CLEVELAND - Three members of the Miami University women's cross country team have been selected to the 2012 Academic All-MAC Team. Redshirt junior Monica Fischer, sophomore Jess Hoover and junior Erica Howes were all tabbed to the team, which the MAC announced Monday.
Miami's three recipients tied for the most of any MAC school on the 16-woman team along with Toledo. Nine of the 12 schools had at least one member represented on the squad. The trio of RedHawks also marked the most honorees for Miami since 2009, when the 'Hawks also placed three on the team.
The Academic All-MAC honor is the first in cross country for all three RedHawks and the first in any sport for Hoover. Howes garnered Academic All-MAC in indoor and outdoor track last year while Fischer received the accolade during the indoor season only.
Fischer (Cincinnati, Ohio) carries a 3.61 grade-point average while majoring in middle childhood education. She ran in all six meets this past season, scoring in five of them, including two as the team's top finisher. She earned Second-Team All-MAC in the fall after finishing 10th overall and first on the team at the MAC Championship in 22:00.6. Fischer was also first on the team at Pre-Nationals, taking 85th in a 6K career-best 21:27.7 against some of the top teams in the country. She was the team's second scorer at the Great Lakes Regional, crossing in 39th in 21:34, and at the Spartan Invitational, placing 37th against several Big Ten teams and other teams in the region. Fischer clocked a career-best 5K time of 18:27 to place 39th at the Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational.
Hoover (Hilliard, Ohio), who boasts a 3.84 GPA while majoring in finance and minoring in coaching, ran in all six races for Miami, leading the RedHawks in four of the races, while finishing second on the team in the other two. She just missed earning All-MAC honors at the MAC Championship, taking 15th overall and scoring second for Miami in 22:11.0. Hoover was Miami's top scorer and placed 39th overall at the Great Lakes Regional in a 6K personal-best time of 21:26 and was Miami's top finisher in both 5K races, claiming fourth overall at the season-opening Flyer 5K Challenge (18:36) and finishing 13th at the Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational in a 5K personal-best 17:58. Hoover also crossed in 14th as Miami's top scorer at the Spartan Invitational (21:45).
Howes (Fairfax, Va.) competed in all six races this season, as well, scoring for Miami once. The nutrition major, who has compiled a team-best 3.97 GPA, finished 18th overall and fourth on the team at the MAC Championship in 22:15.1. She was 108th at the Great Lakes Regional as Miami's seventh finisher (22:20) while clocking a 6K personal-best 22:05.4 at Pre-Nationals, taking 35th in the open division race. Howes posted a personal-best 5K time of 19:08 at the Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational and was 58th overall and sixth on the team at the Spartan Invitational (22:44).
To be eligible for Academic All-MAC, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least 50 percent of the team's meets. First-year students and junior college transfers in their first year of residence are not eligible for the award. The nominees are then voted on by the league's faculty athletic representatives.