Oct. 14, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In a final tune-up before the Mid-American Conference Championships, the Miami University women's cross country team ran to a sixth-place finish Friday morning at the 6K Penn State National Meet at the muddy PSU Blue and White Golf Courses in pouring rain.
The RedHawks totaled 211 points at the meet to claim sixth in the 29-team field. No. 19 West Virginia ran away with the title with 45 points while UConn earned second place with 70 points. The host and 20th-ranked Nittany Lions took third with 77 points while No. 26 Duke was fourth (91) and Grand Valley State, the defending Division II national champions, placed fifth (171). Miami did beat out the other two MAC schools at the race as Buffalo finished 19th and Akron was 21st while Penn was seventh behind Miami with 289 points.
Senior Kelley Miller (Dublin, Ohio) was Miami's top finisher for the second time this year, clocking 22:16 to finish in 26th place, after taking 32nd at last year's meet. Fellow senior Maggie Bingham (Carmel, Ind.) was not far behind, crossing in 31st place in a time of 22:22. She has been Miami's first or second finisher in every race this year so far.
"The women's race was loaded, which is great, but we didn't step up. We were solid but we could have been fifth or maybe even fourth if we ran great. We should have beat Grand Valley," head coach Kelly Phillips said. "It will be good though because it will light a fire under us going into the conference meet."
Freshmen rounded out Miami's scoring five led by Jess Hoover (Hilliard, Ohio) in 41st in 22:42. Elisa Frazier (Williamsville, N.Y.) was the fourth RedHawk to score, placing 55th in 23:00, matching a personal best, while Alex Chitwood (Carmel, Ind.) was Miami's fifth scorer in 58th place, three ticks behind Frazier.
"Elisa Frazier ran really well. She ran like a rock star," Phillips added.
Miami now has 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.--MURedHawks.com--