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Emma Ryan prepares to throw the discus during the 2016 Ohio Cherry Blossom Invitational on April 2, 2016. (FILE) 

Track and Field: Bobcats return home to host Ohio Cherry Blossom Invitational

Ohio enjoyed the nice weather in North Carolina last weekend, but now it’s time to come home.

The quality weather helped the Bobcats’ performance at the Raleigh Relays, but for one weekend, they will enjoy the comforts of being home.

The Bobcats will have their senior day this weekend when they host the Ohio Cherry Blossom Invitational. Marshall and the University of Charleston will compete in the meet as well.

The Ohio Cherry Blossom Invitational is one of two meets the Bobcats will host during the outdoor season, the other being the Ohio Open, which will take place in late April.

With the Bobcats staying at home, they don’t have to endure the long trips on the road. Sure, warm weather is nice, but being able to practice at home is better.

“You have longer here at home to practice during the week where you don’t have to leave middle of the week to go to somewhere else,” Jordan Porter, a junior thrower, said.

Porter is part of a field team that has seen success since the beginning of this outdoor season. She posted a season personal record at the Raleigh Relays, throwing for 15.10 meters in the shot put.

Coach Clay Calkins acknowledged earlier in the season that the field events are a strength of the team. But as the Bobcats continue the outdoor season, they want to improve on their track events, too.

“We need to definitely improve in the sprints to put ourselves in a position to place,” Calkins said before the Bobcats competed at Raleigh. “Not only make the conference championship, but place.”

That is the Bobcats’ main goal for the season, but that achievement will only come if the Bobcats can improve in sprints. During the Raleigh Relays, the Bobcats only took 20 athletes.

Ohio saw success in a sprinting event, with freshman Marissa Handel posting a personal best of 58.93 seconds in the 400-meter dash.

The Bobcats will need more production, but perhaps they will gain traction this weekend from their track events. They are at home, and the pain of sitting on a bus for hours is nonexistent.

“I don’t think it affects you a whole lot, but it’s just the fact that you have to spend one whole day that you could be home practicing just traveling to get to where you need to go,” Porter said.


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