KETTERING, Ohio – Racing in humid and muddy conditions after an early morning downpour at Indian Rifle Park in Kettering, Ohio, the Miami University men’s cross country team finished third in the Flyer 5K Challenge, hosted by the University of Dayton. Leading the RedHawks individually was senior Dave Wing, who earned overall runner-up in Miami’s first race of the 2013 cross country season.
Miami, which placed second in the Flyer 5K last year, totaled 53 points. Ohio State won the race for the second consecutive year with 30 points, while IUPUI took second with 42 points. While Miami’s finish was its lowest at the Flyer 5K in the past 11 seasons, the RedHawks displayed impressive individual performances.
In particular, Wing and redshirt senior Matt Marol set the pace for Miami, keeping it close until the very end when Ohio State’s Jordan Redd won the race in 15:37.9.
“They actually ran a very nice race,” head coach Warren Mandrell said. “Both of them led at one time or another.”
No one runner seemed certain to win the 5K as athletes from Ohio State, IUPUI and Miami paced each other at about the same speed. It wasn’t until late in the race when Wing, Marol and Redd broke off from the rest of the group, indicating that the first runner to cross the finish line would most likely be either a Buckeye or a RedHawk.
About a minute away from the finish line though, an unlucky jump across a small creek hindered Marol’s chances at finishing in the top five.
“When they jumped across, Matt landed and the bank gave way and Matt went down hard,” Mandrell said. “By the time he got himself out of the water and running, the second group had passed him and he ended up in sixth place.”
Beyond the creek, Wing stayed neck-and-neck with Redd, but didn’t have a fast enough kick to overtake the Ohio State sophomore, finishing second in 15:39.0. Once Marol picked himself up from his muddy fall, he crossed the finish line in sixth with a time of 15:53.3.
Freshman Stephen Biebelhausen , sophomore Matt Stewart and redshirt sophomore Ryan Moncrieff ran together through their first race of the season, crossing in spots 14-16 overall, respectively, and rounding out the scoring five for Miami. Biebelhausen finished his first collegiate race in 16:09.9, Stewart finished a second later in 16:10.6 and Moncrieff crossed the finish line in 16:12.5.
In addition to Redd, OSU took places three, four, nine and 13, while scorers from IUPUI grabbed fifth, seventh, eighth, 10th and 12th. Despite the third-place finish, Coach Mandrell was happy with how his team raced, saying that the top 16 finishers all came from the top three teams, with the exception of Dayton’s Tyler Roeth, who took 11th.
“I think once we can get a couple of the other guys back into the racing, we’ll have a very good team,” Mandrell said.
Due to illness and injury, freshman Kent Ford, sophomore Joe Stewart and redshirt junior Daniel Garleb did not compete in Saturday’s Flyer 5K Challenge. RedHawks who finished the race but did not score for Miami included sophomore Zack McBride, who finished 21st with a time of 16:18.9, redshirt freshman Patrick Santino, who crossed the finish line in 23rd in 16:20.9, and redshirt freshman Matthew Dietrich, who clocked 16:56.0 to come in 60th.
The RedHawks return to action next Saturday, Sept. 7 at 10:45 a.m. for its own Miami Invitational. Miami won the Invitational during the 2011 season, but the race had a one-year hiatus last year due to construction on the course. The RedHawks will seek to win the 5K race on their brand new cross country course, located on Bonham Road past Yager Stadium. Several alumni will also return to town for the course grand opening.