LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Junior Jess Hoover continues to pace the Miami University women’s cross country team through the 2013 season after placing first for the RedHawks at the Greater Louisville Classic this morning. The 5K meet was hosted by the Louisville Sports Commission at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park.

The RedHawks competed against a strong 32-team field, going head to head with teams from Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, Texas A&M, Tennessee and nationally ranked Vanderbilt.

The goal of the meet was to get ahead of some of these teams in order to earn points towards the NCAA Championship. Despite strong performances from all six of Miami’s runners, the RedHawks couldn’t beat all the teams they had hoped to.

“They ran well, they ran about where we were seeded, maybe a little better,” head coach Kelly Phillips sad. “They ran very solid, and I was hoping that we would knock off some of the other schools that were from different regions, but it is what it is.”

Hoover wasted no time at the beginning of the race, getting out in front of the 287 competitors that were crowded onto the starting line of the 5K course. While she wasn’t able to stay at the top of the front pack, she managed to keep within the top 15, and ultimately placed 8th in 17:31.05. 

“She was running with some really good competition, and a pack went by her after the first mile and she kept her composure, and she just competed really well,” Phillips said.

Junior Melissa Girgis also had a quick start to the race, keeping a strong pace through the end to earn her the 26th spot in 18:01.57. Teammate Anna Lamb fell behind at the start of the race, but managed to catch up and finish two spots behind Girgis in 27th with a time of 18:02.42.

“Anna (Lamb) passed 30 to 40 people on the last 1000 meters because she was so far behind, so she should have been up there and could have been in the top ten," Phillips said. “Melissa (Girgis) got out really well and just raced well all over, but yeah, Anna just got trapped and had to play catch up the entire race.”

A couple of sophomores rounded out Miami’s scoring five, finishing 42nd and 60th overall in the race. Laura Bess came in as Miami’s fourth scorer with a time of 18:22.43, while Brenna Poulsen was the final scorer for the RedHawks in 18:37.52.

Junior Mattie Moncayo was the team’s sixth and final runner of the meet, taking 65th overall in 18:44.36.

The RedHawks finished fifth overall among Division 1 teams, scoring 163 points. Kentucky and Texas A&M tied for first with 92 points, while Eastern Kentucky took third with 126 points. Louisville then finished fourth above Miami with 142 points.

The Red and White will have next week off from competition, but will then travel to Terre-Haute, Ind. the following week to compete in Pre-Nationals Saturday, Oct. 19.