Sept. 15, 2011
OXFORD, Ohio - Running on just six days rest, the Miami University women’s cross country team heads north to compete at the Spartan Invitational, hosted by Michigan State, on Friday at 1:35 p.m. The 6K race will be the RedHawks’ first of the year as Miami’s first two races of the season were both 5Ks.
Miami will face its toughest competition and largest field of the year Friday, running against Mid-American Conference foes Central Michigan, Kent State and Western Michigan, as well as the host Spartans. Other schools that will be racing include Ferris State, Grand Valley State, Hillsdale, Saginaw Valley State and Wayne State, along with several club teams and community colleges. The race will not have team scoring, however.
Last Saturday, the RedHawks hosted the Miami Open and easily captured the team title, totaling just 19 points. Senior Kelley Miller (Dublin, Ohio) won her first career race, earning her MAC Women’s Runner of the Week honors, while fellow senior Maggie Bingham (Carmel, Ind.) finished second and sophomore Kate Carter (Ann Arbor, Mich.) took third. Redshirt junior Jillian Dickman (Madison, Ohio), who placed fifth, and redshirt sophomore Monica Fischer (Cincinnati, Ohio), who took eighth, rounded out Miami’s scoring five.
The ‘Hawks return three of their top five finishers from last year’s Spartan Invitational, as Bingham was Miami’s third finisher in 21st place, Carter crossed in 24th and Miller was not far behind in 27th. Miami’s top two finishers, Rachel Patterson, who was the overall runner-up, and Amanda Mirochna, both graduated. Dickman also ran at MSU last year and placed 56th.
In the latest USTFCCCA rankings, the RedHawks remained at No. 8 in the Great Lakes Region Poll, while the host Spartans are No. 3 and CMU is just behind Miami at No. 9. Michigan State is also ranked No. 28 nationally in the USTFCCCA poll.
Following the Spartan Invitational, the RedHawks have two weeks off before looking to defend their title at the All-Ohio Championship on Friday, Sept. 30 in Cedarville, Ohio.