Track and Field: Bobcats barreling into MAC Championship with momentum after meet in Akron

 

Hannah Bush participates in the high jump during the Ohio Cherry Blossom Invitational on April 1. (FILE)

 

You won’t have to imagine Ohio going to Kalamazoo, Michigan, to compete in the Mid-American Conference Championship.

No, the Bobcats will be there Thursday, and they’re barreling into the championship with momentum.

After having two successful meets last weekend at the Denison Big Red Invitational and the Ashland Alumni Open, the Bobcats are beginning to peak in performance.

And they’re doing so at the right time.

This past weekend, the Bobcats competed in Akron at the Campbell/Wright Invitational, having solid performances in the short sprints and the long jump.

The Bobcats’ best event was the 100-meter hurdles, as two of their athletes finished in the top five. Kristin Winkel, a senior, placed first with a time of 13.88 seconds, a season personal record for her. Along with Winkel, Mya Hodge placed fourth with a time of 14.77 seconds, her lifetime personal record.

Winkel and Hodge have been some of Ohio’s best short sprinters this season, and they will likely be relied upon as the Bobcats head into the postseason.

Along with the two’s performance in the 100-meter hurdles, they also shined amongst their teammates in another event: the 200-meter dash.

The Bobcats had five top-10 finishes in the 200-meter dash in a field consisting of 12 sprinters. Winkel was the top Bobcat in the event, as she placed fifth with a time of 26.10 seconds. Hodge came in after Winkel, placing seventh with a time of 26.44 seconds.

The rest of the Bobcats in this event were close in rank and time among one another. Gracie Huffman placed eighth, posting a time of 26.66 seconds. Erin Stewart placed ninth, coming in at 26.83 seconds. Marissa Handel finished at 10th with a time of 27.11 seconds.

In addition to the short sprints, the Bobcats beat Akron in the 1600-meter relay, fielding a team that consisted of Handel, Huffman, Stewart and Emily Deering. The squad won with a time of 4:03.21.

Aside from the short sprints and the 1600-meter relay, the Bobcats’ best field event was the long jump. Ohio saw two of its athletes come in the event’s top five. Olivia Mayfield placed third with a jump of 5.49 meters, and Tajah Smith placed fourth with a jump of 5.24 meters.

This meet was the Bobcats’ final one before the MAC Championship. With the momentum they have, the Bobcats are primed to succeed at the conference’s biggest stage.

 

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