While many teams are trying to slowly build momentum early, the Miami University women’s indoor track and field team has come out of the gates at peak competition level. Miami has had strong performances in their first two meets, breaking records and recording top-tier finishes in numerous events. Saturday’s Gladstein Invitational at Indiana University’s Gladstein Fieldhouse was no exception, as the ‘Hawks once again boasted amazing performances in their third meet of the season.
The 4×400 meter relay team, comprised of senior Diona Graves, junior Katie Scannell, senior Rachael Clay and freshman Charlotte Myers, set a new Miami record with a time of 3:43.97. This mark erased the previous record of 3:45.14, which Graves, Scannell and Clay helped to set just last season.
“We knew we were capable of breaking the record, but doing it this early is exciting because we know we have more meets and can improve,” Clay said. “Hopefully, we can break the record every week.”
Clay also grabbed the top spot in the 400 meter dash at 55.49 seconds.
“I love running at IU,” Clay said. ” I always run well there. After the 400, when I realized my time, a lot of things were put into perspective for me. I noticed it was my fastest time indoor or outdoor. I figured if I can do that on a 200 meter track, then outdoors, my time will be even faster. I’m really happy that all the training is paying off.”
Since winning and record breaking has become somewhat of a routine for the Red and White so far this season, expectations are riding high for the ‘Hawks to continue to produce quality results.
“I wasn’t surprised that they broke the record,” Head Coach Kelly Phillips said. “Their coach, Coach Etelman, had said he expected them to break it and run a 3:42 or 3:43. I was impressed with how they competed with some of the teams that attended the meet and with a freshman [Charlotte Myers] anchoring the relay. [Breaking records is] expected. The culture of the team has changed from last year. It’s amazing, not only where the team is physically, but mentally. I’m definitely looking forward to more records being broken.”
Graves continued to embed her legacy at Miami, winning the 60 meter dash in 7.58 seconds. Freshman Gretchen Walter claimed a seventh place finish in the 60 meter at 7.86 seconds but had her strongest showing in the 200 meter dash. Walter took third place, while setting a personal best record with a time of 25.66 seconds.
A trio of hurdlers also gave strong performances in the 60 meter hurdles. Junior Layne Baggett finished runner-up out of all collegiate-affiliated athletes and third overall, with an 8.74 second finish. Redshirt sophomore Ashley Zaper and sophomore Xerina Hughey finished seventh and 11th, clocking in at 8.96 and 9.16 seconds, respectively.
A season-best time was also recorded in the 600 meter run, as freshman Taylor Wickware earned second place. Wickware finished in 1:35.10, good enough for her to solidify herself as fourth all-time in the Miami record books, all after only her first time participating in the event at a collegiate level.
“I was really excited to run (the 600 meter),” Wickware said. “I’m used to running the 800 meter. I was really happy I had some seniors who have run that race before talk to me to calm my nerves. I think it is pretty cool that I went into the race kind of winging it, and came out in the record books.”
After yet another historic day on the track, look for the strong competition to continue this weekend, as the RedHawks are back in action in Lexington, Ky. at the University of Kentucky Rod McCravy Memorial.