Abby Miller gets ready to cross the finish line during the women’s 5000-meter run during the Ohio Cherry Blossom Invitational on Saturday, April 1.
After Day 1, Ohio was in fifth place.
But at the end of Day 3 on Saturday, the Bobcats were in last.
The Bobcats traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan, to compete at the Mid-American Conference Championship. The Bobcats were coming off some solid performances before the meet, so a good performance at the MAC Championship was possible.
It was possible, but it stayed a possibility.
Ohio scored a total of 14 points for its overall score, and the momentum it had coming into the conference showdown was squashed.
More than half of the Bobcats’ points were earned on the first day of competition. The team dominated in few events, particularly the javelin, shot put and 800-meter run.
The javelin was perhaps the best event of the three for Ohio. Junior thrower Emma Ryan placed second, totaling 44.74 meters on the throw. With her No. 2 ranking, Ryan scored eight points for Ohio’s overall score.
Along with Ryan’s performance, freshman Tajah Haley placed No. 8, totaling 38.83 meters. Haley contributed one point to Ohio’s overall score with her ranking. Ryan’s and Haley’s performances in the javelin contributed nine points for Ohio.
The shot put was another field event the Bobcats prospered in. Jordan Porter placed No. 7 with a throw of 15.21 meters, contributing two points for Ohio’s overall score.
The 800-meter run was the Bobcats’ best track event. In the finals, Amelia Milton and Emily Deering placed in the top eight; Milton placed No. 7, and Deering placed No. 8. With Milton’s time of 2:10.99, she contributed two points to Ohio’s overall score. Deering recorded a time of 2:12.84, tallying one point for the Bobcats’ overall score.
The athletes who competed in the events detailed above succeeded, but the rest floundered.
In the 100-meter hurdles preliminaries on Day 2, sprinter Kristin Winkel placed No. 11 overall among a field of 17; Winkel recorded a time of 13.97. Mya Hodge placed No. 17 overall with a time of 14.74.
The 100-meter hurdles, a short sprints event, was one of the Bobcats’ best events during the season. Winkel and Hodge would usually have solid performances,
But the typical happenings of the regular season had waned – and it wasn’t just in the short sprints.
In the hammer throw, an event the Bobcats usually have someone perform well in, Ryan placed No. 12 among a field of 19, throwing for 49.71 meters. But more importantly, Gaza Odunaiya, who typically leads the Bobcats in the hammer throw, placed No. 17 overall with a throw of 48.28 meters.
The routine of being successful in certain events dashed, the Bobcats still had a chance to salvage a below average performance. They had one athlete competing in an event before the meet’s end – Haley was in the heptathlon.
The heptathlon is a hodgepodge of events that requires a hodgepodge of stamina. It consists of the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-meter dash, long jump, javelin and 800-meter run.
Haley placed No. 9 in the heptathlon among a field of 10, falling one spot short of earning at least one point to contribute to the Bobcats’ overall score.
Despite the Bobcats’ performance in the MAC Championship, the NCAA East Regional Championship will take place May 25-27 in Lexington, Kentucky. The Bobcats will compete at that meet, with the NCAA Championship in Oregon coming in the not-too-distant future in June.