ATHENS, OH – The University at Buffalo men's cross country team earned its highest finish since 2001 as the Bulls placed fifth among the nine competiting schools at the Mid-American Conference Championships held at Ohio University on Saturday.
The Bulls, ranked 15th in the latest Northeast Regional poll according to the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, scored a total of 147 points to secure the fifth-place team finish. All four of the MAC schools to finish ahead of the Bulls, Kent State (30), Eastern Michigan (55), Central Michigan (59), and Miami (95) were ranked among the top 15 in the Great Lakes region.
Topping the Bulls' men's finishers was Dennis Pollow. Pollow, who joined the UB program this season as a graduate student after spending the last four years at Penn State, grabbed a 14th-place finish to secure a spot on the All-MAC Second Team. Pollow completed the 8K course in 26:26.4, just four-tenths of a second behind the 13th-placer, Joe Purpura of Kent State (26:26.0). This was the second consecutive season that UB has placed a men's runner among the All-MAC honorees and the ninth straight season that the Bulls have had at least one male or female individual earn All-MAC.
Ryan Bloom, a first-team All-MAC recipient in 2008, was UB's next male finisher in 26:47.6 to place 22nd. Chris Allen was 35th in 27:12.2, Jacob Hagen was 36th in 27:14.2 and Dylan Conway was 42nd in 27:31.2 to round out the top five finishers for the Bulls.
The UB women scored a total of 317 points to finish 12th among the 12 MAC women's teams. Miami won the league championship with 44 points.
Kent State's Aiman Scullion (25:32.7) and Toledo's Ari Fisher (22:18.8) were the men's and women's individual champions as very muddy conditions contributed to the slow times at this season's meet.
Head coach Vicki Mitchell said following the meet, "Dennis Pollow ran a tough race. He went out with the top pack and held on to make second-team All-MAC."
The Bulls travel to Boston for the NCAA Northeast Regional meet on Saturday, November 14.
Women's team results: Miami 44, Toledo 63, Akron 104, Central Michigan 116, Kent State 143, Eastern Michigan 157, Bowling Green 212, Northern Illinois 218, Ohio 218, Western Michigan 250, Ball State 269, UB 317.