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Red and White soar to record breaking heights

By Justin Maskulinski
On April 16, 2013

The Miami University women's track and field team was in action Friday and Saturday as some athletes were competing in Athens, Ohio and others were in Knoxville, Tenn.

The athletes in Athens were competing in the All-Ohio Championships and despite the limited number of athletes the RedHawks sent, they were able to finish seventh in the 13-team pack.

Leading the way for the 'Hawks on the first day of the All-Ohio Championships was junior Tori Paterra, who broke her own school record in the javelin throw, as she threw 50.51 meters and finished first.

Also performing well in Athens was junior Erica Howes, who won the 3000 meter steeplechase with a time of 10:40.85.

The 'Hawks also sent athletes to Knoxville to compete in the Sea Ray Relays at the University of Tennessee.

"[The Sea Ray Relays] was probably the best meet outside of a conference meet I have seen since I have been at Miami," Assistant Coach Brian Etelman said.

Redshirt senior Diona Graves broke two school records at the Sea Ray Relays. She broke her own 100 meter record of 11.68 seconds, which she had posted twice, with a time of 11.62 and finished second.

"[The 100 meter] was a good time, I was hoping to do better but I'll take what I can get," Graves said.

Graves also took down the Miami 200 meter record, posting a time of 24.03 and finished fourth in the preliminary race. The previous 200 meter record, set in 1986, was held by Becca Williams.

"I thought that the record had been set in the 90s, I really wanted to break that record," Graves said. "Training has been tough at times but it is worth it in the end."

The RedHawks 4x400 relay team of senior Katie Scannell, freshman Kala Allen, Graves and sophomore Charlotte Myers also broke a school record with a time of 3:39.82.

Redshirt senior Layne Baggett tied the school record for 100 meter hurdles, recording a time of 13.31 seconds.

"She was only one hundredth of a second from the record," Etelman said. "That's a great time and [the Sea Ray Relays] have confirmed what we already knew about the talent of these girls."

The men's track and field team also travelled to Knoxville and competed in the Sea Ray Relays and Head Coach Warren Mandrell was satisfied with the performance.

"A lot of good things happened, much more good than bad," Mandrell said. "It was a very, very good and competitive meet."

Freshman high jumper Peter Stefanski suffered his first outdoor collegiate defeat but Mandrell said he is not worried.

"[Stefanski] was in a foul mood, but the high jump is difficult because you jump until you fail a height, you never win," Mandrell said. "[Stefanski] was a great performer, his jump of six feet, ten inches should qualify him for nationals."

The field events saw numerous personal records for the 'Hawks. Stefanski's 2.10 meter jump was a personal best. Sophomore Tyler Yee threw a personal best 61.76 meters in the javelin as he finished third. Junior Rob Stein took fifth place in the discus invitational with a personal best 50.94 meter throw.

"Yee had a personal best and he is recovering from Tommy John surgery," Mandrell said.

Both Miami teams saw numerous records fall this weekend, both personal and school. The RedHawks will look to continue this success as they strive toward a Mid-American Conference Championship.

By Alyssa Zediker For The Miami Student

The Miami University softball team swept Ohio University (OU) in its doubleheader and finished the weekend by splitting a two-game series with the University of Akron, coming back from an 8-1 loss to take the victory 7-6 the following day. The RedHawks improved their conference record to 9-3 and 15-23 overall.

"I had a lot of adrenaline since it was my first time playing OU, the emotions were high, but we had our mind set on one game at a time," Freshman pitcher Jenna Modic said.

The 'Hawks took the win in the first game against Ohio 1-0 when Modic had her first career shutout and then followed that victory with an 11-5 win with the help of a three run homer from Modic.

"For us to have swept OU, that's huge," Head Coach Clarisa Crowell said. "They are a great team and they are a great hitting team. But Jenna just had a great weekend; she came up big pitching in the circle and offensively."

Modic said she felt well prepared for the game as the upperclassman had warned her about the aggressiveness and the loudness the rivalry brings to the stadium, and after sweeping Ohio said she felt good going into the Akron games.

The RedHawks couldn't recover from a grand slam by senior first baseman and pitcher Alissa Birkhimer to give her team a 6-1 lead.

"We always play 110 percent even if one inning doesn't go our way or we have a bad game," Modic said. "We just try our best to flip the switch and to comeback and pick up the energy and one another up."

The team's mentality going in to the second game in the series was to forget about the previous loss and remain focused and determined that this next game was going to be its victory. Crowell said she felt the RedHawks were having an off day and they were not playing Miami softball in the first game.

"They don't let outcome dictate their attitude and we called ourselves the comeback kids, and we don't let outcome determine how we play," Crowell said.

The following day the RedHawks were able to take a late lead thanks to three seventh inning runs. The two teams were tied at four entering the seventh inning. They needed all three runs to hold on to the 7-6 victory as Akron scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh.

"We had a double play to end the game and it could have very easily gone Akron's way, but fortunately it went ours," Crowell said.

The RedHawks will now face Northern Kentucky University (NKU) in a home and home series. NKU is currently 4-14 in conference play and 10-30 overall.

"It's always good coming off of a win just because you can keep that rolling, and keep the momentum going," Modic said.

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