The 2012 indoor campaign has been a record-breaking year for the Miami University women’s indoor track and field team, and last weekend’s Mid-American Conference Championships was no different. Four school records fell but the RedHawks finished the two-day meet in fifth place.
Miami finished with 66 total team points, only 7.5 points out of fourth. Kent State took the title, scoring 108.5 points, followed by Toledo, Western Michigan and Buffalo.
Senior sprinter Diona Graves earned the top qualifying spot in the 60 meter dash, clocking a personal best of 7.48 seconds in the preliminary heat, which is the second fastest in school history. Graves also was the top qualifier for the 200 meter dash, running a 24.11 seconds in her preliminary heat for another record-breaking effort. Her time took down the previous school record of 24.25 seconds and Graves went on to finish in both finals to pick up a total of 12 points.
Fellow senior Rachael Clay has had a phenomenal season, focusing on consistency and what she describes as “her race,” the 400m dash. Clay finished third in the preliminary round in 54.79 seconds, which is also a new school record. The previous record stood for 28 years.
“Going into MACs, my goal was to continue to get better as I have been doing all season,” Clay said. ” I had the school record in sight going into the weekend and actually breaking a record that was so old feels good. It definitely put a lot of things into perspective for me.”
Junior hurdler Layne Baggett also brought her best efforts to the championship meet. After tapering off at 8.63 seconds in the 60 meter hurdles during the final two pre-MAC races, Baggett claimed her spot in the finals by running a new personal best of 8.49 seconds in the preliminary round. Her time was just three-hundredths of a second from the school record. Baggett then finished second in the finals, running 8.50 seconds despite hitting a hurdle.
“I was happy about my prelim time and was confident going into finals,” Baggett said. “After hitting the hurdle my main focus was to just keep going. I was lucky that I was able to recover, but I was extremely upset that I had that set back. This loss just makes me want that outdoor championship even more. I am ready to get into outdoor and believe that there will be a lot of excitement to come.”
The ‘Hawks also replaced two more records, with senior thrower Alex Roberts eclipsing her previous school record in the shot put, as she threw 51-7.25/15.73m, which was good enough for a runner-up finish. The 4×400 meter relay team also broke their own record, which was set earlier this season. Graves and Clay combined with junior Katie Scannell and freshman Charlotte Myers to run a 3:42.87, which was good enough for third place.
As the indoor season transitions into outdoor, select RedHawk runners will compete for a chance to run at the NCAA Championships on March 9-10 at Notre Dame University’s Last Chance meet on Saturday, March 3.