Ohio relished the comforts of being home last weekend. The Bobcats competed on their track, and they didn’t have to miss class during the week.
That comfort positioned Ohio to have a solid first home meet, which they did. The Bobcats won 12 event titles at the Ohio Cherry Blossom Invitational and scored 95 points to win the meet.
The Bobcats have momentum coming off their home meet, and they will travel to Bowling Green, Kentucky, this weekend to compete in the Hilltopper Relays at Western Kentucky. Along with Ohio, 20 other schools — including Northern Kentucky, Belmont and Austin Peay — will be at the meet.
“Last week was a good meet to come off of and go into a big, competitive meet like this one we have coming up,” sprinter Mya Hodge said.
Hodge said that before last weekend’s meet, she hadn’t performed as well as she would like. At the Cherry Blossom Invitational, though, Hodge recorded a lifetime personal record in the 100-meter hurdles, recording a time of 14.79 seconds.
Like the rest of the Bobcats, Hodge is just trying to transfer her success into this weekend.
“That (personal record) gives me some solid confidence going into this next week,” Hodge said. “I know it’s going to be really tough competition.”
The Bobcats will compete against some solid schools. With their momentum, they should be in a good position to continue to succeed.
Ohio, a team that relied on its field events earlier in the season, is seeing more success from its track events. The athletes in the track events performed well in subpar weather last weekend, and Bowling Green, Kentucky, is projected to have a high of 69 degrees.
The sprinters aren’t guaranteed to do well, but the sun surely helps.
“We’re hoping for some lifetime and season best (personal records) for both of our hurdlers,” coach Clay Calkins said.
The Bobcats’ other 100-meter hurdler is Kristin Winkel, who placed No. 2 behind Hodge in last weekend’s meet.
Though the sprinters have improved, it’s important not to forget about the field event athletes. Gaza Odunaiya dominates the hammer throw, and Emma Ryan and Jordan Porter do the same for their main events, the javelin and shot put, respectively.
The Bobcats enjoyed being home, but now it’s time to return to the road. They’re confident, though.
“We hope it carries through and we can keep continuing to better our marks in all the events,” Calkins said.