Track & Field |
March 1, 2013
It was only fitting that the UC vs. Miami University men's indoor track & field dual meet would come down to the final relay to determine which team would emerge victorious. The two were meeting for the 25th time since UC head coach Bill Schnier had proposed a regular dual meet between the two shortly after he arrived at UC in 1980. And the overall record in the first 24 meetings stood at 12 wins each.
The meet was held Friday at the indoor facility of Capital University in Bexley, Schnier's alma mater.
Prior to the meet, Schnier had reckoned Miami to be the better team on paper based upon the previous results to date. He estimated Miami to be stronger in distance runs and throwing events while he felt the Bearcats had the edge in the jumps, hurdles, mile and 3,000 meters.
For the most part, Schnier's prognostications held true. UC dominated the jumps, claiming 24 of 35 available points, sweeping the pole vault (led by Josh Dangel's 17' 1" mark) and taking the top two spots in the triple jump (Michael Nwankwo in first at 48' 7" and Chris Greene second at 47' 2.5").
Miami did likewise in the throws (12 of 18 available points). However, a surprise win by Josh Province in the weight throw with a 52' 2.5" effort may have been one of the biggest upsets of the day. He grabbed five of the six points in the throws for the Bearcats.
UC took six of nine points in the 60-meters hurdles with Dailyn Moore winning (8.07) and Bryan Cain finishing third (8.47). The Bearcats swept the 60 meters with Marquis Brookins finishing first (6.94), Darius Howard second (7.14) and Cain third (7.20).
Miami had the upper hand from 200 meters up to 800, taking 24 of 36 possible points. Gilberts' win in the 400 meters (50.00) would be the only one for UC in the 200, 400, 600 or 800 meters.
Miami's strength in the distances was blunted by standout performances in the mile by Oliver Book (second in 4:20.25) and Chase Beckmann (third in 4:21.09) and in the 3,000 meters by Colin Cotton (second in 8:30.00). The RedHawks were able to capture only 11 of 18 points in the distance runs.
"Big time marks were set by Josh Dangel in the pole vault, Marquis Brookins in the long jump and Michael Nwankwo in the triple jump," Schnier said. "Oliver Book surprised everyone with a second place in his first race in more than a year."
And so it came down to that relay. As the meet came down to the final event - the 4x400-meters - the team score stood at 65-61 in favor of UC. The relay would award five points and all would go to the team that finished first. If Miami were to win, the RedHawks would win the meet, 66-65. But the Bearcats team of Cain, Brendan Lyshe, Bryan Maldinger and Gilbert finished in 3:26.12, two-and-a-half seconds ahead of Miami. The points went to UC and with it the team title. Thus, a fitting end to the celebrated career of Schnier who will retire at the end of the outdoor season after 33 years at UC.
"No event highlighted our spirit more than the 4 x 400 relay which decided the meet," Schnier said. "Just when everyone was dead tired, our quartet of Bryan Maldinger, Ryan Wynn, Brendan Lyshe and Darnell Gilbert put the cherry on the dessert. We need more meets like this one."
"Often meets come down to determination and spirit," said Schnier. "Our dual meet with Miami was decided in just those ways. From start to finish in a meet which only lasted two hours and eight minutes, the Bearcats simply wanted it more. Both teams had lots of good athletes but the support for each other, typical of Beacats track & field, was in full bloom. It was a joy to see this team come together."