Ohio - When
the 2012 Miami University men's cross country team opens its season Saturday at
the Dayton Flyer 5K Challenge, there will be several new faces in the field as
head coach Warren Mandrell has added eight newcomers to the lineup. In addition
to the distance runners, the RedHawks bring in seven other young men who have
been recruited for the 2012-13 track and field team.
The eight new cross
country runners consist of freshmen Matthew Dietrich, Zack McBride, Matthew Pelletier, Patrick Santino, twins Joe Stewart and Matt Stewart and Nick Vogele,
as well as redshirt senior Steve Kiplagat, who will work on his master's degree
while at Miami. Four distance runners hail from Ohio while three come to Oxford
from Illinois with Kiplagat a native of Kenya. All have the ability to push the
'Hawks to new heights this season with their fresh legs and strong stamina.
"We feel this class
of newcomers is very talented, especially on the distance side, and can really
contribute for us this season," Mandrell said. "I expect both our distance
runners and track and field guys to push our upperclassmen during the year."
McBride, a graduate from
Riverside High School in Painesville, Ohio, has already made a name for
himself. He was a two-time state finalist in the 1600m run with a best time of
4:19 and was an Ohio All-State cross country runner. Pelletier, a two-time All-State cross country runner from Berkshire
High School and Burton, Ohio, placed second and third in the 3200m run at the
Ohio Division III State Championship the last two years, respectively, with a
best time of 9:25.
Santino, a graduate from
St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, clinched second place in the 3200m at the
Illinois Indoor State Championship when he finished with a time of 9:17. The Stewart brothers join the Miami cross
country squad from Naperville, Illinois. Before graduating Metea Valley High
School, Joe placed sixth in the 3200m at the Illinois Outdoor State
Championship while Matt qualified for the same event with a best time of 9:28 and
made the Illinois State Cross Country meet.
Vogele comes to Miami from
Cincinnati with an impressive reputation, nationally ranked in both the 1600m
run with a personal best of 4:12 and the 3200m run with a best time of 9:01.
The Anderson High graduate's 3200m time would have scored at the MAC Indoor
Championships if converted to 3000m. Dietrich,
a native of Broadview Heights, Ohio who attended Brecksville-Broadview Heights
High School, finished sixth in the 1600m race at the Ohio Division I Indoor Championships.
The final addition
to the cross country team this season is Kiplagat.
A transfer from St. Lawrence University after finishing his undergraduate
degree last year, Kiplagat placed 12th at the 2011 NCAA Division III
Cross Country Championship with a time of 24:29, which would have placed him in
the top five at last year's MAC Championship.
Along with the
distance runners, Mandrell has added freshmen Jason Bailey, Adam Bodrick, Joey
Comisford, Paul Golen, Jacob Hensh and Peter Stefanski to the track and field
Bodrick placed fourth at
the 2012 Ohio Division I Outdoor State Championships in the 400m run with a
time of 48.92, which would have scored at last year's MAC meet. Comisford anchored Granville High
School's fourth place 4x400m relay team at the Ohio State Championship with a
time of 48.3. He also ran a time of 1:54.06 in the 800m, which was the
sixth-best time in Ohio in Division I.
Hensh, who attended
Laurel Highlands High, finished second in the pole vault with a clearance of 15-6
at the Pennsylvania State Indoor Championship. His vault would have scored in
this past season's MAC Championship. Stefanski,
a graduate of Marmion Academy, comes to Miami with an impressive record,
ranking in the top 10 in the country for his high jump of 7-0 at his sectional.
The Glen Ellyn, Ill. native also placed second in the high jump at the Illinois
Outdoor State Championship with a leap of 6-10, which would have tied him for
first at the MAC Championships. Stefanksi competed at the U.S. Junior Outdoor
Track & Field Championships in June, as well, taking fifth in the high jump.
Bailey placed third in the
60m dash at the Ohio Division I Indoor Championships while Golen qualified in both the shot put and discus at the Illinois
The RedHawks return
their entire cross country team from 2011 and only bolster their lineup with
the eight new additions while the six track and field athletes will add to a
strong contingent returning from Miami's 2012 track and field team that boasted
two individual MAC champs and placed sixth overall.