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'Hawks set to host All-Ohio Track and Field Championships

By Win Braswell
On April 20, 2012

The Miami University women's track and field team returns home this weekend for the All-Ohio Championships, which will see them compete against the top teams in the state. Their main focus for the meet is to compete strongly, as the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championhsips  draw near.

As the season quickly moves along, the RedHawks continue to perform well, with several athletes claiming statement victories and top-tier finishes in their most recent meet, the Jesse Owens Invitational at Ohio State University. Sophomore Tori Paterra recorded a season-best throw of 151-9/46.25 meters in the javelin, a performance which earned her the top collegiate mark, as she bested the next best throw by Michigan State University's Stephanie Bochenek by over 15 feet.

Senior Rachel Clay continued her strong season at Jesse Owens and moved into second place in Miami history in her the 400-meter dash. Clay ran 54.43 seconds to finish sixth overall, and bringing her closer to the current school record of 53.58 seconds.

Head Coach Kelly Phillips has eyed this meet for about two weeks now, and stressed the magnitude of this meet, saying that each athlete needed to be physically rested and thinking championships.

Senior thrower Alexandra Roberts has already broken her own school record in the shot put this season, and after a seventh place finish in the discus and fifth place in the shot put last week, Roberts is confident she is in a good standing to compete well now and for the rest of the season.

"I never doubted that I could compete with the best competition," Roberts said. "I've worked hard all season and I know what I can do. After last week, I got to see where I stand against top throwers from the Midwest and I'm pretty happy with it, but I still want to get better each week."

Following last week's performance, in which she also broke the national top 100, moving into No. 66 on the national lists, Clay is intent on improvement and not getting caught up in the moment.

"The most important thing for me is to just treat this meet like every other week and just compete," Clay said. "I was really happy with what I did [last week], but I know I can't be stuck in that moment. I know the pressure is even higher now, but I feel good with where I am."

With only three meets left after this weekend until the MAC Championships the RedHawks are looking to continue their strong season.

The All-Ohio meet Championhsips will start Friday at 2 p.m. at the George L. Rider track with the hammer throw and javelin throw, as well as the 5,000 and 10,000-meter races. Saturday's events start at 10 a.m with the conclusion of heptathlon and decathlon, and the individual running events will begin at 12:10 p.m.

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