OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami University men’s cross country team will battle for the 2013 Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championship Saturday morning. The RedHawks will complete the 8K race at 11 a.m. on Bowling Green State University’s Forrest Creason Golf Course.
The Red and White had a week off from competition last week, after competing at the 2013 Pre-National Invitational hosted by Indiana State University. Miami competed against 50 nationally and regionally ranked teams, finishing 44th overall.
Senior Dave Wing was Miami’s top finisher at Pre-Nationals, finishing 83rd in 24:29.65. Besides being the team’s top finisher for the fifth consecutive time, he was the first MAC runner to complete the race.
Wing has led the RedHawks in all five of their regular-season meets, earning the MAC Runner of the Week award four times this season. The senior will be looked to lead the Red and White in Saturday’s conference meet.
Following Wing, junior Daniel Garleb came in as Miami’s second scorer at Pre-Nationals, finishing in 197th with a personal-best 25:10.17. Senior Matt Marol was Miami’s third finisher, taking 239th in 25:22.96, followed by freshman Stephen Biebelhausen who placed 247th in 25:26.22. Freshman Kent Ford was the team’s final scorer after placing 302nd in 25:56.39.
The RedHawks were the second MAC team to finish the championship race at Pre-Nationals, following the Central Michigan Chippewas. Miami placed higher than Eastern Michigan and Akron, who were both ranked higher than Miami in the Great Lakes Region leading up to the meet.
Miami will enter the MAC Championship now ranked tenth in the Great Lakes Region, one spot behind conference foe Eastern Michigan who is ranked ninth. Akron sits behind Miami in 11th, followed by Central Michigan who is ranked 13th. Ohio is the final MAC school with a regional ranking, sitting in 14th.
In last year’s MAC Championship, the RedHawks tied Akron for third with 73 points. Eastern Michigan won the championship for a third straight time with 59 points, followed by Central Michigan who edged out both Miami and Akron for second with 72 points.
Alumnus Steve Kiplagat was the top scorer for Miami, finishing fourth overall in 24:56.5. Alumnus Jarrod Eick placed eighth overall in 25:02.3, while Wing came in as Miami’s third scorer, finishing tenth overall in 25:17.3. Garleb was the team’s fourth scorer, crossing the finish line in 25th in 25:37.9, edging out teammate Joe Stewart who finished 26th in 25:39.4.
The Red and White will return to action Friday, Nov. 15 for the Great Lakes Regional Championship in Madison, Wisc. Miami will race at 2 p.m. in an effort to gain a spot at the 2013 NCAA Championship November 23.