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Ohio sophomore Zach Zimmerman leads the group of Ohio's 5K runners at Marshall University's Chris Cline Athletic Complex on Jan. 27, 2017. (FILE)

Track & Field: Gaza Odunaiya breaks school record as Ohio places several at Buckeye Tune-Up

Gaza Odunaiya is leaving her mark on the track and field program in a big way. And she’s only a junior. 

She capped a stellar indoor regular season in the weight throw by breaking the Ohio school record in the event Friday on the campus of Ohio State.

Odunaiya threw 19.07 meters (62.5 feet) to break the school record on her second throwing attempt by over a foot. The launch was enough to secure her a third-place finish. 

In their last meet before the highly-anticipated Mid-American Conference Championships, the Bobcats broke through with several top finishes at the Buckeye Tune-Up. 

Senior Mya Hodge represented the Bobcat sprinters well early on by running a 9.03 in the 60-meter hurdle preliminary round to qualify for the final. In the final, her time dropped by a couple tenths but she still managed to place seventh. 

The Bobcats placed two in the top four in the mile. Very little separated Melissa Koziol and Josie Woosley at the finish line: Koziol ran 5:11.32 to place third, and Woosley ran 5:11.35 to place fourth in a close finish. Tara Tollett finished a few runners back in eighth.

Marissa Handel ran a sub-60 400-meters again. She clocked in at 58.13 seconds to place fourth behind three Ohio State sprinters. In the next heat, Emily Deering ran a 59.31 to secure eighth overall. Kaitlyn Logan repped Ohio in the other mid-distance event, the 800-meters, with a 2:20.33 to place seventh. 

A week after winning at Kent State, Alyssa Atkinson ran 9:58.25 to place sixth in the 3,000-meters. Christina Seas placed 11th and Tiffany Hill placed 13th in a field that featured 29 runners. 

Jordan Porter continued her success this season in the shot put. Her highest mark came on her first put. She threw 14.52 meters (47.7 feet) to place sixth. Porter’s counterpart, freshman Abby Moore, placed 11th. 

Tana Barrett’s leap of 1.58 meters (5.2 feet) was high enough to place in a tie for fourth to lead the Ohio contingent in the high jump. 

Keilah Causey had a great day in the field. She automatically qualified for the MAC Championships next week with a lifetime-best mark of 11.71 meters in the triple jump. That jump, which came on her first shot at the runway, got her a third-place finish. She also placed ninth in the long jump. 

Ohio stays in the Buckeye state for its next meet as it travels to Bowling Green this Friday and Saturday to compete in the MAC Championships. 


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