KETTERING, Ohio - Led by freshmen and sophomores, the Miami University women's cross country team opened its 2012 season with a strong showing at the Flyer 5K Challenge, hosted by the University of Dayton at Indian Riffle Park, as the RedHawks earned runner-up honors. Miami's top four finishers consisted of three sophomores and a freshman while the squad's top seven runners included only one upperclassman.
The RedHawks totaled 38 points to place second while Ohio State, who is ranked eighth in the Great Lakes Region, won the team title with just 19 points. The Buckeyes claimed the top three spots, led by individual champion Meredith Wagner in 18:12. The host Flyers were a distant third with 85 points while Cincinnati took fourth with 108 points. Wright State came in fifth (153 points) while Cleveland State rounded out the Division I teams in sixth with 170 points. Cedarville, Wittenberg and Urbana also competed but team points were calculated by division.
Sophomore Jess Hoover (Hilliard, Ohio) paced the 'Hawks with her career-best fourth-place finish, as she was Miami's top scorer at the Flyer 5K for the second straight year, clocking 18:36. Classmate Elisa Frazier (Williamsville, N.Y.) was right behind in fifth place in a 5K personal-best 18:41. Her fifth-place finish was also a personal best.
Another sophomore, Alex Chitwood (Carmel, Ind.), was Miami's third scorer in eighth place, crossing in 18:48. Freshman Julia Valencia (South Lyon, Mich.) placed 10th overall in her first collegiate race, finishing in 18:57, while redshirt junior Monica Fischer (Cincinnati, Ohio) was right behind in 11th to round out the RedHawks' scoring five in 18:59.
Sophomore Anna Lamb (Granville, Ohio) took 12th overall in 19:00 while freshman Brenna Poulsen (Indianapolis, Ind.) completed Miami's top seven, as she crossed in 15th in her first collegiate race in 19:08.
The RedHawks are back in action Friday, Sept. 14 when they run at the Spartan Invitational, hosted by Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich.