OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami University women’s cross country team will compete in its first 6K race of the season Friday evening at the Wake Forest Invitational in Kernersville, N.C. The RedHawks will race against a field of Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) teams at Beeson Park at 5:30 p.m.
After a challenging 5K race against Mid-American Conference (MAC) competitors Bowling Green, Toledo, Ball State and Eastern Michigan at the Mel Brodt Collegiate Invitational last weekend, the RedHawks will test their endurance Friday night, going an extra 0.6 miles to complete the Invitational’s 6K course.
“It’ll be interesting to see how differently we race,” head coach Kelly Phillips said. “I think we’ll race significantly better. I mean, we've been racing really well, but I think we’re a better 6K team just because we have so many 10K runners on our team.”
Miami will get a chance to take on ACC team Florida State, which is ranked second in the nation by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Red and White will also face a field of runners from Wake Forest, Clemson and Davidson.
The final competitor Miami will see in the 6K is conference rival Ohio. The last time the RedHawks faced the Bobcats was at the 2013 Miami Invitational September 7. Junior Jess Hoover dominated the team’s season opener finishing first, with teammates Anna Lamb and Melissa Girgis following in second and third. Now meeting for a second time this season, Phillips said she expects it to be a good race.
“The more competition the better,” Phillips said. “We’re only going to get better when we run with good teams. I think it’ll be great for them and for us. It’ll be interesting to see how the two teams differentiate in a 6K situation versus 5K.”
The RedHawks are coming off a strong performance at the Mel Brodt Collegiate Invitational where Hoover paced the team for a second consecutive week. She stayed close with the leaders from Youngstown State and Eastern Michigan, taking third overall in 17:11.91.
Lamb and Girgis had trouble catching up with the leading pack of the race, but managed to finish in the top ten. Lamb finished second for the RedHawks and seventh overall in 17:37.78, while Girgis took ninth in 17:40.98.
Sophomores Laura Bess and Mattie Moncayo were Miami’s fourth and fifth finishers, taking 13th and 16th overall. Bess crossed the finish line in 17:54.99 and Moncayo finished four seconds later in 17:58.33.
Following the Wake Forest Invitational, the Red and White will have a week off from competition before traveling to Cedarville, Ohio for the All-Ohio Championship Oct. 4.