Men Take Third; Women Place 10th at MAC Championships
MUNCIE, IN – The University at Buffalo men's cross country team turned in its highest finish at the Mid-American Conference Championships as the Bulls placed third among nine squads at the 2011 league championships at Pine View Golf Club in Muncie, IN at Muncie Elks Country Club. The UB women placed 10th in the 12-team women's championship.
UB placed two runners on the men's all-conference team as John Inzina and Mike Pressler earned All-MAC Second Team honors. Inzina finished eighth in 24:47.0 for the 8K race. The senior from Clarence, NY shaved more than a minute off his top 8K mark of the season. Pressler, a sophomore, finished 12th in 24:51.7 as he took more than 30 seconds off his top time from 2011. Senior Dylan Conway just missed making the all-conference team as he finished 15th in 24:56.9, taking 20 seconds off his season-best mark. The top 14 runners earn All-MAC honors with the top seven finishers named to the first-team and finishers 8-14 receive second-team honors.
Sophomore Zach Ahart finished 22nd overall in a season-best 25:06.8. Redshirt freshman Steve Houghmaster, who hadn't raced since the season-opening Tommy Evans Invite on September 8, finished 34th in 25:06.8. Freshman Alex Saavedra was 37th in 25:25.6. Sophomore Andris Goncarovs was 41st in 25:31.2. Freshman Dylan Racha was 44th in 25:35.6 while freshman Zachary Krause was 67th in 26:38.1. A total of 80 runners competed in the men's race with Central Michigan's Tecumseh Adams winning individual honors in 24:01.6..
"The men ran a very strong race," said head coach Vicki Mitchell. "John Inzina has proven he is a MAC competitor. He rises above at every MAC Championship, whether it be cross country or track. Mike Pressler had his breakthrough MAC meet and Dylan Conway showed his leadership that has brought the team along this season with his highest place ever at the MAC Championships. We are extremely proud of the men's performance. It was a true team effort."
In the women's meet, sophomore Katie Sanders was the top UB finisher. Sanders completed the 6K course in 22:46.1 to place 48th overall among the 95 racers. Sanders took 25 seconds off her previous 6K top time this season which she set at Lehigh's Paul Short Invitational on September 30.
Junior Sam Beim finished 51st in a season-best 22:51.6 while junior Jackie Cavalluzzo was 51st in a season-best 22:55.6. Junior Emma Denton, who hadn't raced since the UB Stampede on September 17, finished 64th in 23:22.3. Sophomore Becky Martin was 73rd in a season-best 23:45.9. Freshman Christina Clarkin was 78th in a season-best 24:09.8. Junior Kelsey Fitzgerald finished 81st in 24:26.9 with freshman Leah Rice taking 84th in 24:45.1. Ohio University's Juli Accurso won the women's individual title in 20:35.3.
"The women moved up one place from last year to 10th place," stated Mitchell. "We unfortunately lost two of our top five (Gabby Leo and Lesley Bowers) which was a big setback and definitely changed the depth of our team. We are looking for improvements in two weeks, and hope to step back up to a higher level."
The UB men tallied 91 points to finish third among the ninth men's MAC programs. The third-place finish was their highest since a fifth-place showing in 2001. The Bulls are currently ranked 13rh in the USTFCCAA's Northeast Regional rankings. The UB women scored 262 points to move up one place from last season's 11th-place finish and were five points behind Kent State's ninth-place total of 257 points. Eastern Michigan (68) and Toledo (33) won the men's and women's team titles.
The Bulls host the 2011 NCAA Northeast Regional Championships on November 12 at the Audubon Golf Course in Amherst. "Both teams are excited to run at home for the Northeast Championships. This is going to be an incredible opportunity for our team, our university, and our community," said Mitchell. "Our focus from day one has been the NCAA Northeast Championships. All is going well as we prepare for the biggest meet of the season."
Men's team scores: Eastern Michigan 68, Central Michigan 78, Buffalo 91, Kent State 107, Ohio 127, Toledo 128, Akron 133, Miami (OH) 173, Bowling Green 256.
Women's team scores: Toledo 33, Central Michigan 73, Miami (OH) 83, Ohio 86, Eastern Michigan 89, Western Michigan 177, Akron 212, Ball State 227, Kent State 257, Buffalo 262, Northern Illinois 309, Bowling Green 379.