OXFORD, Ohio - Each crossing as the top finisher for Miami's cross country teams, sophomore Jess Hoover and redshirt senior Steve Kiplagat have been named Miami's Female and Male Athletes of the Week, respectively, for the week of Sep. 10-16.
Hoover (Hilliard, Ohio) was the first RedHawk to finish for the second straight meet Friday at the 6K Spartan Invitational, her first 6K of the year, finishing in 14th place in 21:45. She finished behind only runners from No. 11 Michigan, No. 13 Michigan State, Ohio State and one runner from Northwestern, as she finished 10 seconds ahead of Central Michigan's Krista Parks, who was the second individual from the MAC to cross the line among the three MAC teams competing. Hoover improved six places from last year's Spartan Invite even with a deeper field than the 2011 Spartan Invitational. She was running in a field of 309 individuals with 28 colleges and universities represented.
Kiplagat (Iten, Kenya) placed fifth at the Commodore Classic, hosted by Vanderbilt, Saturday, leading Miami to a runner-up team finish. Running his first 8K as a RedHawk, the transfer from St. Lawrence clocked a time of 24:47.34 to be Miami's top scorer. He was just 11 seconds behind the race winner in a talented field of 197 runners, trailing only a runner from Western Kentucky, one from Tennessee and two from 27th-ranked Eastern Kentucky, who won the race. The meet had a total of 24 teams competing, including seven SEC schools and two nationally ranked teams, one of which Miami beat (No. 30 Georgia was fourth), while Kiplagat helped the 'Hawks finish ahead of all seven SEC teams.
The Miami Athlete of the Week award is the first such honor for either Hoover or Kiplagat.
Both athletes are off this week but Hoover and the women's team return to action Saturday, Sep. 29 at the Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational in Chicago while Kiplagat and the men's harriers are back on the course on the same day at the All-Ohio Championship in Cedarville, Ohio.
The next Miami Athletes of the Week will be announced Tuesday, Sep. 25. For a list of previous winners, click here.