Making a very late decision to attend the Marietta Alumni Open instead of the Akron Invitational didn’t stop Ohio from dismantling the small school field at Marietta College last Friday.
Overall, Ohio recorded a season-best nine event wins and 37 top-ten finishes on the day. For the first time this indoor season, Ohio got a boost from its sprinters.
In both the 55-meter dash and the 200-meter dash, the Bobcats placed four sprinters in the top ten. Thelma Agyekum, Callyn Voase and Abby Summers placed fourth, fifth and sixth in the short sprint. Olivia Brewer finished two spots behind Summers in eighth.
Summers was the highest placer for the Bobcats in the 200-meter dash after a 26.75 performance for third. Agyekum picked up her second top-five finish of the meet with a fifth-place time of 27.17. Bobcat hurdler Mya Hodge would place ninth while Voase would return for a tenth-place showing.
Marissa Handel placed first in the 400-meter dash, finishing right above the 60-second mark at 1:00.44. Her teammate, Melissa Barrett, completed her race in seventh. The Bobcats added two more wins to their tally in the other mid-distance events. Kaitlyn Logan placed first in the 500-meters while Josie Woosley edged fellow Bobcat Melissa Koziol for a win in the 800-meters. Rebekah Markovitz and Tara Tollett placed sixth and tenth in the two-lap race.
In a 20-competitor mile race, Ohio placed five student-athletes in spots first through sixth. Alyssa Atkinson captured another victory for Ohio by running a 5:15.88 to place first. Hailey Bowes and Christina Seas followed Atkinson’s dominating win in second and third-place. Tiffany Hill and Emily Cass carried in times good enough for fifth and sixth-place.
After finishing the preliminaries in first, Hodge placed second overall in the 55-meter hurdles with a respectable time of 8.53 seconds. Tajah Haley placed sixth in the race.
Ohio relay teams secured wins in both the 4x200-meter and 4x400-meter relays. The foursome of Brewer, Hodge, Voase and Agyekum outlasted Division II West Liberty with a time of 1:52.42 in a head to head 800-meter relay.
The quartet of Handel, Logan, Barrett and Keilah Causey bested nine other squads, including another Ohio squad that placed fourth, for a victory in the 4x400-meter relay.
In the field events, it was all business as usual for the Bobcats. Tana Barrett, Atyia Spaulding, Jessica Liechty and and Haley went one-two-three in the high jump with Barrett winning the event. Liechty and Haley tied for third.
Causey and Haley placed fifth and ninth in the long jump. Meanwhile, Causey placed second in the triple jump.
The throwing events also saw Bobcat sweeps at the top. The experienced senior Jordan Porter and freshman Abby Moore finished first and second in the shot put. Moore also placed alongside Gaza Odunaiya and Cassidy Cleland to top the podium in the weight throw. Odunaiya’s toss of 17.41 meters (57.1 feet) was enough for first-place in an 18-competitor competition.
A couple Ohio runners opted for the Meyo Invitational in Indiana as opposed to this past weekend’s meet in Marietta. Ohio’s only top-20 finish at the Meyo Invitational came when Emily Deering placed eighteenth in the 800-meters.
No team scores were recorded at the Marietta Alumni Open. Despite going against a relatively-weak field, the success the Bobcats showed in multiple events was an encouraging sign for coach Clay Calkins and his team.
Ohio will split up as a team again this weekend as some athletes will travel back to Marshall for the Marshall Invitational while others will stay in Ohio to compete in the Kent State Qualifier.
The Mid-American Conference Championships are quickly approaching and will be at the end of the month on the campus of Bowling Green.