OXFORD, Ohio - After a strong showing in its first outing of the season, the Miami University men's cross country team will see much tougher competition Saturday at the Commodore Classic, hosted by Vanderbilt at Percy Ward Park. The 8K race begins at 10 a.m. ET (9 a.m. local).
In all, 25 teams will be competing at the meet, with the course also serving as the host for the SEC Championships next month. A total of seven SEC teams are scheduled to run, including the host Commodores. Also in attendance out of the SEC are No. 30 Georgia, Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Tennessee. No. 27 Eastern Kentucky is also running, along with Cincinnati, Marshall, Memphis and Western Kentucky, as well as several other schools located in Tennessee and in the South.
Saturday's meet will be Miami's first 8K of the year and also its first time ever running in the Commodore Classic. The RedHawks did win the LSU Invitational last year however, which also included SEC competition. Several of the teams Miami will see at Vanderbilt are ranked regionally as well, with Georgia and Mississippi State ranking in the top five in the South Region and EKU and WKU both in the top 10 in the Southeast Region.
The 'Hawks opened the 2012 season on Sept. 1 at the Flyer 5K Challenge, hosted by the University of Dayton. Miami finished second out of seven teams at the meet with 39 points, as the RedHawks were just edged out by Ohio State, who finished with 36. Miami was 13 points better than the host Flyers, who nabbed third. Senior Jarrod Eick (Hartville, Ohio) captured the individual title for the second straight year and was named Mid-American Conference Runner of the Week for his efforts. Redshirt senior transfer Steve Kiplagat (Iten, Kenya) performed well in his first race for the Red and White, taking second overall, three seconds behind Eick.
Junior Dave Wing (Naperville, Ill.) was Miami's third scorer at Dayton, placing seventh overall, while redshirt senior Brett Wagner (Toledo, Ohio) crossed in 11th overall. Freshman Zack McBride (Painesville, Ohio) rounded out Miami's scoring five in his first collegiate race, finishing 18th. A total of three RedHawks ran their first collegiate race at the Flyer 5K while Joe Stewart (Naperville, Ill.) is scheduled to make his Miami debut Saturday.
Following the Commodore Classic, the RedHawks next run Saturday, Sept. 29 at the All-Ohio Championship in Cedarville, Ohio.