ATHENS, Ohio – Junior Melissa Thompson won the 1,500m run and placed third in the 5,000 meters to lead the Ohio University women’s track & field team to a fifth place finish Saturday at the Goldsberry Track on campus.
Thompson earned 16 of the Bobcats 67.5 points en route to the team’s fifth place finish among competing Division I programs. Ohio State won the women’s portion of the meet with 212 points.
On the men’s side, Kent State finished first with 216 points, while Akron placed second with 190 points.
“I think the meet went very well. The performances by all of the schools were exceptional and some of the marks were of national caliber,” head coach Clay Calkins said. “We’re very happy to host this event every three years and hopefully that can continue in the future.”
Thompson won the 1,500m in a season-best 4:34.97, just two seconds off of her personal best. It marked the fourth-fastest time among MAC competitors this season.
“This was a physically and mentally tough race for me today,” Thompson said. “It was a very stacked 1,500m with some very high-caliber athletes. I love running the 1,500 and I’m happy I got it done today.”
Thompson followed up that performance with a third-place finish in the 5,000m run. In arguably the most exciting closing lap of Saturday’s action, Thompson found herself in eighth with just 400m remaining, but broke into an all-out sprint in the final half of the lap to pass four runners and grab the third-place finish.
The Westerville, Ohio, native was one of three Bobcats to earn points in the 5,000m. Freshman Kayla Scott (Canal Winchester, Ohio) placed sixth (17:48.85) in just her first time running the event, while fellow freshman Krista Roehlig (Uniontown, Ohio) finished in seventh place in 17:52.26.
“I loved the atmosphere and how competitive the race was,” Scott said. “I raced against a lot of the other runners in high school so going against them again was even more competitive with greater stakes this time around.”
In field events, sophomore Chanda Cuckler placed seventh in the high jump (1.63m) to earn 1.5 points for the Bobcats, while sophomore Janiece Rose (Franklinville, N.J.) finished 10th in the shot put with a throw of 13.19m.
A quartet of Bobcats also posted a point for Ohio in the 4x400 meter relay by finishing seventh in 3:59.68. The team was composed of senior Kiley Mathews (Cortland, Ohio), junior Kara Jackson (Bidwell, Ohio), sophomore Karissa Conrad (Lancaster, Ohio) and senior Danielle Winningham (Barboursville, W. Va.).
The Bobcats return to action next weekend (April 19-20) with a trip to Columbus to take part in the Jesse Owens Classic.