Rio Grande women finish runner-up at RSC Championships

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

EATON, Ohio — Perhaps the best way to describe the University of Rio Grande women’s track & field team’s showing at the River States Conference Championship was “small in numbers, mighty in effort”.

With just 10 athletes in uniform, the RedStorm recorded five first-place performances to post a runner-up finish, Friday afternoon, at the Eaton Community Schools Athletic Complex.

Sophomore Sierra Cress (Greenville, OH) led Rio’s showing with two wins and two other Top 5 outings to earn Field Athlete of the Year honors.

Cress won the hammer throw with a toss of 49.59m and the discus throw with a heave of 39.39m, while also taking fourth in the shot put at 11.12m and fifth in the javelin throw at 27.28m.

Senior Chanavier Robinson (Ravenna, OH) had two first-place performances and two other Top 10 showings of her own.

Robinson won the 100-meter dash in a time of 12.65 and the 200-meter dash in 26.26, while placing third in the long jump with a leap of 4.86m and 10th in the javelin throw with a toss of 22.16m.

Junior Chase Davis (Huntington, WV) won the high jump by clearing 1.55m, while posting Top 10 performances in three other events. She placed fourth in the long jump (4.85m), fifth in the 100-meter dash (13.59) and ninth in the javelin throw (22.30m).

Robinson and Davis were also part of the RedStorm’s 4×100 relay team — junior Taylor Tackett (Hillsboro, OH)) and freshman Lexi Bouska (Wellston, OH) were the others — which placed third in a time of 52.29.

Rio Grande compiled 124 points as a team to finish behind Point Park University (182 pts.) for the team championship. Carlow University was third with 112 points.

Others who posted scoring/Top 10 performances included freshman Kaila Barr (Waverly, OH), who was second in the hammer throw at 47.18m, second in the discus throw with a toss of 36.77m; and third in the shot put at 11.15m; Tackett, who was the runner-up in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:01.63; sophomore Samantha Miller (Greensprings, OH), who was third in the discus at 34.91m, fourth in the hammer with a heave of 34.98m and seventh in the shot put at 9.39m; and sophomore Kat Root (Old Fort, OH), who was eighth in the hammer throw at 29.76m.

The top three placements in all events and relays earned All-River States Conference honors. The top eight finishers in each event earned points for their teams.

Lexi Jackson of Indiana University Kokomo was named Track Athlete of the Year, while Carlow University’s Keri Lechner was named Newcomer of the Year and Jim Spisak of Point Park University was named Coach of the Year.

Also named was the Champions of Character Team. Nominated by their head coach, one member of each team was recognized for best displaying the NAIA’s five core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship.

Miller was the RedStorm’s representative on the list.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing