'Hawks Eager to Begin Indoor Season at BGSU Opener

Follow @MiamiRedHawks and @MiamiOH_XCTF on Twitter

Dec. 6, 2017

OXFORD, Ohio - Miami University track & field begins their indoor season on Friday at the BGSU Opener. The RedHawks, who were picked to finish sixth in the Mid-American Conference this year, will be using the meet as an exhibition to see where everyone is at. Furthermore, it will serve as an opportunity to get some of the newcomers out into the atmosphere of a collegiate meet.

"Everybody is chomping at the bit to get out there and compete," said Russ Peterson, Assistant Head Track & Field Coach. "It's an opportunity for the athletes that have never worn the Miami gear to put it on and hopefully get some of the jitters out and really set us up for the next semester."

The strongest events for the RedHawks will come on the track. Sophomore Olivia Bechtel, who was named MAC Freshman of the Year for the outdoor season, will compete in the 200m and 400m. She qualified for the MAC Indoor Championships in both events last year.

"She's really had a great fall from a strength and conditioning standpoint," Peterson said. "She's going to be better than she was, and she's really leading the group."

In addition to her first two events, Bechtel will show that leadership by teaming up with freshmen Sarah Bruns, Mallory Harr, and Zoe Hunt for the 4x400m. Miami will field a second, more veteran, relay team that will include seniors Emily Hooker and Morgan Rice along with juniors Kalliopi Kountouri and Gabby Maslowski. Hooker, Koutouri, and Rice placed third in the event along with Bechtel in last year's MAC Indoor Championships.

Leading the sprints team will be junior Arissa Freeman, who is coming off a blazing sophomore campaign. In addition to the 60m personal best of 7.68 she set last indoor season, she also PR'd in the 100m at the MAC Outdoor Championships. She will run in the 60m and 200m on Friday.

The jumps squad returns sophomore triple jumper Hannah Falcione and junior high jumper Molly Balcer. After seeing her first collegiate action during indoor season, Falcione qualified for the MAC Outdoor Championships, where she set a PR of 38-7. Balcer competed in the high jump in four of Miami's meets last indoor season, but she PR'd in the event during the outdoor campaign with a 5-5.

After graduating three last year, the throws team has undergone a bit of a makeover. Steve Manz, Assistant Coach for Throws, has a lot of confidence in the youthful group. "It will definitely be a learning experience from week to week," he said. Nonetheless, he is eager to see them realize their potential. Among the newcomers he sees making an impact on Friday is freshman shot putter Jannie Kamara. As for the returners, eyes will be on redshirt sophomore Danielle Collier, who was ranked 22nd in the nation in javelin last year.

Competition for Friday's event will begin at 5 p.m. with the high jump. Track events will get underway at 6 p.m. with the preliminaries for the 60m hurdle. Live results will be available here. A full recap will be available at the conclusion of the meet.