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.
Ohio isn’t going to have many chances to rest, so it did so last weekend at the Charlotte Invitational.
But now, with the Mid-American Conference Championship less than a month away, the Bobcats are heading into the part of the season in which consistency will be required.
Before the MAC Championship, though, the Bobcats will travel to Columbus this weekend to compete in the Jesse Owens Classic, a meet where they have seen success in the past.
“We’re focusing in on that meet (Jesse Owens Classic),” coach Clay Calkins said last week. “That’s always been a good meet for us to perform well at, so we want to continue with that.”
But to perform well at the Jesse Owens Classic, the Bobcats had to take a mini-vacation.
During the Charlotte Invitational last weekend, Calkins rested several athletes, particularly the team’s main distance runners and sprinters.
Olivia Mayfield and Tajah Smith were included in the group of the athletes who rested. Though Mayfield and Smith were eager to have a short rest last weekend, they were already thinking about competing in the Jesse Owens Classic.
Mayfield and Smith understand what it means to compete at the meet. Named after the famous black sprinter who helped break barriers in sport and society, the meet is filled with fanfare.
Cameras are plentiful, with the Big Ten Network usually covering the meet. Everyone wants to perform at the highest level.
Some athletes, particularly ones who aren’t from Ohio, haven’t even ran at the famous Jesse Memorial Stadium, which only adds to the meet’s prestige.
“It’s really exciting to just be in the environment alone,” Mayfield said last week.
With Mayfield, Smith and other key athletes for Ohio rested, perhaps the Bobcats are in position to begin a hurtle toward success at the MAC Championship. After the Jesse Owens Classic, the Bobcats will have a meet at home, the Ohio Open.
The Bobcats are at the part of the schedule where they want to glow with more personal records so it’s a good thing they’re rested.
Because they probably aren’t resting anytime soon.