OXFORD, Ohio – With the first meet of the season exactly one month away, the Miami University men’s cross country team revealed its 2013 schedule, head coach Warren Mandrell announced Wednesday.
The RedHawks will run in at least seven races this season and could run in eight should they qualify for the NCAA Championships. Miami will compete in four meets in Ohio, including a home meet, which will serve as the unveiling of a new cross country course, while also traveling to Kentucky, Indiana and Wisconsin for races.
“We will go up against some very good teams early in the season,” Mandrell said. “We have some shorter races early in the year to help build up to the championship season at the end of the year. We’re very excited to show off our new cross country course and with the guys we have returning and also coming in as freshmen, we feel this schedule sets us up well for success at MACs and Regionals.”
Miami opens the 2013 slate at the Dayton Flyer 5K Challenge in Kettering, Ohio on Saturday, Aug. 31. It will mark the 11th straight year the RedHawks have kicked off the season at the University of Dayton meet (since 2003). Miami has won the meet two of the last three years and eight of the last 10 seasons, but was runner-up last year after being edged by Ohio State by three points. The Buckeyes will be at the Flyer 5K again this season.
The following Saturday (Sept. 7), the ‘Hawks will debut their new home cross country course at the 5K Miami Invitational. Miami won the meet in 2010 and 2011, but the race was not held last year as the old cross country course was under construction and the new one was being built. The new course is located off of Bonham Road, just past Yager Stadium. Alumni of both track and cross country are invited back, as well, to race and see the new course.
The RedHawks will run for a third straight Saturday on Sept. 14 as they head south to Lexington, Ky. for the University of Kentucky Invitational. The meet is being held for the first time in 2013 and will be run at Masterson Station Park, which served as the site of the 2012 USA Cross Country Club Team National Championships. Among the teams Miami will face at the race are defending national champion Oklahoma State, which also has won three of the last four NCAA titles, as well as Michigan, which was fifth at last year’s NCAA Championship. The race will also be Miami’s first 8K of the season.
Following a three-week break, Miami returns to the course Friday, Oct. 4 for the 8K All-Ohio Championship in Cedarville, Ohio, hosted by Cedarville University. The RedHawks earned second out of 44 teams at last year’s meet, despite missing their top two runners to injury. Miami last won the All-Ohio Championship in 2010 and will face several Mid-American Conference rivals at the race, as well as local rivals such as Cincinnati and Dayton.
The ‘Hawks travel to Terre Haute, Ind. Saturday, Oct. 19 for Pre-Nationals, which is hosted by Indiana State on the same course that will hold the 2013 NCAA Championship. The 8K meet, which features several of the top teams across the country, also serves as a final tune-up for the MAC Championship. Miami runs for a MAC title on Saturday, Nov. 2 in Bowling Green, Ohio. The 8K MAC Championship is hosted by Bowling Green State University, which last hosted the MAC meet in 1998 and also happens to be the last time the RedHawks captured the MAC crown. Miami tied for third at last year’s MAC meet in Buffalo.
The RedHawks will then look to qualify for the NCAA Championship at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Friday, Nov. 15. The University of Wisconsin-hosted meet, which is a 10K, will take place just outside of Madison in Verona, Wis. Miami just missed qualifying for last year’s NCAA meet after placing sixth out of 30 teams in the region. To clinch a spot at the NCAA Championship, which is slated for Saturday, Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, the 'Hawks would need a top-two team finish at the Great Lakes Regional while 13 at-large teams among the nine regionals also qualify for the NCAA meet. The top five individuals at each regional not on a qualifying team also advance to the NCAA meet.
Miami returns the majority of its team from last year, including senior Dave Wing, a Second-Team All-MAC performer last year. Among the other leading returners are redshirt senior Matt Marol and redshirt junior Daniel Garleb, who were both in Miami’s top seven at last year's MAC meet, and sophomore Joe Stewart, who was the Ohio Freshman of the Year last season. The RedHawks lose All-MAC runners Jarrod Eick and Steve Kiplagat to graduation, but bring in five talented freshmen to help replace them.