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Track Takes Dual Action At Cherry Blossom Invite

Sophomore Krista Roehlig won the first event of her young Ohio career Saturday in Athens.

April 5, 2014


ATHENS, Ohio – Behind event victories from junior Donyelle Brown and sophomore Krista Roehlig, the Ohio University women’s track & field team put together a perfect 4-1 record against its dual meet opponents in a solid showing at Saturday’s Ohio Cherry Blossom Invitational.

Brown (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) won the hammer throw by matching her personal-best with a mark of 56.31m, while Roehlig (Uniontown, Ohio) captured the first event victory of her career with a mark of 17:42.83 in the 5000m run.

The first-place finishes helped Ohio surge to point victories against all five of its opponents at the event. The Bobcats defeated Wright State (113.0-66.0), West Virginia (111.50-57.50), Marshall (101.0-81.0) and Bowling Green (100.0-61.0) Saturday in the team’s first home meet of the 2014 campaign.

“We had some great performances on the track and in the field as well,” head coach Clay Calkins said. “With the times we saw and the distances thrown today, it’s clear that it’s always good to sleep in your own bed, eat a normal meal and be on your own schedule. Being at home is a nice advantage for our team.”

In addition to Roehlig’s solid time in the 5000m, Ohio sophomore Stephanie Loshbough (Johnstown, Ohio) also posted a top-10, finishing eighth in a time of 18:31.65.

“Krista is a great, self-motivated athlete and the sky’s the limit for her,” Calkins said. “She’s got a lot of talent and she’s really been applying herself in training. It showed through out there today.”

Brown matched her career best hammer throw mark – set last week in Nashville – and was joined in the top-10 by junior Janiece Rose (Franklinville, N.J.), who placed sixth with a throw of 45.75m. Senior Lauren McCullough (Lancaster, Ohio) was 10th with a mark of 41.91m.

“I went in and I wanted to break my personal record so I accomplished that,” Brown said. “I did want to throw further of course but I worked beat by beat. I was comfortable today but I still have a lot to work on.”

In the 1500m run, senior Melissa Thompson (Westerville, Ohio) grabbed a MAC auto bid after placing third in a time 4:33.85. Sophomore Kayla Scott (Canal Winchester, Ohio) finished 10th in a time of 4:46.24.

“They asked me this week going into it what did I want to do and I said that I want to hit the MAC auto,” Thompson said. “I knew that this season I needed to run what I did today and I hit the MAC auto so I felt really good about that.”

“Today was my season opener. I did not get to go on the road after a minor injury at indoor MACs,” Thompson said. “Today it was nice to get to open at my home meet in front of my parents, friends and their moms, so that created a fun atmosphere.”

Junior Morgan Srail picked up some points for the Bobcats with a second-place finish in the pole vault. The Avon Lake, Ohio, native finished the event with a career-best mark of 3.35m.

In other jumps action, freshman Olivia Mayfield placed second for Ohio in the long jump with a personal-best mark of 5.59m, while sophomore Erika Armstead (Cincinnati, Ohio) placed ninth with a jump of 5.05m.

Junior Chanda Cuckler (Athens, Ohio) posted a second-place finish in the high jump with a mark of 1.60m, while freshman Taylor Smith (Canal Winchester, Ohio) was fourth with a jump of 1.60m.

For the Ohio throws unit, the Bobcats put a quartet of student-athletes in the top-6 of the javelin throw. Sophomore Ashlee Bilhimer (Gardner, Kan.) led the charge with a second-place showing (38.57m). Senior Lauren McCullough (Lancaster, Ohio) was fourth with a mark of 37.62m, while senior Olivia Vitou (36.93m) and Cuckler finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

Brown also achieved a personal best 13.93 mark in the shot put to finish second in the event. Rose placed fourth with a mark of 13.51m.

“It feels good to be at home,” Brown said. “I was comfortable and not stressed out. I know where I practice and how I practice here so it feels good.”

Senior Alexa Macri (St. Clairsville, Ohio) paced the ‘Cats in the discus with a fifth-place finish after posting a high mark of 41.31m Saturday.

In hurdles action, junior Chanda Cuckler finished fourth for the Bobcats in a time of 14.70. Fellow junior Karissa Conrad (Lancaster, Ohio) placed seventh in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:05.81.

The Ohio sprints squad was led by Tajah Smith (Copley, Ohio) in the 100m dash, as the freshman finished eighth in a personal-best time of 12.79. In the 400m dash, senior Kara Jackson (Bidwell, Ohio) also notched a career-best time to finish third in 57.36.

Ohio’s 4x400 meter relay team of Jackson, Conrad, junior Delaney Bolger (Lebanon, Ohio) and freshman Amanda Sacha (Lakewood, Ohio) placed third in a strong time of 3:57.69.

Bolger also posted a strong third-place finish for Ohio in the 800m run. Her time of 2:15.32 marked a new personal best for the junior.

Ohio now returns to the road to take part in the annual All-Ohio Championships April 11-12 in Cincinnati, Ohio.