Kernersville, N.C. – For a third consecutive week, junior Jess Hoover led the Miami University women’s cross country team at the Wake Forest Invitational this evening. Hoover and the rest of the RedHawks finished third overall at Ivey Redmon Complex at Beeson Park after competing against a field of Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) teams and Mid-American Conference (MAC) rival Ohio.
As the team’s first 6K of the season began, Hoover immediately went out with the leading pack of runners from Florida State and Ohio, finishing first for the RedHawks and sixth overall in 21:19.60.
Hoover finished behind Ohio’s Juli Accurso and four runners from nationally ranked Florida State. The Seminoles cruised to victory at the Invitational with all five of their scorers finishing in the top seven.
“We knew that they (Florida State) would win it, handedly, and Jess actually went out with them which was fantastic,” head coach Kelly Phillips said. “She ran really well, but we should have been second.”
Juniors Anna Lamb and Melissa Girgis took 11th and 12th overall, putting the RedHawks in a good position to take runner-up. Lamb was Miami’s second scorer in 21:41.61, while Girgis finished four seconds behind to make her the team’s third scorer in 21:45.59.
However, there was too large of a gap between Girgis and Miami’s fourth and fifth finishers, resulting in a third-place finish with 84 points. Sophomore Laura Bess was Miami’s fourth finisher and 30th overall in 22:43.73, while sophomore Mattie Moncayo rounded out Miami’s top five, finishing 31st overall in 22:44.30.
Conference rival Ohio had a much tighter race with all five of its scorers in the top 25, earning it second place with 59 points. The RedHawks had met the Bobcats earlier in the season at the 2013 Miami Invitational. With all five of its scorers in the top ten, Miami would have won its season opener if there had been team scoring.
“It (the race) confirmed how fit our top three are, but our later group is much more fit than they raced,” Phillips said. “If we raced how we raced at our first two meets, we would have been a lot better.”
While not an overall victory for the RedHawks, Phillips said her team will use this 6K as a learning experience for the races to come this season.
“It’s fuel for the fire for Pre-Nationals and the Louisville meet.”
The RedHawks will train for the next two weeks, and will return to action for the All-Ohio Championship in Cedarville, Ohio Friday, Oct. 4 and the Greater Louisville Classic in Louisville, K.y. Saturday, Oct. 5. The RedHawks will split the weekend with half the team competing in Cedarville and the other half racing in Louisville.