BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo will host the 2012 Mid-American Conference Cross Country Championships on Saturday, October 27 at Beaver Island State Park in Grand Island. The women's 6K race will begin at 11:00 am with the men's 8K race slated for 12:00 pm.
All 12 MAC schools will be represented in the women's field while the nine schools that sponsor men's cross country will comprise that field. At last season's championship meet in Muncie, IN, Eastern Michigan claimed its 16th men's title with Toledo winning its fourth women's championship as the Rockets scored a conference record-low 33 points and won back-to-back conference titles for the second time in school history. UB's men's team turned in its highest finish at the meet as the Bulls placed third with the UB women placing 10th in 2011.
Among the individuals returning for the 2012 are women's title holder Juli Accurso of Ohio. She won the Bobcats' fourth individual title with a time of 20:35.3. Men's runner-up Terefe Ejigu of Eastern Michigan and Akron's Brad Hough, last season's third-place finisher highlight the men's field as does UB's Mike Pressler, who earned All-MAC Second Team honors for his 12th-place finish in 2011. 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.
"We are extremely excited to be hosting the 2012 MAC Cross Country Championships," said UB head coach Vicki Mitchell. "We have worked hard to provide a course that will be excellent for the competitors as well as the spectators. It is exciting for our team to compete at home for the championships. Our season has progressed very well, and for our senior student-athletes, it is an opportunity of a lifetime to compete at home."
Mitchell also commented on her teams' prospects. "Our expectations are set very high. Our men are coming off a history setting season from 2011. Despite a young group, the men have proven to be competitive and ready for the MAC competition," she said. "The women's team has many senior student-athletes this year, and their focus and determination this season has led to their best season thus far in the last three years. The MAC schools are very competitive, boasting a top-20 NCAA-ranked team with the University of Toledo's women. This meet will be one for the record books."