Nov. 15, 2003
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Junior David Mitchell (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove South) finished second behind Eastern Michigan's Gavin Thompson to propel Miami University's men's cross country team to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Saturday afternoon at Indiana State.
The RedHawks put themselves in position for an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships, putting three runners in the top 25. Mitchell led the way, crossing the line in 30:37, 25 seconds of Thompson's lead pace. Sophomore Dan Huling (Geneva, Ill./Geneva Community) bounced back from a 31st place finish at the MAC Championship on Nov.1 to finish 22nd as the second Miami finisher. His time of 31:07 was just ahead of senior Brian Godsey (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota East) who finished 25th in 31:08.
Each of Miami's top three finishers earned all-region accolades awarded to the top 25 finishers at the regional meet.
The strong Great Lakes Region features eight teams ranked in the top 32, nationally. No. 2 Wisconsin topped the field, ahead of No. 6 Michigan, No. 13 Ohio State and No. 22 Central Michigan, rounding out the top four, respectively. No. 11 Indiana finished just ahead of the Red and White in fifth, while the RedHawks, ranked 32nd in the nation, placed higher than No. 18 Notre Dame (8th) and No. 28 Eastern Michigan. Miami finished behind both CMU and EMU at the MAC Championships two weeks ago.
Sophomore Chris Swisher (Milan, Ind./Milan) and senior Steve Padgett (Cincinnati, Ohio/LaSalle) also scored for Miami, taking 36th and 56th places, respectively. Swisher crossed the line 10 seconds back of Godsey in 31:18, while Padgett finished in 31:51. Freshman Ryan Hutton (Columbus, Ind./North) made his regional debut, clocking in at 33:05.
By virtue of their top-two finishes, Wisconsin and Michigan earned the region's two automatic berths into the NCAA Championships on Nov. 24th at Northern Iowa. Thirteen at-large berths are awarded each year in addition to the at-large bids. Last year, seven Great Lakes Region teams received at-large berths.
Individually, Mitchell has qualified for the NCAA Championships, while both Huling and Godsey have put themselves in position for at-large bids, as well. Watch MURedHawks.com to see if the RedHawks can secure a team at-large berth. Selections are expected to be announced Monday, Nov. 17.