Justin Maskulinski, Staff Writer

The Miami University men’s and women’s track and field teams will not have to travel very far for its meets this Friday and Saturday, as it will compete in the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“The travelling is always easier getting there and back, and we get a lot of [athlete’s] parents at the meet, so that’s nice,” Men’s Head Coach Warren Mandrell said.

The ‘Hawks have been struggling with their outdoor training this winter and this week was no exception as Oxford was snow covered early in the week.

“There wasn’t much we could do for practice this week with the snow, but we have to make do with what we have,” Mandrell said.

The ‘Hawks are struggling the most in explosive events that are best practiced outdoors.

“The weather has been particularly hard for pole vaulters and the long sprinters in the 400 and 400 hurdles because they have to be explosive and run fast,” Mandrell said.

Mandrell admits the cold weather may have set the ‘Hawks back, but he is also aware of the possible injuries associated with training in the cold weather.

“In some places the bad weather has set us behind, but you have to be careful cranking it up when it’s cold,” Mandrell said.

The addition of the 5000 meter race at Cincinnati this weekend should bode well for the ‘Hawks because it will give more distance runners a chance to compete. The first outdoor meet the RedHawks competed in did not have the 5000 meter race.

“[Senior] Jarrod Eick will run the 5000 in place of the 1500 meter run,” Mandrell said. “He ran well at Cincinnati last year.”

Mandrell also said that he expects junior thrower Rob Stein and freshman high jumper Peter Stefanski to perform well. They both had first place finishes at the Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational.

The women’s track and field team will look to mimic and build off of the performances it had at the Vanderbilt meet.

Sophomore Anna Lamb finished first in the 3000 meter race, while the ‘Hawks also took first in the 400 meter relay with the team of senior Katie Scannell, redshirt senior Diona Graves, sophomore Charlotte Myers and freshman Kala Allen. The Red and White excelled in the field as well as junior Tori Paterra won the javelin throw by over 23 feet.

“I think that the team will do really well,” redshirt senior thrower Samantha Gable said. “This meet will put us one step closer to a big meet.”

Gable said she thinks the closer a meet is to Oxford, the better.

“It’s easier to compete when you aren’t sitting on a bus for hours,” Gable said.

The weather has had the same effect on the women’s team as it has on the men’s team, and Gable said the RedHawks are trying to be productive despite the unfavorable conditions.

“Training is harder, but we make adjustments, we have been practicing indoors and outdoors- usually wherever we can be more productive,” Gable said. “I don’t think this puts us at any disadvantage because everyone else has had the same winter.”

The ‘Hawks will look to compete at Cincinnati and get one more weekend closer to warmer weather and better conditioned competition.