By Ben Blanchard, The Miami Student
Nine members of the Miami University men's and women's track and field team recorded a personal best time at the Music City Challenge meet hosted by Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. this weekend.
The competitive field featured 21 teams, including South Eastern Conference powerhouses Georgia, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt. Miami was the lone representative of the Mid-American Conference.
On the women's side, senior Brenna Poulsen earned an automatic bid to the MAC championship after finishing third in the 3000-meter run with a personal best 9:48.9 time. The time is the eighth fastest for the 3000m in Miami history and is the 10th fastest in the conference.
"I'm really happy with how the meet went this past weekend," Poulsen said. "The team performed well, and lots of people set personal records, which is always great to have."
The RedHawks saw another strong showing from senior Laura Bess, who finished sixth in the mile run with a personal best of 4:47.5. It ranks second in Miami history, and is 1.01 seconds shy of Kelley Miller's school record set in 2010. Bess now ranks fourth in the mile in the MAC.
In the 400-meter race, senior Kathie Wollney finished in 11th place with a time of 56.30 seconds. Not only was it a personal record, but it also places her in 11th in the MAC for this event and seventh on Miami's all-time list.
Close behind was freshman Kalliopi Kountouri, who finished 13th at 56.43 seconds. Kountouri ranks directly behind Wollney at 12th place in the MAC standings.
On the men's side, junior Andrew Dusing led the 'Hawks in his 3000m debut, finishing eighth with a 8:13.62 time. Juniors Stephen Biebelhausen and Cody Reisterer each set a new personal best of 8:33.61 and 8:44.72 for 22nd and 25th place, respectively.
The highest finish of the day for the men's team came from junior shot-putter Andrew Vollet. He finished in fifth place with a 52-foot heave.
Junior Arionna Darling continued the shot-put success, finishing second with a 50-7.5 throw. It was a big jump for Darling, who threw 45-9.25 in the MAC championship last season.
In the 60-meter hurdles, junior Alexus Jimson-Miller claimed the fastest time for any MAC competitor this season, finishing in third place with a season-best 8.51 seconds.
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Closing out the competition, the team of Kountorui, Wollney, Jimson-Miller, and senior Megan Beaver combined in the 4x400 meter relay to finish fifth in 3:49.6 seconds.
In the men's 4x400m, freshman Jake Owens, junior Avery Taylor and seniors Joey Comisford and Adam Bodrick finished seventh overall in 3:22.43 seconds.
The Red and White return to action at the Buckeye Tune Up next weekend hosted by Ohio State University. It's the last regular season meet before the MAC indoor championships on Feb. 27 and the NCAA indoor championships on March 11.
"The Buckeye Tune Up is important for our team because it's a chance for us to compete and tune up before the MAC championships," Poulsen said. "I'm excited to see what we can do."