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Red and White ready for weekend meets

By Tyler Young
On April 18, 2014

The Miami University men's and women's track teams are back in action this weekend as they start to prepare for the Mid-American Conference Championships. The men make a short trip down to Lexington, Ky. to compete in the second Annual Bluegrass Classic, while the women head west to Walnut, Cal. for the Mt. SAC Invitational.

Coming off an impressive performance in the All-Ohio Championship last week in Cincinnati, the men's team is looking to keep their momentum going. For the men, this is their first time competing in the Bluegrass Classic.

"It'll be nice to have the athletes go to a place they've never been, and there's going to be some great competition so hopefully we can get some good things happening," men's head coach Warren Mandrell said.

The men's team effort last weekend consisted of nine top-three finishes, which boosted them to a third overall finish in the All-Ohio Championship with 129.5 points. The RedHawks finished behind the University of Akron and the University of Cincinnati. Miami's top three finish was highlighted by sophomore Peter Stefanski's victory in the high jump. Stefanski cleared 6-11 1/2, which was the top mark in the MAC.

The RedHawks and Mandrell are hoping to build on their performance from last weekend as they begin to prepare for the MAC Championship.

"The more opportunities we have the more opportunities they have to get some good marks," Mandrell said. "This year's been rough with the awful winter so it has been nice to actually be able to get out on the track and practice."

The women's team is sending seven athletes back to the Mt. SAC relays after a two-year hiatus from the event. The Mt. SAC Relays is a large event so the RedHawks are more focused on personal times than where they place in the whole group.

"In a meet like this it's really all about time, placing doesn't mean anything because there's so many athletes and divisions," head coach Kelly Phillips said.

Like the men, the women claimed third place in the All-Ohio Championship last weekend. Junior Taylor Wickware and senior Tori Paterra, who both won events for Miami, led the RedHawks. Wickware won the 800-meter with a time of 2:12.30, and Paterra won the javelin toss with a throw of 172-4.

Phillips said the team is looking to build on last week's performance as the push to make NCAA qualifying times heats up.

"From here on out it's all about performance," Phillips said. "Everyone's trying to compete."

The men and women's teams have two events, including one home meet, left following this weekend's events before both squads head to compete in the MAC Championships.

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