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Track: Team deals with senior leader's absence

With senior leader Annie Beecham competing away from the team in another state, Ohio’s distance team stepped up in her absence.

            Freshmen Emily Pifer and Melissa Thompson both had top-10 finishes in 3,000-meter run to pace the Bobcats’ performance at the Akron Invitational over the weekend.

            Beecham competed in the Husky Invitational in Seattle, Washington where she finished 28th in the 5,000-meter run. Her time of 16 minutes, 33.44 seconds was 10 seconds faster than any Mid-American Conference runner this season in the event.

            In Akron, the meet was split up into two divisions, as larger schools competed in the gold and smaller in the blue. Pifer and Thompson highlighted Ohio’s gold division athletes by finishing seventh and eighth in the 3k. In the Blue Division, Juli Accurso won the mile with a time of 5:03.37.

            The 4x400 meter relay team of Kiley Mathews, Danielle Winningham, Courtney Weiss and Brittany Tyree finished in 3:57.65 — their first time breaking four minutes this season.

            Sophomore Alexis Geiger finished fifth in the long jump with a jump of 5.35 meters. Senior Shareyna Spears finished fourth in the triple jump.

            The throwers struggled, as sophomore Kristen Mason’s 24th-place finish in the shot put and freshman Brianna Allen’s 18th-place finish in the weight throw were the unit’s best performances.     

            Coach Clay Calkins did not return repeated phone calls asking for comment.

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