Ohio will have its first chance to build on last year’s strong performance this Thursday.
Coach Clay Calkins and his unit will start their season off in a familiar place. For the second consecutive year, the Bobcats will head to Huntington, West Virginia for their season-opening dual meet against Marshall.
This will be the first time Ohio has seen action since the NCAA East Regional preliminaries, which featured throwers Emma Ryan and Jordan Porter, as well as high jumper Taylor Smith. They all finished in the top 40 in their respective events.
These athletes, whose reliable and strong running, jumping and throwing boosted the team’s rankings in numerous meets last year, will guide Ohio during their meet Thursday.
The team can also expect contributions from runners Olivia Mayfield and Alyssa Atkinson, who proved to be consistent talents last season.
The most memorable moments from the Bobcats 2015-2016 campaign included winning the All-Ohio Championship and earning numerous individual wins at the Charlotte Invitational.
The Bobcats will have their work cut out against a promising and rejuvenated Thundering Herd unit. Marshall has a fresh roster with 13 new recruits and will be guided by the experience of thrower Elena Marchand, hurdler Sarah Bever and standout high jumper Antonique Butler, who competed in the NCAA East Regional last season.
Even though this is their first meet of the season, it is still crucial for this young roster. 32 of out the Ohio's 53 runners are underclassmen, 15 being freshmen, making Thursday the first collegiate meet for many team members.
A strong performance at Marshall could give Ohio the confidence they need as they prepare for the greater portion of their meets, which will take place in spring 2017.