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Ohio sophomore Zach Zimmerman leads the group of Ohio's 5k runners at Mashall University's Chris CLine athletic complex on Jan. 27, 2017.

Track and Field: Bobcats drop season opener to Marshall, Porter qualifies for MAC Championship

The first meet of the season is always going to be a learning experience. For Ohio, the learning stemmed off an assessment of the team’s strength and fortitude. 

The small-numbered Bobcats traveled to Huntington, West Virginia, on Thursday to take on Marshall in a dual meet to open up the indoor season. The meet was treated as a test of the Bobcats' training and conditioning.

The Bobcats managed to rack up 28 points in an 82-28 loss to the Thundering Herd. Marshall athletes finished first in 11 of the 12 events.

The lone win on the evening for the Bobcats came in the shot put. Senior Jordan Porter dominated the field, recording the five top throws of the meet. Her put of 15.00 meters (49.2 feet) was enough to place first and secure herself a spot in the indoor Mid-American Conference Championships. 

In other field events, junior Gaza Odunaiya placed third in the weight throw while her teammate Cassidy Cleland finished right behind in fourth. In the high jump, MAC Championship hopeful Atiya Spaulding placed third with a jump of 1.58 meters. 

Ohio’s success on the track, however, was limited to three third-place finishes. 

Senior Courtney Guiley sprinted to the finish line in 7.99 seconds to place third in the 60 meter dash. Junior Callyn Voase placed sixth with a time of 8.09 seconds. The lone Bobcat in the 60 meter hurdles, Mya Hodge, raked in a third place finish with a 9.0-second performance. 

The Thundering Herd controlled the mid-distance events. They placed first and second in the 600-meter run and swept the top three in the 800-meter run. The Herd also had the top three finishers in the 300-meter run, led by a win from freshman Brandy Elysee, who also was a winner in the 60-meter dash.

In the traditional last event of the meet, the 1600-meter relay, Marshall smothered Ohio, winning in a time of 3:56.10. The young Ohio quartet of Erin Stewart, Olivia Brewer, Keilah Causey and Marissa Handel finished 29 seconds behind in 4:25.27. 

Marshall recorded five meet records and two school records at the meet. Elysee broke the school record in her first ever 300-meter run in a blazing 39 seconds. Hasana Clark won the weight throw with a launch of 18.46 meters to also break a school record for the Herd.

Despite the rough results, there were bright sports for the Bobcats. Porter knotted a new meet record with her throw in the shot put. Following Porter’s showing, Guiley and Hodge proved they can be MAC contenders in the short sprints. More importantly, youngsters such as Brewer gained experience that will be beneficial for the Bobcats in the future. 

It was a learning night for the Bobcats. They will have 43 days off to train and become more versed as they prepare for the bulk of their schedule. They will have a chance to apply what they’ve learned in their next meet January 19th in Youngstown. 


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