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'Hawks finish final home meet before MAC Championships start

By Tyler Young
On April 28, 2014

This story has been updated to correct an in-accurate quote from women's head coach Kelly Phillips. 

The Miami University's men's and women's track teams wrapped up their final home meet of the season Saturday with the RedHawk Invitational. Both teams returned for the last home meet before the Mid-American Conference Championships.

The men's team was led by a group of seniors, taking advantage of their last home meet in a Miami uniform. Redshirt senior Sam Spallinger recorded the best long jump of his career with a mark of 7.41 meters, which now leads the MAC. Senior Rob Stein took first in the shot put with a throw of 17.49 meters, while senior Jahquil Hargrove won the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.54. In other results, Seniors Wade Coffin and Kevin Brown finished second and fourth respectively in the 1500-meter run.

The seniors were not the only successful RedHawks on the track as freshman Vincent Minosky won the 400-meter hurdles with a personal best time of 53.78. Sophomore Matthew Pelletier placed third in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:55.25.

The RedHawk athletes were able to compete at a high level despite the windy conditions the day brought.

"Oh it definitely affects them," men's head coach Warren Mandrell said. "The effects take even more of a toll on the distance runners who have to deal with it every lap, which just wears them down."

The women's team had a successful event as well, notching four victories and 15 top-five finishes. The four victories included junior Melissa Girgis winning the 5000-meter run, sophomore Megan Beaver winning the 800-meter run, senior Erica Howes taking the 3000-meter steeplechase and sophomore Adaora Anunike winning the discus throw.

Howes' victory proved to be the most impressive as she won her event by 36 seconds, finishing in front of her teammate, junior Elisa Frazier. Howes, who has been injured much of the year, cherished her last home meet.

"It's definitely bittersweet, it has been a fun run but it's sad to let go," Howes said. "I have been injured a lot of the year, so I'm trying to get back into top for, and in terms of the conference championships all I can do is go out there and give it my all."

Elsewhere on the track, the women's team got solid performances from junior Jess Hoover who placed second in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:43.55, while senior Leah Coleman took third in the 400-meter dash and seventh in the 200-meter dash.

As the last home meet of the season has come and gone, the track and field teams have one last event, the Billy Hayes Invitational on May 2. After that, they head off to Athens, Ohio for the MAC Championships May 15-17.

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