Oct. 28, 2011

OXFORD, Ohio - Looking for its third Mid-American Conference crown in four years, the Miami University women's cross country team runs at the MAC Championship Saturday, hosted by Ball State at the Muncie Elks Country Club. The 6K race starts at noon, following the men's race at 11 a.m.

The RedHawks won their first MAC title in program history in 2008 and repeated as champions in 2009. Last year in Kalamazoo, Mich., Miami took third at the 12-team league meet with 69 points behind champion Toledo and finished two points back of runner-up Central Michigan. Two-time defending individual champion Ari Fisher of Toledo returns to lead the Rockets in 2011.

The `Hawks return three of their scoring five runners from last year's race, led by a pair of Second-Team All-MAC performers in seniors Maggie Bingham (Carmel, Ind.) and Kelley Miller (Dublin, Ohio), who placed 11th and 13th, respectively. Redshirt junior Jillian Dickman (Madison, Ohio) was Miami's fourth scorer in 18th place while sophomore Kate Carter (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was the sixth RedHawk to cross in 26th in her first league meet a year ago.

Miami enters the race ranked No. 8 in the USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Poll, which is second of the five MAC teams ranked. The defending champion Rockets sit at No. 6 while Central Michigan is right behind Miami at No. 9. Ohio is No. 13 while Eastern Michigan ranks 14th in the regional poll.

In the RedHawks' last race at the Penn State National Meet on Oct. 14, Miami finished sixth out of 29 teams, which included multiple nationally ranked squads while running in pouring rain. Miller led the way for the second time this year, placing 26th while Bingham was the second scorer in 31st, as she has been either first or second for the `Hawks every race. Freshmen rounded out Miami's scoring five with Jess Hoover (Hilliard, Ohio) placing 41st, Elisa Frazier (Williamsville, N.Y.) taking 55th and Alex Chitwood (Carmel, Ind.) crossing in 58th.

Following the MAC Championship, Miami runs at the Great Lakes Regional Championship on Saturday, Nov. 12 in Toledo, Ohio where the RedHawks will try to earn a spot in the NCAA Championship, which is Nov. 21.