Shannon Whitson, For The Miami Student

The RedHawks had a satisfactory ending to the successful and challenging men’s track and field season that came to a close this spring with the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Outdoor Championships, held in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. at Central Michigan University. The meet, May 10-12, was a trying one for many of the athletes that make up Miami University’s Men’s Track and Field team.

The RedHawks struggled through unexpected illnesses and injuries but came through to place first in the 400-meter dash (sophomore Jahquil Hargrove), third in the 1500-meter run (junior distance runner Jarrod Eick), second in the 800-meter run (sophomore Kevin Brown), first and third in the 110-meter hurdles (freshman hurdler Jayshawn Combs and senior Jordan Goffena), among other medals at the MAC conference meet.

However, more than a few curve balls were thrown at Head Coach Warren Mandrell during the 2012 season.

These included Eick, a major point scorer and asset on the track, unexpectedly falling ill at the MAC Championship meet in early May and sophomore sprinter Jack Spillman coming down with a very serious virus.

Even though Eick was not at his best, he managed to place third at the MAC Outdoor Championships in the 1500-meter.

Sophomore distance runner David Wing said the team’s performances at the MAC Championship meet were not disappointing at all.

“Aside from the fact that Jarrod and Jack were sick, JaShawn [Combs] won the Mid-American Conference meet as a freshman,” Wing said. “And, this happens very rarely. We also have a really good decathlete, Sam Chester, and he is only a freshman as well.”

Junior distance runner Matt Marol agreed with Wing.

“I think we did really well overall [this season],” Marol said. “On paper it doesn’t look like we did, possibly because of the depth of our team but we have never had the presence we had this year on the medal stand in any of our previous years.”

Marol said he thinks many of Miami’s athletes delivered.

“A lot of the guys on our team were training to get to the next level [in there performances at meets],” Marol said. “It is hard to just go ahead and do that at the MAC meet because it is hard to compete at that rate each and every day.”
The entire team was very optimistic about their season, which concluded with the MAC Conference Championship.

May 10, redshirt senior pole-vaulter Matt Rudlin took fourth in the pole vault and placed fifth in the 10K. The team was in fifth out of six teams with 18 points after the first day.

Senior decathlete Jordan Goffena was runner up in the decathlon and redshirt senior thrower Adam Ruiz finished fourth in shot put May 11. The team remained in fifth with 39 total points after day two.

On the final day, sophomore jumper and middle distance runner Jahquil Hargrove was named this year’s Outstanding Track Performer.

The RedHawks placed sixth overall at the MAC Championships, finishing with 111 points, seven points behind the fifth place team.