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Women’s track and field travels for MAC indoor championship

By Ben Blanchard, For The Miami Student

The Miami University women's track and field team competes in the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships in Akron, Ohio this weekend. The RedHawks look to improve from their 10th place finish last season.

"We've gone through a lot of transition since last season, getting new coaches and staff in," senior Kathie Wollney said. "While most of our focus this year is on the outdoor season, we'll definitely be looking to do our best and compete this weekend."

Junior Alexus Jimson-Miller and seniors Wollney and Laura Bess are Miami's top-ranked competitors in the meet.

Jimson-Miller enters the meet as the No. 2 seed in the 60-meter hurdles. Her time is .8 seconds slower than Northern Illinois University's senior Letristan Pledger, who is ranked first in the event.

"I haven't raced against Pledger yet, so she'll be brand new competition," Jimson-Miller said. "She's run some fast times, but I'm focused on myself and my goal is definitely to win the race."

Jimson-Miller will also be the anchor for Miami's 4x400 meter relay, which is seeded eighth.

Wollney will compete in four events. She is No. 9 in the 400-meter with a 56.3 time and No. 18 in the 800-meter with a 2:14 time.

She'll also join the distance medley and 4x400 teams.

"It will be a new experience for me, but I have confidence that my training has prepared me for this," Wollney said. "I've been focusing on hydration and rest all week, so I'll be ready to go."

Senior Laura Bess and sophomore Alesha Vovk are also members of the No. 2 seed distance medley relay.

"Being seeded second, we definitely are trying to win the race," Wollney said. "Eastern Michigan will be very fast, but I definitely think we can compete with them."

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Bess and Vovk will compete in the 1600-meter run. Bess is seeded third at 4:47.5, and Vovk is seeded eighth at 4:53.2.

The Red and White also hope to get a boost from junior Arionna Darling, who is seeded fourth in the shot put at 15.65 meters. Miami has another top-10 hopeful in junior Martha Szekely, who is seeded eighth in the weight throw at 17.88 meters.

"I think the competitive atmosphere at the meet will be great, with it being a championship meet," Jimson-Miller said. "I have confidence that our team will come out and compete at a high level."

The meet begins at 11 a.m. Friday at the Stile Athletics Field House at the University of Akron campus.