Junior Diona Graves won the 200m dash at last year's Miami Invite and also helped the 'Hawks win the 4x100m relay.
April 7, 2011
OXFORD, Ohio - Over 900 athletes will ascend upon Oxford this weekend as the Miami University men's and women's track and field teams host the 26th annual Miami Invitational Friday and Saturday at George Rider Track. The meet is the first of two home meets for the RedHawks this year while the field for this year's Miami Invitational is the largest ever.
The lone event Friday is the hammer throw, which begins at noon for the women while the men will follow immediately after. The meet then resumes Saturday at 10 a.m. with the women's discus while the first track event is the women's 5000m run (section I) at 10:30 a.m. followed by the men's 5K at 10:55 a.m. Several other field events begin at 11 a.m., such as the men's shot put, women's pole vault and both men's and women's long jump. The meet wraps up at approximately 6:15 p.m. with the women's 4x400m relay followed by the men's 4x400m relay at 6:35 p.m. For the complete schedule of events, click here.
A record 46 men's and women's teams will compete at the Miami Invitational with 21 on the men's side and 25 on the women's side. Several Mid-American Conference foes will be in attendance as Eastern Michigan and Kent State will have both a men's and women's team present while Ball State and Western Michigan will compete on the women's side only. Big Ten member Ohio State's women's team will also take part while local rivals Cincinnati, Dayton, Wright State and Butler will each send both genders. Division II Grand Valley State, who won the NCAA Division II women's indoor championship this year, will be competing as well. Team scoring will be kept at the meet.
Last week, Miami's men's team competed at the Oliver Nikoloff Open, hosted by the University of Cincinnati, and finished in second place, 15 points behind the host Bearcats and 13 ahead of fellow BIG EAST foe Marquette, who was third. Senior Robbie Fisher (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) won the 3000m steeplechase and ranks 38th nationally with his time of 9:12.15 while sophomore John Cantwell (Holland, Pa.) won the triple jump and took second in the long jump to leap the `Hawks. Miami also earned five runner-up finishes at the meet, including Cantwell's, while junior Nathan Hoch (Logan, Ohio) was the top collegiate finisher in the discus with a throw of 166-2/50.65m, which ranks him ninth in school history.
A week ago on the women's side, the majority of the RedHawks also competed at the Nikoloff Open while three throwers traveled to the Missouri Relays. In Cincinnati, junior Maggie Bingham (Carmel, Ind.) claimed first in the 3K steeplechase, senior Katie Lenahan (Cincinnati, Ohio) won the 800m run and fellow senior Magda Wikar (Winnetka, Ill.) was victorious in the long jump to lead Miami to a third-place finish behind the host Bearcats and Dayton. At the Missouri Relays, freshman Tori Paterra (Elizabeth, Pa.) won the javelin while junior Samantha Gable (Greenfield, Ind.) was the top collegiate finisher in the hammer throw (second overall) and fellow junior Alexandra Roberts (Hilliard, Ohio) was also the top collegiate finisher in the shot put behind a pair of unattached throwers, with a heave of 48-11.5/14.92m, which is the second-best throw in school history.
At last year's Miami Invitational, the RedHawk men ran away with the meet title, collecting 201.5 points to finish 92.5 points ahead of runner-up Tiffin, who will be back this year. Miami posted seven-first place finishes at the 2010 meet, including three from current senior Michael McCarty (Hudson, Ohio) in the 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles and the long jump. Other individual winners included current sophomore Jack Spilman (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) in the 800m run and current junior John Brockman (Granville, Ohio) in the javelin while the `Hawks also claimed the 4x400m relay, on which Spilman ran.
Miami's women also won the Miami Invitational a year ago, besting runner-up Hillsdale by 90 points, as the `Hawks claimed both the 4x100m and 4x400m relays while taking first in five other track events. Current senior Kelley Miller (Dublin, Ohio) won the 800m run while Lenahan took first in the 1500m run. Current junior Rachel Patterson (Rochester, Mich.) was victorious as well, crossing first in the 5K while juniors Diona Graves (Fenton, Mo.) and Rachael Clay (Rossford, Ohio) earned top honors in the 200m dash and 400m dash, respectively.
Following the Miami Invitational, the women's team will again split with most of the team heading to the All-Ohio Championships in Cincinnati, Ohio April 15-16 while select `Hawks will travel to Walnut, Calif. for the Mt. SAC Relays April 14-16. Miami's entire men's team will be at the All-Ohio Championships next weekend.