PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Katie Browning and Madison Oiler picked up major awards and Tyanna Petty-Craft earned two of the seven first-place finishes by the University of Rio Grande women as the RedStorm recorded a runner-up showing in the River States Conference Track & Field Championships, Friday afternoon, at the RMU Island Sports Center.
Rio Grande finished with 166 points on the day, 44 behind champion Point Park University’s tally of 210.
Ohio Christian University captured third place with 151 points.
The top six finishers in each event scored points toward the team totals, while the top three finishers in each event were named All-Conference.
Browning, a senior from Athens, Ohio, was named Outstanding Field Athlete of the Year after winning the pole vault with an effort of 3.35m, finishing second in both the high jump (1.55m) and long jump (5.26m) and placing fourth in the 100-meter dash (12.98).
Oiler, a freshman from Gallipolis, Ohio, was named Newcomer of the Year and was also Rio’s representative on the league’s Champions of Character Team. She hit “A” qualifying mark for next month’s NAIA national championship by winning the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 1:03.01, took second place in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.88 and was fourth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.55.
Oiler and Browning were also part of Rio’s 4×100 relay team — along with freshmen Rachael Barber (Ashland, Ky.) and Amirah Strauther (Pickerington, OH) — which finished second in a time of 50.16.
Oiler also ran a leg for the RedStorm’s 4×400 relay team, as did Barber, freshman Taylor Tackett (Hillsboro, OH) and senior Keri Lawrence (Pomeroy, OH). The quartet finished third after crossing in a time of 4:13.59.
Petty-Craft, a senior from Somerset, Ohio, who was coming off a win in the Women’s College Division heptathlon at the Penn Relays just two days earlier, won the 100-meter hurdles — and hit the national “B” qualifying mark — in a school record time of 14.85.
She also won the high jump with an effort of 1.60m, while finishing second in the javelin throw with a toss of 27.90.
Rio had three other individual first-place finishes.
Lawrence won the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 12:49.22; freshman Alexis McJunkins (Heath, OH) was first in the shot put with a heave covering 12.22m; and sophomore Natalie Seeberg (Urbana, OH) took top honors in the hammer throw with a toss of 39.60m.
The RedStorm’s other scoring finishes came from Strauther, who was second in the 100 hurdles with a time of 14.92, fifth in the high jump with an effort of 1.50m and sixth in the 100 with a time of 13.19; junior Taylor Grubb (Thornville, OH), who was the runner-up in the 5,000-meter race walk with a time of 42:14.67; junior Alexis Johnson-Schoolcraft (Mercerville, OH), who was third in the hammer throw with an effort covering 33.63m and sixth in the discus throw with a toss of 24.47m; Seeber, who took fourth in the discus with a throw of 30.16m, fifth in the shot put at 9.66m and sixth in the javelin with a mark of 21.64m; Tackett, who was fifth in the 400-meter run with a time of 1:01.97; Barber, who placed fifth in the 100 with a time of 12.96 and sixth in the triple jump with a leap of 8.92m; and senior Emili Sannes (Carlisle, OH), who was sixth in the 10,000-meter run after finishing in 46:46.23.
Rio’s 4×800 relay team — comprised of Grubb, Sannes and the sophomore duo of Reaghan Haines (Hillsboro, OH) and Kelsey Miller (Georgetown, OH) — recorded a fourth place finish with a time of 12:05.22.
A handful of RedStorm athletes will return to action when they participate in the Ohio Open hosted by Ohio University on Friday.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.