Strong outings for RedHawk runners
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 00:09
The Miami University men’s and women’s cross-country teams competed Saturday, with the men placing second out of 24 teams in Vanderbilt University’s Commodore Classic and the women racing in the Spartan Invitational, a meet with no team scores.
“[I am] very happy with the team’s performance,” Men’s Head Coach Warren Mandrell said. “There was a pretty good field of teams.”
Team scores were not taken for the women, but the ’Hawks placed three runners in the top 40.
“All of the coaches count up scores after the meet anyway,” Head Coach Kelly Phillips said. “That’s the way it has always been.”
Phillips was happy with the team’s performance.
“Overall we were solid,” Phillips said. “Some of the freshmen ran like freshmen, which can be expected in their first 6k race.”
A typical high school course is 5k, compared to 6k college courses.
Senior Stephen Kiplagat led the men, finishing fifth with a time of 24:47.34. Kiplagat transferred from St. Lawrence University in New York and is a graduate student studying economics.
“Steve has been close to [senior Jarrod] Eick; they went back and forth,” Mandrell said. “That will happen during a 25-minute race. The team is well balanced, so we have a lot of guys switching.”
Eick placed 11th, recording a time of 25:00.85, 22 seconds off his best 8k race last season and 19 seconds back from the winner, Joseph Chebet of Western Kentucky University (24:41.72)
Sophomore Daniel Garleb finished 23rd at 25:18.21, a mark that is 30 seconds better than his best from his freshman year.
“[Garleb’s finish] was not a surprise,” Mandrell said. “We have been waiting for him to break through. He has had great track times and that translates well into cross-country.”
Junior Dave Wing, Garleb and freshman Joseph Stewart all finished within 18 seconds of each other finishing 20th, 23rd and 29th, respectively.
“Wing, Garleb and Stewart were together for most of the race and they pushed each other,” Mandrell said.
Sophomore Jess Hoover led the women with a time of 21:45, 15 seconds off her best race last year, also the Spartan Invitational. Hoover finished 14th overall.
“The race was slower,” Phillips said. “She raced awesome; the course was wet.”
Phillips is not concerned that the women’s top five finishers averaged 12 seconds off their best time from one year ago because of the wet course.
From both the men’s and women’s teams, there were only two freshmen that finished in the teams’ top five: Brenna Poulsen, who finished 38th, and Garleb for the men.
Hoover has been the top finisher for the women in both meets this year.
“[Hoover] is ahead; she is faster,” Phillips said. “She ran with All-Americans; she had a great meet.”
As for adjustments, Phillips put it simply.
“We’ll put it all together for Chicago.”