Women's Cross Country/Track and Field Signs Nine to National Letters of Intent
muredhawks.com Rich Ceronie Rich Ceronie

July 19, 2007

OXFORD, Ohio--Head women's cross country/track and field coach Rich Ceronie announced the signing of nine student-athletes to national letters of intent for the 2007-08 season. Four of the runners will compete on both the cross country and track and field teams, while five others at set to join the track and field program. The athletes come to Oxford from across the region with four from Ohio, two from Indiana, and one each from Illinois, Michigan and Delaware.

Jillian Black (Canton, Ohio/Glen Oak), Katie Lenahan (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mother of Mercy), Rachel Patterson (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams) and Julianna Roche (Fort Wayne, Ind./Cantebury) will run cross country and track for the RedHawks, while Hope Alexander (Wilmington, Del./Tower Hill), Simone Culver (Canal Winchester, Ohio/Harvest Prep), Alexia DeWitz (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove), Ruth Rasch (Bellbrook, Ohio/Bellbrook) and Magdalena Wikar (Winnetka, Ill./New Trier) will participate in track and field for Miami.

"This is a solid group of incoming student-athletes who meet the highly selective nature of Miami University's academic expectations. They also have competed at a high level during their high school careers." said Ceronie. "Our recruiting focus was to improve the distance side while strengthening select events on the track side. We were able to accomplished both goals."

The first of the RedHawks' four cross country signees is Black, who also ran long sprints at Glen Oak High School. She improved from 21st to 15th place in the state cross country race from her junior to her senior years with a time of 18:49 in her final outing. Black also finished sixth in Ohio as a member of the Glen Oak all-state 4x800 relay team.

Another incoming cross country runner is Lenahan, who made back-to-back trips to the Ohio Cross Country Championships, finishing 31st as a senior in 19:16. At Mother of Mercy High School, she also had much success as a member of the track team where she finished third at state in the 800 meters as a junior. As a senior, Lenahan won district and regional titles in the 800. She went on to place fourth in the state in a time of 2:12, three seconds better than her junior year time.

The lone runner from Michigan, Patterson finished second in the state cross country meet to lead Adams high School to a state title. Patterson was the top senior finisher, clocking a time of 17:52. She also was an all-state track selection as a junior, finishing sixth in the 3200 meters in 11:00.

The final cross country newcomer to Miami is Roche, who posted a time of 14:50 to finish fifth in the 4000 meters at the semi-state cross country championship for Cantebury High School. She went on to finish 35th at the state championship as a senior. Roche finished fourth in the 3200 meters in 11:00 as a senior and earned all-state honors as a junior after clocking a time of 11:07 in the event.

The first jumper inked by the RedHawks is Alexander, the lone athlete of the nine from Delaware out of Tower Hill High School. During her senior year, Alexander won the state title in the long jump (17-4) and captured her second straight triple jump state title (37-11). She also was the indoor state runner-up in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump in 2006-07. After graduation, Alexander qualified for the Nike Outdoor National meet.

A sprinter and hurdler from Harvest Preparatory School coming to Oxford in the fall is Culver, who won the Ohio Division III state title in the 100-meter hurdles (14.65) after finishing fifth as a junior. She also qualified for the semifinals of the 300-meter hurdles and participated on the school's 4x200 relay team that advanced to the state meet.

Another hurdler set to run for Miami is DeWitz, from Center Grove High School. In consecutive years, she qualified for the Indiana state meet in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing 10th as a junior and 12th as a senior.

The final runner inked by the RedHawks is Rasch, a sprinter from Bellbrook High School. As a junior, she finished ninth at the Ohio state meet in the 400 meters (58.5) and improved her time to 57.5 as a senior.

The lone newcomer from Illinois is Wikar, a horizontal jumper from New Trier High School. During her junior year, she finished eighth at the state meet in the long jump with a jump of 17-9, but improved to 18-4 as a senior which placed 11th at state. She also competed in the triple jump where she jumped 37-0 during the indoor season.

"Every single one of our incoming athletes has an opportunity to contribute right away, and that is the expectation we have for them," Ceronie said. "They are all great people and will fit well into our team concept."

Hope Alexander: Horizontal jumper ... Delaware prep athlete from Tower Hill High School ... won state titles in both the long jump (17-4) and triple jump (37-11) as a senior ... qualified for the Nike Outdoor National meet after graduation ... state runner-up in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump (indoors) ... won state title in triple jump as a junior.

Jillian Black: Cross country runner and long sprinter ... Ohio prep athlete from Glen Oak High School ... finished 21st in the state as a junior and 15th as a senior in cross country ... ran leg on all-state 4x800 team that finished sixth in state.

Simone Culver: Hurdler and sprinter ... Ohio prep athlete from Harvest Preparatory School ... won Division III state title in 100 hurdles as a senior and made semifinals of the 300 hurdles ... ran leg of the 4x200 relay that qualified for state.

Alexia DeWitz: Hurdler ... Indiana prep athlete from Center Grove High School ... finished 10th as a junior and 12th as a senior in the 100 hurdles at state.

Katie Lenahan: Cross country runner and long sprinter ... Ohio prep athlete from Mother of Mercy High School ... finished third as a junior and fourth as a senior in the 800 meters ... won district and regional titles in the 800 as a senior ... placed 31st in the state in the cross country championships as a senior.

Rachel Patterson: Cross country runner and distance runner ... Michigan prep athlete from Adams High School ... finished second in cross country state meet as a senior ... selected to the all-state track team as a junior ... placed sixth in the state in the 3200 meters junior year.

Ruth Rasch: Sprinter ... Ohio prep athlete from Bellbrook High School ... finished ninth in state in the 400 meters as a junior (58.5) ... improved time to 57.5 as a senior.

Julianna Roche: Cross country runner and distance runner ... Indiana prep athlete from Cantebury High School ... finished 35th at the cross country state championship in the 4000 meters as a senior ... placed fifth in the semi-state cross country championship in the 4000 ... finished as the top senior in the 3200, placing fourth ... selected to all-state track team as a junior.

Magdalena Wikar: Horizontal jumper ... Illinois prep athlete from New Trier High School ... finished eighth at state in the long jump as a junior (17-9) ... placed 11th in state long jump as a senior but improved to 18-4 ... jumped 37-0 in the triple jump indoors as a senior.

Hope Alexander (Wilmington, Del./Tower Hill) - Horizontal Jumps
Jillian Black (Canton, Ohio/Glen Oak) - Cross Country/Long Sprints
Simone Culver (Canal Winchester, Ohio/Harvest Prep) - Hurdles/Sprints
Alexia DeWitz (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) - Hurdles
Katie Lenahan (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mother of Mercy) - Cross Country/Long Sprints
Rachel Patterson (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams) - Cross Country/Distance
Ruth Rasch (Bellbrook, Ohio/Bellbrook) - Sprints
Julianna Roche (Fort Wayne, Ind./Cantebury) - Cross Country/Distance
Magdalena Wikar (Winnetka, Ill./New Trier) - Horizontal Jumps