Miami’s cross country teams took another step forward Saturday at the Commodore Classic, hosted by Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. 

In races featuring nationally-ranked competition, the men’s and women’s teams would finish fourth and seventh respectively.

The men’s fourth place finish came nine points behind Lipscomb University and ahead of Ohio State University, Vanderbilt University, and University of Missouri. Sophomore Sean Torpy led the men by finishing fourth overall, dropping his personal best by five seconds to 25 minutes and eight seconds.

Torpy said that he owes his improvement from this year to last year to consistency and confidence.

“I have fully committed myself to the training plan and operate in and out of practice with a purpose,” he said. “These guys give me a reason to be better.”

The remaining scorers maintained a small gap, as the time between second finisher senior Ben Metzger and fifth finisher sophomore Christopher Torpy was a mere 11 seconds. Metzger’s time was 25 minutes and 45 seconds and was the 22nd finisher.

Sophomore David Coffey placed third for the Red and White with a time of 25 minutes and 49 seconds, a new personal best by two seconds. Senior Jake Brumfield followed, finishing 27th overall with a time of 25 minutes and 52 seconds.

No. 19 Middle Tennessee State just snuck by Butler University to win the meet, led by sophomores’ Jacob Choge and Kigen Chemadi second and third overall finishes. Sophomore Euan Makepeace won the meet with a time of 24 minutes and 39 seconds.

The women finished seventh overall with 147 points, only 24 points behind last year’s Mid-American Conference cross country champions Eastern Michigan.

For the first time in her cross country career, Miami senior Maria Scavuzzo broke 18 minutes in a five-kilometer race, which was 16th overall.

Sophomore Carly Davis ran her fastest cross country 5K race as a RedHawk with a time of 18 minutes and two seconds — 18 seconds faster than her performance at the Indiana Open.

Senior Alesha Vovk continued her strong redemption season by finishing 26th overall. After missing last year due to injury, Vovk ran another personal best in the distance, this time by nearly ten seconds.

Vovk’s motivation is leading her personal surge.

“I’m just trying to make the most of it and give each race my all,” she said. “I have a lot of goals to achieve during my last cross country season and I want to take advantage of every opportunity we are given to race.”

Senior Elise Brady and graduate student Allison Klonne also both set personal bests, Brady in 18 minutes and 25 seconds, Klonne in 18 minutes and 33 seconds.

Ohio State won the meet with 60 points, thanks to a 26 second-split between their first and fifth runner. The Buckeyes beat No. 14 Missouri and No. 21 Eastern Michigan, both of whom were hurt by the performances of their final scoring runners.

Two-time national champion and senior Karissa Schweizer of Missouri won the meet in a time of 16 minutes and 25 seconds, more than a minute ahead of second place senior Jordan McDermitt of Eastern Michigan.

The ‘Hawks do not have to travel far their next race, in fact, they do not need a bus. The RedHawk Rumble will take place on Miami University’s cross country course next Saturday, September 23.