GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. - The Bowling Green State University men's and women's cross country teams competed at the Mid-American Conference Championships early Saturday afternoon. The women came away with an eighth place team finish, while the men finished in 12th place.
As a team, the women completed the course with an average time of 22:46.3, and an overall time of 113:51.4. Bowling Green's 206 total points edged out MAC foes Kent State, Ball State, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan. The eighth place finish marks the best MAC Championship result for the women since 2010 (eighth), lowering four spots from their 12th place finish last season.
"It was a positive step for the program, but we did miss the opportunity to take a bigger jump forward today," said head coach Lou Snelling. "Our start was horrible, we put ourself at such a disadvantage early, the rest of the race was spent trying to dig out. When eight of your nine athletes have never been at a MAC championship of any kind, you are more vulnerable to make these kinds of mistakes."
Redshirt freshman Andrea Alt crossed the finish line first for the Orange and Brown, finishing the 6,000-meter dash in 22:21.0 for a 23rd place finish. Alt was the third freshman to finish at Beaver Island State Park, trailing only Sharon Morgan (13th) of Toledo, and Kayla Scott (16th) of Ohio.
"Individually, Andrea stepped up today and put a good race together," said Snelling. "Her future is bright with having been the third freshman to cross the line in the entire MAC.
Redshirt junior Abby Koch finished second for the Falcons, finishing the course in 22:27.7 for a 28th place finish. Sophomore Kendra Kezur completed the course in 22:44.1, earning a 43rd place finish. Redshirt freshman Jasmine Redman (22:59.3) and freshman Rebecca Rae (23:13.3) closed out the Falcons' top-five runners, finishing in 55th and 66th, respectively.
The men finished the 8K with a total time of 135:04.1, and an average time of 27:00.9.
Senior Josh Franek paced the men, completing the course in 26:18.1, earning a 46th place finish. Freshman Tim Jurick came in second for Bowling Green, earning a 54th place finish with a time of 26:48.8. Junior Joe van Bolderen (27:14.5), Freshman Brian Coleman (27:16.3) and sophomore Tom Hipwell (27:26.4) rounded out the Falcons' top five finishers.
"It was nice to see Josh finish out his career with a positive performance, leading the men's team once again."
The Falcons are back in action on Nov. 9, when they head to the Great Lakes Regional in Madison, Wis.
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 Zach 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 22nd 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), Zach Krause (Buffalo).
Coaches of the Year: Kevin Hadsell (Toledo women), John Goodridge (Eastern Michigan men).