Redshirt sophomore David Eichenberger was Miami's top finisher Friday, placing 11th.
Sept. 17, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Despite facing its toughest test of the season, the Miami University men’s cross country team rose to the occasion as five RedHawks finished in the top 25 Friday at the 8K Spartan Invitational hosted by Michigan State at Forest Akers East Golf Course.
Redshirt sophomore David Eichenberger (Plainfield, Ind.) led the way for Miami placing 11th in a personal-best 25:04. The next four RedHawks to finish all clocked in within 10 seconds of each other, running as a pack for much of the race. Sophomore Jarrod Eick (Hartville, Ohio) finished 19th in 25:22, also a personal best, while senior Michael Perry (Cincinnati, Ohio) was two seconds behind in 20th.
“The team had a very nice, solid race. Eichenberger had a great race. He had a very strong time and he got out and was very competitive the whole way,” head coach Warren Mandrell said. “The team tried to run the same sort of steady pace that we had in past weeks but it might not have been such a good idea at this race because there were so many teams on the starting line and it got awfully crowded early because a lot of the kids go hard and then die so it sort of clogs things up. David got ahead of our other group and missed the crowd a little bit.”
Rounding out the top five for Miami was senior Robbie Fisher (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) in 22nd in 25:27 and redshirt freshman Matt Marol (Evanston, Ill.) in a personal-best time of 25:31. The RedHawks had five runners cross the line before the top finisher for either Central Michigan (29th) or Bowling Green (41st), which were the only other Mid-American Conference schools in attendance.
“Our pack ran well the whole way through. Eick, Perry, Fisher and Marol all finished within just a handful of seconds. They ran together and we had five in the top 25. Our goal coming in was to put five in the top 30 so we did that,” Mandrell said. “Most of the guys ran a PR and we had eight guys under 26 minutes, so that’s a real solid accomplishment. I was very pleased.”
Other finishers for the RedHawks included redshirt freshman Blake Dircksen (Noblesville, Ind.) in 33rd, redshirt junior Chris Dennison (Aurora, Ohio) in 39th and freshman Dave Wing (Naperville, Ill.) in 44th, all of whom were under 26 minutes.
Michigan State’s Aaron Simmoneau won the race in 24:28 while the 18th-ranked Spartans placed three runners in the top five. Grand Valley State was the only other school to place runners ahead of Miami’s top finisher.
The RedHawks are back on the course Friday, Oct. 1 at the All-Ohio Championship in Cedarville, Ohio.