Oct. 13, 2011

OXFORD, Ohio - In its final prep meet prior to the Mid-American Conference Championships, the Miami University women's cross country team runs at the Penn State National Meet Friday in University Park, Pa. The 6K race begins at 11 a.m. and will be run at the Penn State Blue and White Golf Courses.

Miami will be facing tough competition at the meet, going against 28 teams, including three nationally ranked squads. West Virginia is ranked No. 19 in the country followed by the host Nittany Lions at No. 20 while Duke sits at No. 26. Among the other schools the RedHawks will see Friday are Bucknell, Cleveland State, Colgate, UConn, Duquesne, Grand Valley State, who is the defending Division II champion, Hofstra, Lehigh, Marist, Penn, Robert Morris, Temple, Towson and Youngstown State. Also at the meet will be MAC rivals Akron and Buffalo.

In addition to the nationally ranked teams, several schools running Friday are ranked in the latest USTFCCCA regional polls, including Miami at No. 8 in the Great Lakes Region. Loyola (Md.) is No. 8 in the Mid-Atlantic Region while Lehigh is 10th and Bucknell, Penn, Towson and Duquesne round out the Mid-Atlantic top-15 respectively, in spots 12-15. UConn is No. 6 in the Northeast Region as well.

The `Hawks last ran at the All-Ohio Championships on Sept. 30 when Miami captured the team title in a 47-team field with 36 points, winning the race for the second straight year. The RedHawks beat out runner-up Dayton, who had 46 points. Senior Maggie Bingham (Carmel, Ind.) led Miami by earning runner-up honors in 17:58.11. Freshman Jess Hoover (Hilliard, Ohio) was the second RedHawk to score, placing fifth, while redshirt junior Jillian Dickman (Madison, Ohio) and senior Kelley Miller (Dublin, Ohio) crossed in seventh and eighth, respectively.

At last year's Penn State National Meet, Miami placed fourth out of 31 teams, compiling 155 points. The RedHawks lost their top two finishers from last year's race to graduation in Rachel Patterson and Amanda Mirochna, but bring back Miller and Bingham, who were Miami's third and fourth scorers in 32nd and 33rd place, respectively. Sophomore Kate Carter (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was Miami's sixth runner last year as a freshman, crossing in 57th.

Following the Penn State National Meet, Miami is off a week before looking to win its third MAC title in four years when the RedHawks run at the MAC Championships, hosted by Ball State, Saturday, Oct. 29 in Muncie, Ind.