The Miami University women’s cross country team finished in the Wake Forest Invitational.
This was the first time Miami raced in the meet. It was also one of the first times in recent memory that the RedHawks fell to rival Ohio University, who grabbed the second spot in the competition. Miami hoped to finish second to Florida State University, who eventually won the meet with ease and is currently ranked number two in the nation, but that failed to happen.
Even with junior Jess Hoover placing sixth overall, the RedHawks experienced too much of a drop off after their third runner finished. Up until this race, Miami had been averaging about a minute span from where its first runner finished to when the ninth runner crossed the line. Friday, there was a minute and a half gap between just Hoover and the next three runners to finish for Miami.
Head coach Kelly Phillips said she thought running on consecutive weekends again could have played a role in Miami’s disappointing finish. Nevertheless, Miami still managed to finish ahead of ACC powers Clemson University and host of the meet, Wake Forest University.
Phillips said she thought the race provided her with some valuable coaching opportunities that could help the team later on down the road.
“It was a good coaching course because you can see everything with all the loops,” Phillips said. “It was set up for us to run well. We just didn’t seize the opportunity, but we’ll respond.”
Miami now enters the stage of the season where all of its races start to count towards qualifications for the NCAA tournament. Miami has two weeks off before it races again at the Greater Louisville Classic.
Hoover said she is upset the race didn’t go exactly as planned this week, but she is still very positive about the team’s chances for the rest of the season.
“As a team we had some big gaps, and I think we are much better than we showed, but we know what we need to do from here, and I know exciting things are to come,” Hoover said.