Toledo, Eastern Michigan Win MAC Cross Country Titles
GRAND ISLAND, NY – The University at Buffalo hosted the 2012 Mid-American Conference Cross Country Championships on Saturday afternoon at Beaver Island State Park on Grand Island. Constant rain and cool temperatures in the upper 40s dictated the course conditions as the University of Toledo women and Eastern Michigan men successfully defended their team titles in the meet.
In the men's 8K race, Eastern Michigan senior Terefe Ejigu, last year's runner-up, claimed top honors with a time of 24:44.5, holding off EMU teammate Daryl Smith who finished in 24:47.8. The men's race consisted of 78 entrants.
Buffalo scored three top 14 finishes for its runners earning Mike Pressler, Zach Ahart and Zack Krause All-MAC honors. Pressler put on a strong finishing kick to move into the top seven to win All-MAC first team honors finishing in sixth place in 24:59.9, three-tenths of a second ahead of seventh-place finisher Brad Hough of Akron (25:00.2). Ahart placed ninth in 25:02.3 while Krause finished 14th in 25:22.8.
In the women's 6K race, Ohio junior Julie Accurso won the individual title for the second straight year. Accurso turned in a time of 20:48.4, thirteen seconds off her 2011 pace but 20 seconds ahead of this year's second-place finisher, Kaylin Belair of Toledo (21:08.7).
The UB women finished seventh overall with 179 points, one point behind sixth-place Akron (178). Junior Kara Patrick, racing in her first competition with the Bulls, was UB's top finisher in 22:18.7 to finish 21st among 104 racers. Finishing behind Patrick for UB were seniors Sam Beim (22:29.6) in 32nd place, Katie Sanders (22:32.0) in 33rd place and Shelby Janutol (22:52.0) in 48th place.
Toledo won the women's team title with 24 points as all seven of its runners earning All-MAC recognitions. Eastern Michigan took the men's title with 59 points. UB's men placed fifth with 105 points.
"I'm proud of all of our athletes," said head coach Vicki Mitchell. "The course was tough but they battled through. Mike Pressler, Zach Ahart and Zach Krause did a wonderful job."
Women: Toledo 24, Miami (OH) 81, Ohio 92, Central Michigan 124, Eastern Michigan 144, Akron 178, Buffalo 179, Bowling Green 206, Kent State 213, Ball State 267, Northern Illinois 277, Western Michigan 337.
All-MAC first team: Julie Accurso (Ohio), Kaylin Belair (Toledo), Megan Wright (Toledo), Liz Weiler (Toledo), Victoria Voronko (Eastern Michigan), Krista Parks (Central Michigan), Brooke Tullis (Toledo).
All-MAC second team: Priscilla Timmons (Toledo), Morgan Reichert (Ohio), Monica Fischer (Miami), Devyn Ramsay (Toledo), Melissa Thompson (Ohio), Sharon Morgan (Toledo), Elizabeth Lemon (Toledo).
Men: Eastern Michigan 59, Central Michigan 72, Miami (Ohio) 73, Akron 73, Buffalo 105, Kent State 164, Ohio 176, Toledo 186, Bowling Green 277.
All-MAC first team: Terefe Ejigu (Eastern Michigan), Daryl Smith (Eastern Michigan), Michael Heller (Kent State), Stephen Kiplagat (Miami), Kyle Stacks (Central Michigan), Mike Pressler (Buffalo), Brad Hough (Akron).
All-MAC second team: Jarrod Eick (Miami), Zach Ahart (Buffalo), David Wing (Miami), Harry Dixon (Eastern Michigan), Ethan Lievense (Central Michigan), Jason Drudge (Central Michigan), Zack Krause (Buffalo).
Coaches of the Year: Kevin Hadsell (Toledo women), John Goodridge (Eastern Michigan men).