RedHawks’ prepare to race Saturday
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 21:09
The Miami University men’s and women’s cross-country teams will compete in 5k races this Saturday rather than the typical 6k race.
The men travel to Cedarville, Ohio for the All-Ohio Championships and the women travel to Chicago, Ill. for the Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational.
Senior Steve Kiplagat has high hopes for the men.
“[The team] needs to go out and do our best; maybe we will win,” Kiplagat said. “It’ll take a team effort.”
Kiplagat has been near the front of the pack for the men early on, placing second and fifth overall in the first two meets. Kiplagat and senior Jarrod Eick have been the top finishers for the RedHawks thus far.
“[Eick and I] don’t challenge each other, we help each other,” Kiplagat said. “I do what I can do.”
Head Coach Warren Mandrell said numerous runners could emerge as the top runner for the men.
“Flip a coin; we’ll see who the top runner will be,” Mandrell said. “Any given day someone can be good — we have a close team.”
The men will face numerous Ohio schools, including defending champion University of Cincinnati.
Mandrell is confident with the team’s ability.
“Hopefully we are a contender; we’re right there in the heat of things,” Mandrell said. “I’m pleased with the how [the team] is racing; a large team keeps people honest.”
The women compete in an unfamiliar meet this week. The team typically races in the All-Ohio Championships, but Head Coach Kelly Phillips said the Lakefront Invitational would give the team better experience.
“We get a false sense from the All-Ohio Championships; we don’t get a challenge,” Phillips said. “Ohio State [University] and [the University of] Toledo don’t run their A team.”
Phillips and sophomore Jess Hoover said the women need to work on racing as a team.
“We are trying to run at the front and run together — it makes things easier,” Hoover said.
Phillips agrees with Hoover.
“We need to race better as a team,” Phillips said. “Three or four girls could be our top runners. Hoover believes she can do it. I expect Jess to lead the way.”
Hoover’s goal for herself as well as the team is to get close to the personal records they have set for 5k races.
“The team is in a position to do well,” Hoover said.
The competition is one of the reasons Phillips wanted the women run in a different meet, and Phillips said there would be some competitors in Chicago.
“Northwestern [University] and Purdue [University] are always good teams,” Phillips said.
Phillips also said Loyola University and Western Michigan University could prove to be good competition.
Senior Monica Fischer and junior Erica Howes have impressed Phillips this season and could have strong performances in Chicago.
“Erica Howes and Monica Fischer are running well,” Phillips said. “They are maturing into solid runners and that is fun to see.”
As for other top runners, Phillips said it is only a matter of time before they emerge.
“Others believe they can be top runners in practice, but they haven’t found it out in meets.”