Xavier T&F Kickoff Outdoor Season At Early Bird Relays This Weekend

Head coach Ryan Orner believes that the scoring system used for the Early Bird Relays could favor the Musketeers this weekend.

Head coach Ryan Orner believes that the scoring system used for the Early Bird Relays could favor the Musketeers this weekend.

Live Results

March 15, 2013

CINCINNATI- The Xavier University track and field teams heads outdoor for the first time in 2013 as they prepare to compete at the Early Bird Relays at the University of Cincinnati this weekend.

This meet takes on a different approach than most track and field competitions. As head coach Ryan Orner enters his first outdoor meet at the helm, he has made it clear to the team the importance of team work. "I think it's an interesting concept because all too often in our sport athletes are just aiming to get a certain time or distance but they forget about the real reason we are out there which is to compete and to better your opponent. For this meet I've emphasized to the team that we need to work together in our pairs or groups and concentrate on being a great competitor rather than just hitting a time or distance."

Some pairings of athletes competing together this weekend to watch include sophomore Jake Dibattista and junior Craig Krcal in the javelin. Krcal enters the outdoor season healthier than when he started the indoor season, which concluded with him on the top step of the podium after taking 1st overall in the pole vault at the A-10 Indoor Championships a couple weeks ago, hosted by the University of Rhode Island. Dibattista also enters coming off a career performance in Kingston with a distance of 12.50 meters in the shot put.

Junior Tom Ohlman and sophomore Corey Zielinski will be running in the 1500-meter, both of whom ran top times around 3:56 in the 1500 last outdoor season. Along with Ohlman and Zielinski, senior captain Hank Geer and junior Nick Kobunski will also run in the 1500-meter, both of whom finished in 4:05 in the 1500 last season.

Senior Evan Betts and Randall Mitchell will run in the 110-meter hurdles this weekend. Betts holds the school record in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.03 that he set at the A-10 Outdoor Championships. Mitchell, a freshman, had a personal-best time of 15.15 in the 110-meter hurdles while attending Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C.

For the women, junior Adi Taraska and freshman Mercedes Oliver will partake in the shot put. Taraska set the school record in the indoor shot put at the A-10 Indoor Championships a couple weeks ago. Oliver, out of Cleveland, Ohio, participated in three events during the indoor season, all three being in the shot put.

A pair of freshman in Onya Edwards and Anyssa Juarez will compete in the long jump and triple jump this weekend. Edwards competed in the long jump five times during the indoor season, breaking the school record in the first meet of her career, a record that was set by Juarez just minutes earlier. Edwards has since broken her record twice.

Senior Rachel Clark will run in the 1500-meter for the women's side alongside juniors Abby Fischer and Clare Fischer. Clark holds the school record in the 1500-meter with a time of 4:27.39 which she set last May at the Cardinal Twilight at Stanford University. The Fischer twins come off strong showings in the long distance events at the A-10 Indoor Championships, finishing in the top-10 in both the 3000-meter and 5000-meter.

Sophomore Samantha Birchfield and freshman Christine Lucas will team up in the 400-meter run this weekend at UC. Birchfield had a top time of 58.23 last outdoor season, three seconds behind the school record of 55.70. Lucas, out of Park Tudor School in Indianapolis, ran a top time of 1:01.94 in the 400-meter during the indoor season.

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