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Kristin Wimkel of Ohio University competes in the 100m hurdles at the Ohio Cherry Blossom Inv. on April 4th, 2015. She placed second overall to Cassandra Lloyd, left.

Track and Field: Ohio dominates Spire North Coast Open

The freshman trio of Emily Deering, Gracie Huffman and Erin Stewart helped Ohio out run multiple schools.

The spring track and field season is a distance race, not a short sprint, as described by Ohio coach Clay Calkins.

This sentiment did not stop the Bobcats from being fast out of the gate, dominating the Spire North Coast Open in Geneva, OH this past weekend.

The Bobcats competed against Daemen College, Penn State Behrend, Carnegie-Mellon, Cuyahoga Community College and Lake Erie College athletes at this event.

While the meet was not scored, Ohio had eight different winners, seven in second and five more following in third.

“We are already ahead of where we were at this point last year,” said Calkins. “We are a lot healthier and more focused.”

Junior Taylor Smith and Chanda Cuckler finished first and second, respectively, in the high jump. Smith landed a 1.65-meter jump to win the event and Cuckler landed a 1.60-meter jump. 

The Bobcats swept the podium in the 60-meter sprint and 400-meter dash, along with taking the top five spots in the 800-meter race.

However, the brightest spot for the Bobcats lied in the fact that the 400-meter dash podium featured the freshman trio of Emily Deering, Gracie Huffman and Erin Stewart.

Calkins said he has been "very happy" with the freshman class as a whole.

“This is the best freshman group we’ve had in a number of years,” Calkins said. “We’re getting times we haven’t gotten in a while.”

The Bobcats' indoor season heads to West Virginia this upcoming weekend for the Marshall Invitational. The event will go from Jan. 29 and Jan. 30. 

“We expect to be in scoring positions, and we want to be up there winning the meet,” Calkins said. “We will compete at a high level.”

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However, these expectations must be tempered due to the long and hard nature of a collegiate track and field season. The Bobcats season doesn't end until May 14. 

“You have to be cautious at the beginning. You have to stay healthy, and you don’t want to peak too early,” Calkins said. “Getting the team to peak in their events at the right time is a challenge.” 

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