Men and women finish strong in MAC Championships
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 23:10
Miami University’s men’s and women’s cross-country teams participated in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championship Saturday in Buffalo, NY. The men finished third overall and the women finished second, but weather was a factor.
“The girls ran great,” women’s Head Coach Kelly Phillips said. “It was muddy, windy, freezing cold and rainy the whole way.”
The women were hoping for an upset of the nationally ranked University of Toledo Rockets, but they were satisfied nonetheless.
“We are very excited about our second place finish,” Phillips said. “Toledo was too good. Our group as a whole ran very well.”
The Rockets placed all seven of their runners in the top 15 and placed five of their runners in the top 10.
Phillips said earlier in the week her lofty goal was to have all seven of the team’s runners in the top 25 and the RedHawks were not far away from that goal. The ’Hawks placed five of their runners in the top 25. Senior Monica Fischer led the way finishing 10th. Sophomores Jess Hoover and Elisa Frazier, junior Erica Howes and freshman Brenna Poulsen rounded out the ’Hawks top five.
Phillips said one of the top goals for the women is running as a team and the ’Hawks top five only had 22 seconds between them. The women’s previous best spread was 39 seconds two weeks ago at Pre-Nationals in Louisville, Ky.
Phillips was satisfied with Miami’s performances.
“[The women] had a good meet,” Phillips said. “The men did well too.”
The men finished third Saturday but were one point away from finishing second. Eastern Michigan University (EMU) finished first and Central Michigan University (CMU) finished second. The ’Hawks finished eighth at last year’s MAC Championship. Both EMU and CMU placed three runners in the top 15 and five runners in the top 25.
“We ran really tough and competed well,” men’s Head Coach Warren Mandrell said. “We were winning at the beginning.”
Mandrell said some of the men may have started off too fast and fell behind towards the end of the race.
Redshirt senior Steve Kiplagat led the way once again for the ’Hawks finishing fourth overall. Senior Jarrod Eick finished eighth and junior Dave Wing finished 10th.
“[Wing] had a fantastic race; it was really a nice meet. He is a pretty good mud runner,” Mandrell said.
Wing was three seconds short of topping his season best time despite the weather. Mandrell was expecting Wing to have a good meet after returning from injury.
Mandrell said the undesirable conditions might have slowed Eick down because he is typically a better hill and distance runner.
Redshirt sophomore Daniel Garleb and freshman Joseph Stewart rounded out the RedHawks’ top five finishers. The men’s top five finishers had a 43 second spread.
The men and women compete in the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships Nov. 9 in Madison, Wisc.