By Ben Blanchard, The Miami Student
The Miami University men's and women's track and field teams will split this weekend and compete in two meets, the Alex Wilson Invite and the Buckeye Tune-Up.
University of Notre Dame hosts the Alex Wilson meet in South Bend, Ind., and Ohio State University hosts the Buckeye Tune-Up in Columbus, Ohio.
The men's season does not officially begin until the start of the outdoor season at the Miami Duals on April 1. Miami can still enter male athletes in meets though, allowing the team to see competition and fine-tune before the season starts.
This weekend gives the RedHawks a chance to do just that, as eight athletes travel to the Alex Wilson Invite to compete, and others travel to the Buckeye Tune-Up to get in better shape and experience more competition.
Junior Andrew Dusing is looking to set a personal best in the 1600-meter run at the Alex Wilson.
"I think I have a good shot to go 4:07, which would be a new personal record," he said. "I'm feeling good, and I'm excited to gauge where I'm at before we start outdoor."
Senior Joe Stewart will also race at the Alex Wilson. It'll be his first time running since the NCAA Championships in November. Stewart was crowned All-Ohio Champion at the All-Ohio Championships, finishing the 8k in 24:32.5. He had his personal best 8k performance at the Mid-American Conference Championships, finishing in 24:21 and taking third overall. He went on to finish eighth in the NCAA Great Lakes Regional.
While the men's team views the weekend as an opportunity to get in better shape and compete, it's a pivotal point for the women's team.
"The Buckeye Tune-Up is really important for us because it's our last opportunity to race before the MAC indoor championships," senior Brenna Poulsen said. "So this our last chance to work out any kinks."
Poulsen is coming off a personal best of 9:48.9 in the 3000-meter run, which qualifies her for the indoor championship.
As the indoor season comes to an end, many athletes are focused on staying healthy for the outdoor season.
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"Most people are managing to stay healthy, but we're really sick of the cold weather," Poulsen said. "We're definitely excited for things to warm up and to start the outdoor season."
Both meets begin Friday morning and run through Saturday.