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RedHawks finish strong at regionals

By Justin Maskulinski
On November 12, 2012

This cross-country season has taken the Miami University men's and women's teams many different places in the Midwest and both teams ended their season in Verona, Wisc.

The men finished sixth in the region out of 30 teams and Head Coach Warren Mandrell was proud of the men's performance.

"I am very pleased," Mandrell said. "We tied the highest Miami finish in regionals in twenty years."

The men were ranked twelfth in the region and finished in front of The Ohio State University.

"It was a lot of fun to beat Ohio State," Mandrell said.

Finishing first for the RedHawks was redshirt senior front-runner Steve Kiplagat, who finished 25th overall. Although the 'Hawks did not advance to the National Championship, Kiplagat was very close to advancing individually.

"We're guessing he'll be the seventh individual not on an advancing team and he needed to be fourth," Mandrell said.

Kiplagat's top-25 performance earned him First Team All-Great Lakes Region honors.

Finishing second for the 'Hawks was senior Jarrod Eick. He was followed by junior Dave Wing, redshirt sophomore Daniel Garleb and freshman Joe Stewart.

The men will be losing Eick and Kiplagat to graduation and they will be missed. In every race the two seniors competed in they finished first and second for the 'Hawks.

"The seniors provided good leadership, it's been a lot of fun," Mandrell said.

The women finished tenth out of 32 teams and were satisfied with their final race.

"We were hoping for a little higher, but we only had two runners who have run at regionals before," sophomore Jess Hoover said. "It was a solid race considering we are mostly freshmen and sophomores. We were probably where we should've been."

Hoover led the 'Hawks with a personal record (PR) time of 21:26 and finished 39th overall.

"I was shooting for the top-25 but last year I was 70th so this was an improvement," Hoover said. "A PR is a PR, I'm happy."

Redshirt junior Monica Fischer finished second for the RedHawks' and 51st overall. Sophomore Elisa Frazier finished 67th and freshmen Brenna Poulsen and Julia Valencia both set personal records and finished 73st and 76th respectively.

The goal all year has been to run together and finish together. On Saturday the top five runners finished with a 30 second difference. In a field of 218 runners, the 'Hawks top finisher and fifth finisher were 37 places apart.

"We're really satisfied that we could do that at a big meet," Hoover said.

The youth of the RedHawks has been the center of the team this year. Of the 21 runners on the roster, 15 of them are freshmen or sophomores. Fischer will be missed by the 'Hawks. She finished first for the RedHawks in two of the last three meets.

"We're really going to miss Monica," Hoover said. "She will do anything she can to do her best. I've enjoyed being a captain with her."

The young women's team will be one year older when next fall arrives and Hoover is ready.

"We have a lot to look forward to next year, it's exciting, Hoover said."

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