Miami Women Sweep MAC Track and Field Athletes of the Week

Dec. 8, 2009

CLEVELAND - Miami University’s women’s track and field team’s indoor season is less than a week old and the RedHawks have already picked up a pair of awards as redshirt sophomore Rachel Patterson (Rochester, Mich.) and freshman Ashley Zaper (Whitehouse, Ohio) were named the Mid-American Conference Track and Field Athletes of the Week, respectively, the league office announced Tuesday. It is the first MAC Athlete of the Week honor for both women and already tops Miami’s Athlete of the Week total from last year (one – Amanda Mirochna).

Rachel Patterson

Patterson (Track Athlete of the Week) won the 3,000 meters Saturday at the season-opening Findlay Oiler Opener, her only event of the meet, in a personal-best time of 10:04.02. The race was held on a 200 meter track and when converted for NCAA standards, her time of 10:03.22 makes her the eighth-fastest performer in Miami history in the event. She won the race by over five seconds among the field of 15 and gave Miami a 1-2-3 finish in the event.

Ashley Zaper

In her first collegiate meet Saturday, Zaper (Field Athlete of the Week) won the high jump at the Oiler Opener with a leap of 5-8 (1.73m), finishing ahead of 29 other competitors, including Toledo’s Michelle Sutherland, who was second with a jump of 5-6. Zaper’s height of 5-8 ties her as the third-best performer in the event in Miami history. She also qualified for the finals of the 60-meter dash, in which she placed seventh in 7.84 seconds, which ranks 10th on Miami's all-time performers list in the event.

The RedHawks won two other events at last weekend’s Oiler Opener, as well. Miami now has over a month off before returning to action Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010, at the BGSU Women’s Challenge.