AKRON, OH -- The University at Buffalo men's and women's cross country teams opened the 2011 season with a series of double dual meets at the University of Akron's Tommy Evans Invitational at Firestone Metro Park on Thursday evening.
The meet, which also featured squads from Mid-American Conference foes Akron and Kent State as well as Youngstown State and Malone, was scored as separate dual meets.
The UB men went 1-3 in the four competitions with a 21-35 win over Youngstown State. The Bulls fell to Akron (25-34), Kent State (24-35) and Malone (26-32). After a strong track season, Steve Houghmaster made his first appearance in a UB cross country meet an impressive one. Houghmaster finished second along the four-mile course in 20:15, one second behind Akron's Brad Hough (20:14). John Inzina placed sixth overall for the Bulls in 20:34.
The UB women split the four competitions, winning 27-28 over Kent State and 26-29 against Youngstown State. UB fell to Akron, 18-37 and Malone, 23-36. Sophomore Lesley Bowers was UB's top women's finisher as she completed the 5K course in 19:29 with freshman Gabby Leo the next Bull to cross the finish line in 10th place in 19:33.
"The women ran strong, the men ran really well," said UB cross country head coach Vicki Mitchell. "We'll run the rest of the team at the Stampede meet."
UB hosts the UB Stampede meet on Saturday, September 17 at Beaver Island State Park. The women's 5K race will begin at noon with the men's 8K race to follow at 12:45 pm.