"It's always good to win," said Head Coach Clay Calkins. "We had a solid day on the men's side. We had good performances, but we also have room to improve."
Earlier this season, the men's squad captured the Marietta Open title with ease. However, this meet was not decided until the men's 16th and final event, the distance medley relay. Trailing by half a point and with only two other squads competing in the race, the men needed to finish ahead of Ashland to capture the title. Both relay teams remained close to each other, but the Bobcats pulled ahead winning the event at 10:24.93 with Ashland taking second at 10:35.69.
"It was actually a tight race between us and Ashland, and then on the final leg, Austin Schiele (Hudson) ran away with it and won the DMR," said Calkins, who did not want to just have praise for the relay squad's victory.
"You never want to leave anyone out because today is an accumulation of everybody working hard," he added.
Tiffin University (127.50), which finished second in the meet last year ahead of Ohio, placed third, followed by the University of Findlay (87), Central State University (35), and Malone College (16).
Dan Bailey (Uniontown), the current MAC Male Scholar Athlete of the Week, won his second consecutive 400-meter event at 49.96, with John Willis (Troy) close behind at second. Bailey, Dustin Holm (Thornville) and Jarrel Taylor (Mentor) finished second, third and sixth in the 200m. Chip Cox (Columbus) won the 60m at 7.01.
Brian King (Richfield, Minn.) won the 3000m at 8:42.93. Schiele was victorious in the 5000m at 15:11.81 with Shamus Eaton (Uniontown) and Todd Holbrook (Dayton) finishing second and third, respectively. Jeremy Keesee (Marysville) earned 10 points in the high jump at 6-02.75. The relay teams ended the day adding a vital 20 points with first-place finishes in the 4x400 and the distance medley.
On the women's side, the Bobcats faced off with three other Mid-American Conference schools. Miami won the team title with 156.33 points, followed by Toledo (106), Bowling Green (94) and Cincinnati (72.33). Ohio tied with Findlay for fifth-place at 50 points. Ashland (36), Dayton (29.33) and Central State (27) rounded out the scoring.
One of the most consistent athletes on either team, Jaclyn Lugaila (Waterford, Pa.) continued to dominate in the throws. In the only victory of the day for the Ohio women, Lugaila won the shot put at 47-02.50 and placed third in the weight throw at 53-11.75 for 16 total points.
"She's been awesome," Calkins said. "She had a solid weight throw, but on her shot, she exploded and did a great job."
Andrea Maas (Cincinnati) finished second in the 5000m at 17:30.21, and Rachel Beakas (Waterville) added a third-place finish in the 3000m (10:18.61). Aileen Taylor (Twinsburg) took fourth in the 800m at 2:20.80. In the pole vault, Rachael Diehl (Lancaster) placed sixth at 10-11.75.
"Everybody's moving in the right direction," said Calkins. "Jumps were a little rough today. We need to polish up and get ready for the MAC Championships. We will definitely need to step it up for the conference meet."
Several athletes are expected to rest next week in preparations for the MAC Championships (Feb. 24-25). The rest of the Bobcats will return to Columbus, after having competed in the Ohio State Invitational on January 28, for the Scarlet & Gray Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 18, at The Ohio State University's French Field House.