The blooming cherry blossom trees made the perfect backdrop for Ohio’s only home meet of the season. The Bobcats gave one of their best performances of the season at the Cherry Blossom Invitational, and the energy of being in Athens coupled with the celebration of Senior Day helped facilitate that.
“It’s nice to have the alumni back,“ Ohio coach Sarah Pease said. “It’s really exciting that they’re in town and came to watch the meet, and it was just a lot of fun.”
Ohio excelled in the field events, garnering three victories and many top finishes. Taylor Strnad won the women’s high jump with her jump of 1.65 meters. Michaela Frey had a mark of 3.20 meters in women’s pole vaulting, earning yet another field victory for the Bobcats. Finally, Rachel Simpson took home the win in women’s discus with a throw of 45.68 meters.
Halie Sciury and Emily Mckenzie placed eighth and tenth respectively in the women’s long jump, while Mckenzie also placed fourth in the Triple Jump. The Bobcats dominated in shot put, with Autumn Mohan placing third with her throw of 13.41 meters. Her teammates Millie Ryan and Jordan Baith took home fifth and sixth with throws of 11.48 meters and 10.69 meters, respectively. To cap off the field portion of the day, Rachel Simpson placed sixth in javelin with a mark of 20.46 meters.
Overall, the Bobcats gave a stellar performance and showed off some of the best running they’ve done all season.
“We’re improving every week, and so that’s kind of encouraging as we head into the second half of our season,“ Pease said.
Alyssa Christian placed fifth in the 1500-meter race, clocking in at 4:40.69, while her teammate Kenna Loveless earned a 12th place finish. Alaya Grose took home a solid third place finish in the 100-meter hurdles with her time of 15.93.
Taniah Stephens came in fifth in the 400-meter dash, earning yet another front of the pack finish for the Bobcats. Olivia Brewer clocked in at 12.82 in the 100-meter dash, earning her a fourth place finish. In the 800-meter race, Emma Myers placed tenth with a time of 2:19.33.
Stephens wasn’t done showing off her skills just yet, though, as she earned a second place finish in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.07. Kelsi Harris notably ran the 3000-meter race with an impressive time of 10:08.40, and will be competing in the 5k for the Bobcats at the Jesse Owens Invitational.
The Bobcats once again showed that they have what it takes to be competitive with the MAC Championships looming. Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Pease hopes to continue to grow the competitiveness of the squad as a whole.
“We’ll go to Ohio State next weekend and we’ll try to get some MAC qualifying times,“ Pease said. “Then we’ll take the team to Vanderbilt and Indiana University and then run the MAC meet and hopefully, our goal is to get as many people scoring at the MAC Championships, so we’re working hard.”