EMU men's cross country team wins 15th MAC championship
THREE RIVERS, Mich. — After finishing last season as runners up, the Eastern Michigan University men’s cross country team took home it’s 15th Mid-American Conference championship Saturday scoring 66 points.
The Eagles beat out Kent State and Miami (Ohio), who each scored 94 respectively to tie for second.
“We had a great crowd at the meet with so many alums, family members and friends giving vocal support to the team before the race and during which was a great boost for the team,” EMU coach John Goodridge said.
Terefe Ejigu led the Eagles and won the individual MAC championship, setting the pace with a time of 24 minutes, eight seconds.
Ejigu was named first team All-MAC , and Harry Dixon was named second team All-MAC. Coach Goodridge also picked up 2010 Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year honors.
Harry Dixon finished 12th for the Eagles, posting a time of 25:07.5, impressive especially for a freshman runner. Austin Hendrix would finish 15th seven-seconds later at 25:14.5 .
“This win was a testament to the motivation and will power of our entire team. Our team captain and emotional leader Matt Hammersmith, our number two scorer all season, stepped off the course at the 5k mark due to a hamstring cramp and his teammates saw this,” said Goodridge
“They could have panicked but didn’t,” he said. “Instead they rallied led by Matt’s roommate Andrew Pfeiffer. Andrew was clearly our individual hero of the day.”
In 2009, the Eagles placed second behind Kent State. This year, the results were flip-flopped. Six of seven runners who ran Saturday were on that team, and that created pressure on this year’s edition to avenge last season’s loss and bring the championship back.
“We had a four-year streak of conference titles and were looking to break an EMU record of five in a row, so that hurt last year after our second-place finish,” Goodridge said. “It created a lot of pressure on our guys to bring the championship back to Ypsilanti, but they overcame and did just that.”
Second year runner James Hughes finished 18th, and Pfeiffer snuck into the top-20 finishing with a time of 25:23.
Also finishing the race were Ransom Brown (42nd), and Cole Sanseverino (47th).