Three weeks into the outdoor season, Ohio is hosting its first home meet Saturday at Goldsberry Track.
The Bobcats don’t get the opportunity to compete at home during the indoor season because the four lane, 315-meter track inside Walter Fieldhouse isn’t equipped to host a meet.
This weekend’s Cherry Blossom Invitational marks Ohio’s first home meet in 371 days. Ohio concluded last year’s invitational with 12 first-place finishes.
The Bobcats make their return home after trips to the Raleigh Relays in North Carolina and the Oliver Nikolof Open in Cincinnati last weekend. They struggled to find success against two stacked fields, coming away with only two top-five finishes on the weekend.
The Bobcats enter their first home meet with a tally of 14 top-10 spots on the Mid-American Conference outdoor performance lists.
Ohio has a large presence on the lists in the throwing and distance events, including having four ranked athletes in the top 15 in the hammer throw. Gaza Odunaiya leads the way in that event with her mark of 50.90 meters (167 feet).
Just two meets into the outdoor season, senior throwers Emma Ryan and Jordan Porter have already secured their spot in the MAC Championships.
Porter’s put of 15.18 meters (49.9 feet) at the Raleigh Relays last week secured herself a bid. She sits fourth on the MAC performance list in the shot put. In the javelin, Ryan ranks second in the MAC with her toss of 42.43 meters (139.2 feet). Both of Ryan’s top throws in the javelin this season have been above the MAC Championship automatic-qualifying mark.
Ohio also has two athletes ranked in the top 10 in the conference in both the 800- and 10,000-meter runs.
In the 800-meter run, Emily Deering and Melissa Barrett rank fourth and sixth, respectively. In the 10,000-meters, Alyssa Atkinson and Ellen Isaac come in sixth and seventh respectively with their top times.
Deering’s time in the 800-meter only needs to be trimmed by 1.58 seconds for an automatic MAC Championship berth. She has plenty of time to do that with five weekends to go until the MAC meet.
Field events at the Cherry Blossom Invitational begin at 11:30 a.m. Saturday with the shot put. Running events kick off a short while later with the 3,000-meter steeplechase beginning at 2 p.m.
Ohio plans to field its Senior Day festivities on Saturday as well.