KETTERING, Ohio - For the second straight year, Miami University senior Jarrod Eick captured the individual title at Flyer 5K Challenge, hosted by the University of Dayton at Indian Riffle Park, leading the RedHawks to a runner-up team finish in their first meet of the 2012 cross country season.
Miami, the two-time defending champion at the meet, finished with 39 points as the 'Hawks were just edged out by Ohio State, who totaled 36 points to take first. The host Flyers, who like Miami returned their entire team from a year ago, took third with 52 points while Wright State rounded out Division I competition with 110 points. Wittenberg, Cedarville and Urbana also ran at the meet but team points were separated by division.
"It was a very good effort for our first meet," head coach Warren Mandrell said. "It was really humid and hot and the humidity made it tough for the guys when it got steamy. It was tough conditions so I was pretty pleased with how they ran."
Eick (Hartville, Ohio), who won last year's Flyer 5K in 15:23.4, cruised to victory in 15:19.7 for his fourth career individual title. The RedHawks not only captured the top spot but went 1-2 in the race as redshirt senior transfer Steve Kiplagat (Iten, Kenya) was second overall, just three seconds behind Eick in his first race for Miami in 15:22.0. The duo finished three seconds ahead of anyone else.
"Jarrod took over the race about halfway through. He took the lead and never looked back. If he had to, he could've run faster because he sort of walked away when he made his move," Mandrell said. "Steve started going with him and tagged along. They broke away and created a bit of a gap so I told them to relax and cruise it in."
Junior Dave Wing (Naperville, Ill.) was Miami's third scorer as he took seventh overall in 15:36.7 while redshirt senior Brett Wagner (Toledo, Ohio) placed 11th as the fourth 'Hawk to score in 15:44.4. Rounding out the scoring five for Miami was freshman Zack McBride (Painesville, Ohio), who clocked 15:54.1 in his first collegiate race to finish 18th.
The Buckeyes were able to jump Miami with their fifth scorer as OSU claimed places four, five, eight and nine while their fifth scorer was 10th, which served as the difference maker.
"Dave Wing had a good last 1000m of the race because he passed all three Ohio State guys who were right behind him (in spots eight through 10)," Mandrell said. "He and Wagner were running behind that clump and he just moved right through them. It was probably the best race that Wagner has run in a Miami uniform, as well."
Redshirt junior Matt Marol (Evanston, Ill.), who missed most of practice last week due to a slight injury, was right with McBride, crossing one spot behind in 19th in 15:56.2, while freshman Matt Stewart (Naperville, Ill.) completed Miami's top seven in 21st place in 15:57.8.
The RedHawks are back in action in two weeks when they run their first 8K at the Commodore Classic, hosted by Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. on Sept. 15.