Sept. 29, 2011

OXFORD, Ohio - Looking to defend its title, the Miami University women’s cross country team runs at the All-Ohio Championship Friday, hosted by Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. The 5K race begins at 2:45 p.m., following the men’s race at 2 p.m., and is held at the King Cross Country Course.

Last year, the RedHawks ran away with the title with 43 points in a 39-team field while Dayton was second with 92 points. Miami lost its top two finishers from last year’s race, including Rachel Patterson, who set the course record and won the individual title, but returns its other three scorers. Sophomore Kate Carter (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was Miami’s third finisher a year ago, placing 10th, while senior Kelley Miller (Dublin, Ohio) was right behind in 11th. Fellow senior Maggie Bingham (Carmel, Ind.) rounded out the RedHawks’ scoring five in 14th place.

The RedHawks will face plenty of familiar competition at the 31st All-Ohio Championship, as local rivals Xavier, Dayton, Wright State and Cincinnati will all run at the meet. In addition, the Miami women will compete against Mid-American Conference foes Bowling Green, Kent State, Akron and Ohio. Several Division II, III and NAIA schools in Ohio will also run in the race.

In Miami’s last race, the Spartan Invitational Sept. 16, hosted by Michigan State, Bingham led the way by taking 16th in a career-best time. Miller was right behind in 14th place while freshmen Jess Hoover (Hilliard, Ohio) and Alex Chitwood (Carmel, Ind.) were 20th and 35th, respectively. Carter was the fifth RedHawk finisher, taking 40th. The meet was not scored however, but Miami faced MAC foes Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Kent State at the meet and would have defeated them if it were scored.

The RedHawks are ranked ninth in the latest USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Poll while Toledo, who is not running at the meet Friday, is the top MAC school at No. 3. Dayton sits at No. 7 in the regional poll while Ohio is 15th.

Following the All-Ohio Championship, the RedHawks have a week off before heading to the Penn State National Meet in University Park, Pa. on Friday, Oct. 14.