Melissa Maykut, Staff Writer

Junior Jillian Dickman leads the pack Saturday April 9 in the Miami Invitational. (CONTRIBUTED BY SCOTT KISSELL)

Both Miami University men’s and women’s track and field teams ran away with their home meet title at George Rider track April 8 and 9. The RedHawks won the meet despite rain delays and the largest field of athletes seen at a Miami meet.

The Miami Invitational started off with the hammer throw Friday afternoon with sun and 70 degree conditions.

The meet resumed Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. with the first sections of the 5000-meter run, but before any other events could begin, the weather took a turn for the worst. The rain started to pour and lightning could be seen streaking across the sky, resulting in an almost four hour rain delay.

“It’s always hard to get ready for a meet like this, then not go for a while,” junior Rachel Patterson said.

When the meet’s events resumed at 3:00 p.m., both teams kicked it into gear.

The men’s team won the invitational with 116 points, just one point more than Mid-American Conference rival Kent State University, who earned 115 points.

The men’s team’s only individual victory came from sophomore John Cantwell who won the triple jump with a leap of 13.79 meters/45-3.

The Red and White dominated the long jump, winning second through sixth place. Senior Josh Rees placed second, Michael McCarty third, Cantwell fourth, Reggie Mitchell fifth and Sam Spellinger sixth.

In the javelin throw, junior Matt Rudin finished second. Rudin also placed third in the pole vault competition.

In running events, sophomore Jarrod Eick placed third in the 800-meter run. Eick also finished third in the 1500-meter run in a personal best time of 3:48.56. Eick’s time now ranks eighth in Miami history.

“The goal was just to hang on with the two runners from Butler and go off what they were doing,” Eick said. “I’m happy with my run. My goal was to reach 3:50 and I did.”

Despite running in the dark, senior Robbie Fisher and sophomore Matt Marol finished off the running events for their team in the second section of the 5000-meter race. Fisher finished in fourth while Marol finished right behind in fifth.

The women’s track and field team finished the home meet with 111 points, six more than second place University of Cincinnati.

The women’s team won two event titles.

The first came from junior Alexandra Roberts, who had a school-record throw of 15.20 meters/49-10.5 in the shot put. Roberts’ throw beats the 2003 record set by Lauren Collins by over 10 inches.

The second title came from freshman Tori Pattera who had a heave of 48.61 meters/159-6 in the javelin throw.

In the long jump, redshirt freshman Ashley Zaper placed second with a personal best jump of 5.57 meters/18-3.25. Senior Magda Wikar finished behind Zaper in third.

In running events, sophomore Katie Scannell placed second in the 400-meter hurdles, while sophomore Layne Bagget ran for third in the 100-meter hurdles.

Diona Graves finished third in the 100-meter dash and placed second in the 200-meter dash with a personal best time of 24.54.

Despite feeling that her 16-person heat in the 1500-meter run was a bit nerve racking, Patterson finished with a personal-best time of 4:27.56, earning her a third place finish. Although this was only her third time running the event, Patterson’s time ranks fourth in Miami history.

The men’s track team will return to action April 15 and 16 at the All-Ohio Championships in Cincinnati.

The women’s team will split up again next weekend. The majority of the team will travel to the All-Ohio Championships, while a group of RedHawks will travel to Walnut, Calif. for the Mt. SAC Relays.