at 1 p.m.

The next Miami Athletes of the Week connected by Frontier Communications will be announced Tuesday, April 2. For a list of previous winners, click here.

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