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Track & Field: 'Cats finish first at Last Call

With the Mid-American Conference Championships just around the corner, the Rick Meindl Last Call was supposed to be little more than a tune-up meet for Bobcats. If their first-place finish at Capital Saturday is any indication, the squad is up and running better than ever.

Ohio outmatched the field, took first place in five events and dominated the meet with a team score of 198 — nearly 80 points better than runner-up Tiffin. Despite the impressive performance, coach Clay Calkins said the finish needed to be seen in context.

“I don’t really take much out of how we stack up against Division II or Division III, I take more out of meets when we compete against Division I,” Calkins said. “With that said, the athletes did well and performances were good at the meet.”

Most of Ohio’s top runners on the distance side were rested in preparation for the MAC Championships, but the ’Cats excelled nonetheless. The team of Emily Skidmore, Colleen Kratofil, Erin Gale and Lauren Adkins took first in the distance medley relay and the Kiley Mathews, Danielle Winningham, Courtney Weiss and Brittany Tyree team had the top time in the 4x400-meter relay.

Weiss also took first in the 500-meter run and Erica Toussant complemented the relays with a second-place finish in the 5,000-meter run.

Calkins said he was impressed with the strides made in the jumps and throws events — areas that have plagued the Bobcats for much of the season. Jamie Cavinee and Kristi Sturges both took first in the pole vault and 60-meter hurdles respectively and the ’Cats got a trio of top-10 finishes in long jump as well.

“The marks are going in the right direction. Even though the competition level wasn’t stiff as it was in the past two weeks, the athletes stepped up,” Calkins said. “The main advancements were in the sprints, jumps and throws. I think those athletes came through.”

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