Jan. 21, 2006
MARIETTA, Ohio - The Ohio men's and women's track and field teams shut the door on the competition at the Marietta Open, winning the team titles at 173 and 214 points, respectively, with a total of 15 first-place finishes at Marietta College's Dyson Baudo Recreation Center.
Last year, the team was unable to attend the event due to inclement weather around the region. On Saturday, the Bobcats swept the competition, which included 11 teams on the men's side and 12 teams in the women's meet. West Virginia Wesleyan (101 points) and Morehead State (90 points) rounded out the top-three finishers on the men's side, while Wright State (85 points) and Robert Morris (74.50 points) took second and third place, respectively, in the women's competition.
"I was real happy with the overall performance of the team," said Head Coach Clay Calkins. "I think everybody had their own shining moment."
The competition only had three Division I opponents including Robert Morris and Morehead State with Wright State just sponsoring a woman's team. Still, the day allowed the Bobcats to gain both experience and confidence.
"The competition level was definitely stronger last week, but at the same time, the kids ran better this week," Calkins said. "They are coming around a bit. We've had three solid weeks of training. I think the victories today make a big difference for the freshmen who just competed in their first-ever college meet a week ago."
After earning MAC Track Athlete of the Week honors earlier this week, senior Scott Mayle (Philippi, W.Va.) continued his winning ways. He began the day winning the 55m event, just .07 seconds off the indoor school record set back in 1989. Mayle next won the 200m dash and followed both victories by taking first in the long jump at 7.44m (24-05.00).
"It was a solid jump for him," said Calkins. "He didn't get the national mark, but there are lot more chances coming up."
In the sprints, the men posted victories in the 4x200 and 4x400m relays. John Willis (Middletown), Dan Bailey (Uniontown) and Kevin Kappers (Cincinnati) finished second, third and fourth in the 500m. Dustin Holm (Thornville) took third in the 300m, and Ben Pollock (Lancaster) finished second in the 400m. Running unattached, Craig Leon (Van Wert) won the 5000m race, while Jason Linton (Vincent), also unattached, won both the mile run and the 800m.
Off the track, Jeremy Keesee (Marysville) won the high jump with Jordan Sharpe (Tipp City) finishing second. Mike Goodrich (Fairlawn), Jonathan Adams (Cincinnati) and Luke High (Cambridge) finished second, third and fourth respectively in the pole vault. High also took second in the triple jump.
The highlight of the day though belonged to Eric Bildstein (North Olmsted). Under the unattached label, he won the weight throw at 16.44m. He missed the 2005 outdoor and indoor seasons serving in the military and returned to Ohio University at the beginning of the quarter from active service. He will redshirt this season.
"Eric's always been a great guy for us," Calkins said. "He speaks for himself, just coming out and being able to post a big mark right off the bat. Too bad he's not on our squad this year, but I think with another year of training, he'll be in business."
On the women's side, youth led the charge with Chanelle Harmon (Cincinnati) taking second in both the 55m and the 200m while also helping the 4x200 relay squad finish first.
"She did a great job for us today," Calkins said. "She will be a go-to sprinter for us."
Freshman Melissa Wiley (Columbus) took first in the 55m hurdles and third in the 200m. Sophomore Jessica Kestler (Maineville) placed first in the 300m, and seniors Aileen Taylor (Twinsburg) and Melissa Gedeon (Delphos) finished first and second, respectively, in the 500m. The Bobcats also won the 4x400 relay and the distance medley.
In the field events, freshmen Maleah Thornton (Grove City) and Brittany Vinson (Amelia) were the stars. Thornton finished first in the high jump and second in the long jump, while Vinson took first in the long jump and third in the triple jump. Junior Rachael Diehl (Lancaster) took first in the pole vault. Senior Jaclyn Lugaila (Waterford, Pa.) finished second in the shot put and posted once again a school record in the weight throw to take third at 50-00. Last week, she broke the record at 49-01.75.
Next on slate for the Bobcats is the Ohio State Invitational on Saturday, January 28 at the French Field House in Columbus.