OXFORD, Ohio – Miami University seniors Dave Wing and Matt Marol dominated the 2013 Miami Invitational Saturday morning, finishing 1-2 in the 5K race, which was run on the RedHawks’ brand new cross country course.
With sunnier conditions and a faster course than what the RedHawks experienced at the season-opening Flyer 5K Challenge last weekend, Wing managed to outpace Marol by two seconds, winning the race in 14:55.3, 44 seconds faster than his second-place time at the Flyer 5K. Marol then finished in 14:57.6, also faster than his 15:39.0 time from last weekend. The win was Wing’s first collegiate victory.
“Those were very good times, and they had a very strong race,” said head coach Warren Mandrell of his top runners. “They moved well late in the game and looked very strong.”
Following closely behind Wing and Marol were runners from the Miami alumni team, Ohio and Shawnee State, but three RedHawks took places 10-12 overall. Freshman Stephen Biebelhausen was Miami’s third finisher, crossing the finish line in 15:16.0. Sophomore Matt Stewart followed four seconds later as Miami’s fourth finisher in 15:20.1, while sophomore Zack McBride rounded out Miami’s scoring five a second later in 15:21.4.
With a total of 36 points, Miami just missed winning its lone home meet of the season, falling to Ohio University, who won the Invitational with 33 points. Shawnee State was third with 79 points, followed by Miami Alumni (116), Cedarville (134), Capital (181) and the Miami Striders Running Club (188).
While the RedHawks earned the top two spots individually, Ohio had all five of its scorers in the top 10, finishing within 14 seconds of each other and racking up fewer points than the RedHawks. Jarrod Genther led Ohio in third overall in 14:59.2.
Despite the runner-up finish, Mandrell was pleased with the faster times and improvement he saw from last week.
“We were actually a little tighter this week than we were last weekend, so that was a significant improvement for us,” he said.
Similar to the women’s race, six Miami men’s cross country alumni returned to race in the Invitational to celebrate the grand opening of the new Miami Cross Country Course.
Jarrod Eick, who is now a volunteer assistant coach for Miami’s women’s team, took fourth overall in the 5K race with a time of 15:02.6. Eick won the 2010 and 2011 Miami Invitationals when he was a sophomore and junior for the RedHawks. Other alumni who participated in the race included Fred Kieser, David Eichenberger, Kevin Rigg, Steve Kiplagat and John Strawser, who is the current vice president of the Miami University Red and White Club Board of Directors.
Prior to the meet, Miami officially unveiled its new cross country course with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Women’s alumna Rachel Patterson ‘11 and alumnus Don Kelly ’55 cut the ribbon while men’s alumni Bob Schul ’66 and Bob Hall ’71 held the ribbon.
Although the RedHawks have been practicing on their new course, the Invitational was the first chance for them to compete on the course, and was the first opportunity for family, friends and alumni to see it.
“I’m just so glad that Miami allowed us to do this here,” Mandrell said of the course, located on Bonham Road beyond Yager Stadium. “This is a venue that is as good as any in the country, and as it fills in the grass and everything, this is a venue that is a national-level venue. We’re sure glad to have it.”
The RedHawks return to action next Saturday, Sept. 14 when they travel to Lexington, Ky. for the Kentucky Invitational.