Cross Country places second and fifth in weekend races
Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 00:09
The Miami University men’s and women’s cross country teams were back in action at the Mel Brody Collegiate Opener and the Blue Grass Cross Country Invitational. The women’s team finished second behind conference rivals the University of Toledo in the Mel Brodt Collegiate Opener, while the men finished fifth at the highly competitive Blue Grass Cross Country Invitational.
The women’s team was facing an uphill struggle from the get go as many of their runners were sick entering the race. The main goal of this particular meet wasn’t necessarily to win, but to get a preview of the course that will be used for the Mid-American Conference championship.
Even though the women’s team finished second to a formidable opponent, head coach Kelly Phillips was quick to point out a mistake that she said cost them the win.
“Other girls came out faster than us, and we didn’t react early enough in the race, but these are mistakes we’ll fix come November,” Phillips said.
Junior Jess Hoover was again the fastest Miami runner en route to a third overall finish.
Junior Anna Lamb and redshirt junior Melissa Girgis finished in second and third for the RedHawks and both finished in the top-10 overall.
Hoover said she was pleased with her personal best time, but she also said there is room for improvement as the season wears on.
“I thought I did a good job getting out, and was happy with a new personal best, but want to work more on not letting the top couple get away from me,” Hoover said.
The men’s team finished fifth in a field that included the No. 1 team in nation, Oklahoma State University, and the No. 11 team in the nation, Eastern Kentucky University. The meet was the men’s team’s first eight-kilometer race of the year.
Eastern Kentucky managed to overthrow Oklahoma State and take first at the meet while the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky finished third and fourth, respectively. Miami was a close fifth behind Kentucky.
Despite losing to those four teams, Miami managed to beat rivals the University of Cincinnati and the University Akron. Akron was picked ahead of Miami in the Mid-American Conference preseason rankings.
Senior Dave Wing finished first for Miami in the meet while enjoying a personal record time that was well above his previous lifetime best. Senior Matt Marol finished second for Miami, freshman Stephen finished third and redshirt junior Daniel Garleb finished fourth for the ’Hawks.
Despite the seemingly low finish, men’s head coach Warren Mandrell said he was happy with the way his team finished.
“We knew coming in that it was great competition,” Mandrell said. “ We were pretty competitive, we beat a couple good teams and finished close to a few really great ones.”
The men’s team now gets to enjoy some time off from racing before the All-Ohio Championships Oct. 4. Mandrell said he sees this break as a chance to get some hard training in without having to worry about racing.
The women’s team will be travelling down to Winston-Salem, N.C. for the Wake Forest Invitational Friday.