LOUISVILLE, Ky. - In its final tune-up for the Mid-American Conference Championships, the Miami University men's cross country team ran to a 32nd-place finish Saturday morning against tough competition at Pre-Nationals, hosted by the University of Louisville at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park. The course will also serve as the host for the NCAA Championships in November.
Facing eight nationally ranked teams and a field of 40 teams consisting of entirely regionally ranked teams, the RedHawks totaled 762 points, finishing just ahead of Iowa, which totaled 782 points. Miami was also ahead of Cincinnati, who took 36th despite being ranked 10th in the Great Lakes Region and the RedHawks being 11th. Other regional teams in the race included Butler, which took 15th, and Indiana State, which was 20th.
No. 7 Colorado won the Red Race (seeded teams), that Miami ran in, with 72 points while No. 3 BYU placed second with 127 points. No. 15 Oregon, No. 14 Florida State and Duke rounded out the top five. A total of 64 teams ran at Pre-Nationals with the Black Race (unseeded teams) consisting of 24 teams. MAC foes Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan were 10th and 28th, respectively, in the Red Race, while Akron, Ohio, Toledo and Kent State were in the unseeded race.
Redshirt senior Steve Kiplagat (Iten, Kenya) was Miami's top finisher for the second time this year, placing 62nd in 24:10.0. Senior Jarrod Eick (Hartville, Ohio) was the RedHawks' second scorer, crossing in 110th in an 8K personal-best 24:35.2. Both runners missed the All-Ohio Championships two weeks ago with an injury while the duo has been Miami's top two finishers in all three races they've run this year.
Redshirt sophomore Daniel Garleb (Pickerington, Ohio) was third for Miami in 173rd place with an 8K personal-best 25:03.3. Rounding out the scoring five for the 'Hawks was freshman Joe Stewart (Naperville, Ill.) and redshirt senior Brett Wagner (Toledo, Ohio) in 208th and 209th, respectively, as both clocked 25:21 but Stewart was two-tenths faster.
Miami's other two runners in the Red Race were redshirt junior Matt Marol (Evanston, Ill.), who took 222nd in 25:32.9, and redshirt senior David Eichenberger (Plainfield, Ind.), who was 229th in 25:37.
A total of 272 runners competed in the Red Race with UTEP's Anthony Rotich winning in 23:01.0.
The RedHawks now have a week off before heading north to Buffalo, N.Y. for the MAC Championships Saturday, Oct. 27 at the University at Buffalo.