CLEVELAND – Miami University’s men’s cross country team was tabbed fourth in the Mid-American Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, which was released Thursday. The poll was conducted by a vote of the league’s nine head coaches.
Three-time defending MAC champion Eastern Michigan was selected as the favorite to again capture the MAC crown. Central Michigan, which was the runner-up last year by one point ahead of the RedHawks, was picked second in the poll. Akron, which tied with Miami for third last year, was also third in the preseason coaches’ poll.
Behind Miami is Buffalo in fifth in the poll, followed by Kent State in sixth. Ohio was tabbed seventh in the preseason poll while Toledo and Bowling Green complete the poll in eighth and ninth, respectively.
The RedHawks will have a mix of old and new in 2013 as Miami looks to replace four runners, including Miami’s top two scorers at last year’s MAC Championship in All-MAC selections Steve Kiplagat and Jarrod Eick. Leading the way in 2013 will be redshirt senior Matt Marol, who was seventh for the ‘Hawks at the 2012 MAC meet, and senior Dave Wing, who was Miami’s third scorer a year ago. Redshirt junior Daniel Garleb and sophomore brothers Joe Stewart and Matt Stewart will also be strong contributors after scoring at meets throughout the season last year. The RedHawks add several talented freshmen to the mix, as well.
The 2013 MAC Championship is set for Nov. 2 in Bowling Green, Ohio, while Miami opens the 2013 season this Saturday, Aug. 31 at the Flyer 5K Challenge, hosted by the University of Dayton.
2013 MAC Men’s Cross Country Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Eastern Michigan
2. Central Michigan
6. Kent State
9. Bowling Green