’Hawks host annual Miami Invitatonal
Published: Friday, September 6, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 6, 2013 00:09
The Miami University men’s and women’s cross country teams host its annual Miami Invitational meet 10 a.m., Saturday in Oxford.
The race will mark the start of the season for the women’s team. The team chose not to race at the Dayton Flyer 5K Challenge, which took place last Saturday. The meet will feature runners from Ohio University, Division II Cedarville University, Division III Capital University, as well as Miami alumni and even the Miami University club cross country team, the Miami Striders.
After having skipped hosting the invitational last fall due to construction, Miami University women’s head coach Kelly Phillips said she can’t wait for the season to get underway, especially in this format.
“It’s the start for us so we’re super excited,” Phillips said. “Having alumni back will be fantastic; it should be competitive.”
Phillips said she expects strong performances from redshirt junior Melissa Girgis, juniors Jess Hoover, Anna Lamb, and Alex Chitwood and sophomores Laura Bess and Julia Valencia. She said she has a pretty good sense of where the team is at from training, but the Miami Invitational will give her the chance to finally confirm her beliefs.
Both Phillips and men’s head coach Warren Mandrell said the teams would benefit from the added edge on a course they’re familiar with. With no home football game scheduled for the weekend, the coaches also said they are hopeful they can draw a crowd of students.
Mandrell said his goals going into the invitational are the same as they were before the Dayton Flyer Challenge.
“We want to give another good quality effort, and keep the pack from one to five as tight as possible,” Mandrell said.
Mandrell said he is curious to see how freshman Kent Ford performs after not competing last week at the Dayton because of an injury. The Invitational will also be redshirt junior Dan Garleb’s first race of the year, something that Mandrell said he is excited about.
The men’s team will be looking to bounce back following a third place finish at the Dayton Flyer 5K Challenge.