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Badger’s Stanhope ready to go distance for James Madison

HEBRON — Miranda Stanhope had a visitor from Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, the western part of the state.

James Madison University was interested in the Badger High School senior standout distance runner.

She’s been one of Division III’s best runners for the past couple of seasons, winning the state title in 2018 — her junior season.

She signed her National Letter of Intent to run cross country and track and field for the Dukes program, which finished fourth at the Colonial Athletic Association meet.

Stanhope finished second at this year’s state meet, clocking one her best races of her career with a time of 18:21.90, her best time of the season.

Her personal best for a 5K was an 18:08.10 at the Nike Cross Nationals Midwest Regional Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana — a day after winning state with a time almost a minute slower on muddy, wrecked course at National Trail Raceway in Hebron. Stanhope is not running at the Nike event this weekend, preparing for the upcoming track and field season at Badger.

Stanhope is likely majoring in biology with the intent to go on to a physical therapy program.

The former Division III state champion had visits to Temple University and the University of Toledo. She unofficially visited and/or communicated with many other schools, including Ohio State and Eastern Michigan, according to Christina Stanhope, Miranda’s mother.

James Madison noticed Miranda Stanhope’s abilities early on in the recruiting process.

“I felt they were interested in recruiting me,” Stanhope said. “I would be part of getting their team to some good finishes. I felt like I would be a valuable runner to their team. That was something I was looking for in a college.

“Some people have different opinions. I want to be on a team where I get to travel to the big meets. I could’ve went to a bigger school, but not got the same opportunities.”

She’ll be part of a scenic campus off of I-81 in western Virginia, getting to display her talents for the Dukes.

“It’s a really cool area. I like it a lot,” Stanhope said.

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