BUFFALO, N.Y. - With three runners finishing in the top 10 and earning All-MAC honors, the Miami University men's cross country team tied for third Saturday at the 2012 Mid-American Championships, hosted by the University at Buffalo at a cold and rainy Beaver Island State Park.
The RedHawks battled the conditions and totaled 73 points to tie Akron for third, as Central Michigan just edged both teams out for second with 72 points. Eastern Michigan won the MAC title for the third straight year with 59 points as EMU's Terefe Ejigu won the individual title in 24:44.5 while teammate Daryl Smith was second overall. Host Buffalo (105 points) and Kent State (164) were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the nine-team field.
"I thought the guys ran really tough. If they would have scored the meet after two or 3K, we were probably winning. The guys got out really well and went toe-to-toe as long as they could," head coach Warren Mandrell said. "Coming in, EMU was the obvious favorite and we lined up and got after it and maybe got after it too hard, but they were bold."
For the third time this year, redshirt senior Steve Kiplagat (Iten, Kenya) was Miami's top finisher, placing fourth in his first MAC Championship as the transfer clocked 24:56.5 to lead the way. He earned First-Team All-MAC honors by finishing in the top seven.
Senior Jarrod Eick (Hartville, Ohio), who was a First-Team All-MAC performer last year, earned Second-Team All-MAC this year as he was Miami's second scorer in eighth place, clocking 25:02.3. Junior Dave Wing (Naperville, Ill.) also earned Second-Team All-MAC as he took 10th in 25:17.3 as the third RedHawk to finish. The honor was Wing's first All-MAC award, as he improved 11 places from last year's MAC meet.
Redshirt sophomore Daniel Garleb (Pickerington, Ohio) and freshman Joe Stewart (Naperville, Ill.) rounded out Miami's scoring five as they crossed back-to-back with Garleb taking 25th and Stewart 26th. Garleb clocked 25:37.9 while Stewart was less than two ticks behind in 25:39.4.
Redshirt senior David Eichenberger (Plainfield, Ind.), who was a First-Team All-MAC performer in 2010, finished 27th in his final MAC race in 25:42.0, overcoming injuries the last two seasons, while redshirt junior Matt Marol (Evanston, Ill.) was 30th in 35:46.9 to complete Miami's top seven. Had the MAC broken the tie between the 'Hawks and Akron, Eichenberger would have given Miami third place outright as he finished ahead of the Zips' sixth runner, who was 38th.
The RedHawks next run at the Great Lakes Regional Championship Friday, Nov. 9 in Madison, Wis. where they will try to earn a spot in the NCAA Championship, which is Nov. 17.