OXFORD, Ohio - After earning runner-up in each of its first two meets this year, the Miami University men's cross country team looks to pick up its first victory of 2012 Saturday when the RedHawks run at the 58th annual All-Ohio Championships, hosted by Cedarville University. The men's 8K race starts at 2:45 p.m. at the Elvin R. King Cross Country Course in Cedarville, Ohio.
Nearly 50 teams will be in attendance at Saturday's race, which features schools from all three NCAA Divisions and NAIA. Miami will get its first taste of Mid-American Conference competition at the meet, as league foes Akron, Bowling Green, Kent State and Ohio will all be running. In addition, local rivals Cincinnati, Dayton, Wright State and Xavier will be participating, as well.
The RedHawks finished sixth out of 45 teams at last year's All-Ohio Championships with 177 points while Cincinnati won the meet with 95 points. Miami does return all five of its scorers from last year's meet, however. Current senior Jarrod Eick (Hartville, Ohio) led the way in 2011, finishing seventh overall in 25:19.36 while redshirt senior David Eichenberger (Plainfield, Ind.) was Miami's second scorer in 26th place. Redshirt sophomore Daniel Garleb (Pickerington, Ohio) took 29th, redshirt senior Brett Wagner (Toledo, Ohio) placed 49th and redshirt junior Matt Marol (Evanston, Ill.) rounded out the scoring in 66th place as the fifth RedHawk finisher. Miami won the All-Ohio Championship meet in 2010.
In Miami's last outing two weeks ago (Sept. 15), the RedHawks captured second at the Commodore Classic, hosted by Vanderbilt, totaling 83 points to finish behind only then-No. 27 Eastern Kentucky at the 24-team race. The RedHawks finished ahead of all seven SEC teams at the meet, including then-No. 30 Georgia. Redshirt senior transfer Steve Kiplagat (Iten, Kenya) was Miami's top scorer, crossing in fifth in 24:47.34. Eick, who won the season-opening Flyer 5K Challenge Sept. 1, was second for the 'Hawks in 11th. Junior Dave Wing (Naperville, Ill.) took 20th while Garleb and freshman Joe Stewart (Naperville, Ill.) rounded out the scoring five in 23rd and 29th place, respectively.
The RedHawks enter Saturday's race ranked 10th in the USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Poll, which is the highest ranking of any team in the meet. Kent State sits at No. 14 in the poll while the Bearcats are 15th.
A live video stream of Saturday's race is available here (weather permitting) while results will be posted on MURedHawks.com. Following the All-Ohio Championships, Miami is off for a week before running at Pre-Nationals Saturday, Oct. 13 in Louisville, Ky.