BOWLING GREEN, Ohio—Miami University’s women’s cross country team placed four runners among the top 10 finishers at the 2013 Mid-American Conference Championship, which catapulted the RedHawks to their third conference title in six years, defeating three-time conference champion Toledo 45-48.
“They were awesome, they did such a great job,” said head coach Kelly Phillips, who was named MAC Coach of the Year as a result of her strong leadership this season. “They just ran smart, and it was awesome…I honestly didn’t think we had it at the finish because they (Toledo) had their five in before we did, but our top three really made the difference. But that last thousand (meters), our top six just got after it and it was so much fun to watch.”
Junior Jess Hoover paced the Red and White throughout the entire 6K race on Bowling Green State University’s Forrest Creason Golf Course, finishing third overall in 21:16.97. Redshirt junior Melissa Girgis was the team’s second scorer, taking fifth overall in 21:26.63. Both Hoover and Girgis were named First-Team All-MAC for finishing within the top seven.
Two other RedHawks were named Second-Team All-MAC, finishing back-to-back in ninth and tenth. Junior Anna Lamb was Miami’s third finisher in 21:32.63, while sophomore Laura Bess finished one second behind in 21:33.67. Junior Elisa Frazier was Miami’s final scorer, taking 18th overall in 21:58.56.
Lamb and Bess both topped three Toledo Rockets who rounded out Toledo’s scoring in 11th, 13th and 14th. These additional points thwarted Toledo’s hopes of earning a fourth-consecutive conference title.
“It was one of those races where it went exactly according to plan,” Phillips said. “We knew Toledo would go out hard, and the plan was to go out with them and just stay behind them and run a strong last thousand, and we did it. Everything went really well.”
Four other RedHawk women competed in the conference meet, including sophomore Julia Valencia. Although she did not score for the RedHawks, but was the team’s sixth finisher, rounding out the top 20 in 22:01.57. Sophomore Mattie Moncayo placed seventh for Miami and 36th overall in 22:34.87, while junior Brenna Poulsen was the team’s eighth finisher in 41st with a time of 22:50.38. Junior Alex Chitwood was Miami’s final finisher, placing 50th in 23:07.34.
The RedHawks look to continue their momentum from the MAC Championship into the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championship, which will be held Friday, Nov. 15 in Madison, Wis. If they earn a top finish at the regional meet, the Red and White will travel to Terre Haute, Ind. at the end of this month to compete in the 2013 NCAA Championship.