Photo by Kim Parent
By Grace Remington, For The Miami Student
The Miami University women's cross country team flew to Minneapolis last weekend to compete in the Roy Griak Invitational at the University of Minnesota. In their third meet of the season, the RedHawks placed 15th out of 37 teams. According to senior Jess Hoover, finishing in the top half is a good place to be when competing against so many powerhouses.
"If I had to sum it up, I would say it was definitely a positive result," Hoover said.
Miami faced several of the top teams in the nation. The squad finished only one spot behind Butler, who was ranked third nationally last year.
Head coach Kelly Philips added that her runners beat teams they have never beaten before, including schools from the Big 10 Conference.
"They ran really well, but I think we're even better than that," Phillips said.
Despite her confidence, Hoover seemed to agree with her coach.
"I still think we have more to show," Hoover said.
Hoover was first for Miami, running a 22:22 in the 6K. In a field of almost 400 runners, she placed 48th. Senior Anna Lamb came in second with a time of 22:54. She was followed by juniors Brenna Poulsen and Laura Bess. Seniors Melissa Girgis, Eliza Frazier, and Mattie Moncayo rounded out the scoring for Miami.
The hilly course was brand new to the 'Hawks, and having to run to 90-degree weather didn't help. According to Hoover, she and her team members joked afterwards about how much better they could have performed if they had been able to scope out the field before the race.
"Unfortunately, we didn't see the course ahead of time due to the late flight," Philips said. "But the girls competed hard and well against some great competition."
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In regards to gaining points that go towards bids for the NCAA Nationals, both Hoover and Phillips think Miami gave a decent showing. Though the list of qualifiers isn't revealed until the end of the season, Hoover and Phillips feel poised after outrunning talented teams from strong and weaker regions.
"It gives us a better idea of where we are," Philips said.
Varsity has a break this weekend, but the second-string squad will continue the season in Cedarville, Ohio at the All-Ohio Championships. The meet will begin 2 p.m. Friday.