Sept. 9, 2011

OXFORD, Ohio - Running on their home course for the only time this season, the Miami University men's and women's cross country teams host the Miami Open Saturday on Miami's Western Campus. The women's 5K race starts the day at 10 a.m. while the men's 8K race follows at 10:30 a.m.

Miami's cross country course starts and finishes behind Bachelor Hall on the corner of state route 73 and highway 27 (Patterson Ave.) while the rest of the route winds through Miami's scenic Western Campus. Competing in the women's race along with Miami will be Mid-American Conference foe Ball State, Rio Grande and Wheeling Jesuit while on the men's side, the RedHawks will be joined by Cedarville, Rio Grande and Wheeling Jesuit. Both races will be scored. Some Miami cross country alumni are also expected to be in attendance and may run in the race as well.

Last Saturday, the men's team opened its 2011 campaign with a victory at the Flyer 5K Challenge, hosted by the University of Dayton. It was the second straight year the `Hawks won the meet and eighth time in the last nine seasons as Miami totaled 29 points to finish 11 points ahead of the host Flyers in a five-team field. Junior Jarrod Eick (Hartville, Ohio) led the way as he captured the individual title for his second career victory - his other coming at last year's Miami Invitational. Sophomore Dave Wing (Naperville, Ill.) was Miami's second finisher, placing third overall, while redshirt junior David Eichenberger (Plainfield, Ind.) took sixth overall. Sophomore Daniel Garleb (Pickerington, Ohio) and freshman Ryan Moncrieff (Hawthorn Woods, Ill.) rounded out Miami's scoring five.

The women's team also kicked off its 2011 season Saturday at the Flyer 5K Challenge, taking second, despite resting four of its top runners for the Miami Open. The RedHawks totaled 46 points in the six-team field while host Dayton won the meet. Freshman Jess Hoover (Hilliard, Ohio) paced Miami by finishing fifth while classmates Alex Chitwood (Carmel, Ind.) and Mattie Moncayo (Lexington, Ohio) were the next two RedHawks to cross the finish line in 10th and 11th place, respectively.

At last year's home meet, the Miami men ran away with the team title with 18 points, led by Eick's first-place finish, while Cedarville was second with 52 points. Eichenberger was Miami's fourth finisher last year, placing fifth overall, while Wing was the eighth RedHawk finisher, taking 15th in his freshman season. Miami's second and fifth finishers from a year ago both graduated (Michael Perry and Robbie Fisher) while redshirt sophomore Matt Marol (Evanston, Ill.), who was the third `Hawk to finish, placing fourth, is out with an injury. Garleb and Moncrieff will look to fill in for the missing scorers from last year's first-place team.

On the women's side at last year's Miami Invitational, the RedHawks placed second while resting its top seven runners, finishing behind Dayton with 60 points while the Flyers had just 15 points. At this year's meet, Miami's top runners will make their season debut as seniors Maggie Bingham (Carmel, Ind.) and Kelley Miller (Dublin, Ohio), redshirt junior Jillian Dickman (Madison, Ohio) and sophomore Kate Carter (Ann Arbor, Mich.) are all scheduled to run for the RedHawks after sitting out the Flyer 5K Challenge.

Following the Miami Open, the RedHawk women have just six days before running in the Spartan Invitational, hosted by Michigan State, at 1:35 p.m. on Friday, Sep. 16. The Miami men have two weeks off before returning to action Saturday, Sep. 24 at the LSU Invitational in Baton Rouge, La. at 10:45 a.m. ET.

--MURedHawks.com--