When someone mentions Eastern Michigan University athletics, the first sport that comes to mind probably isn’t men’s cross country. But the truth is, the cross country and track and field teams both have a tradition of excellence.
The men are the defending Mid-American Conference champions and the program has won 16 MAC Championships.
“This coming season is very special,” team leader Terefe Ejigu said. “Not just because it is my last year to compete for Eastern, but also because more than ever, every single one of my teammates are determined to look beyond MAC Championships and aim to qualifying to regionals and ultimately to nationals. Personally I have never been to Cross Country Nationals and this is my last chance to give it everything I got to get there.”
The team is looking to win a third straight MAC Championship, which would be their seventh in eight years.
“My greatest accomplishment so far at Eastern is joining the team as an unfit athlete in the fall of 2009 and winning MAC Cross Country Championship in 2010,” Ejigu said. “Making it to Nationals for 5,000-meter outdoor track and field was also my best accomplishment. I was able to achieve these with the help of my teammates. We have great team spirit and tradition which makes our team very unique.”
John Goodridge begins his 12th season as the cross country head coach and the team’s first event will take place Sept. 14 in East Lansing at the Spartan Invitational.