Following their performances in the Mid-American Conference Championship meets, men’s cross-country runner Willy Fink and women’s cross-country runner Victoria Voronko were selected to be the Eastern Echo’s co-Eagles of the Week for the week of Nov. 3.
Fink and Voronko each won individual MAC titles.
The women’s team finished second overall, but Voronko said she thought her team performed better than it did last year – when it won the MAC.
“I think we improved a lot as a team from last year when we got first place at the MAC [Tournament],” she said.
Fink said he was happy with the individual title as well as the team title.
“This was our fifth year in a row winning as a team, which is a tie for EMU’s longest winning streak, so that is pretty special,” he said.
Fink said he wasn’t sure how well the team would do at the beginning of the season – with only two of the team’s top five runners coming back.
“Coming into the season it was kind of up in the air how well we would do, and who would be our top guys,” he said. “We only returned two guys from last year’s top five, but with the addition of Lahsene [Bouchikhi], Hlynur [Andresson] and Steve [Sparks], and the improvements everybody else made, it became pretty clear throughout the season that we still had a lot of talent.”
Voronko said she’s been running for about 10 or 12 years. She said her brother – who is also a runner – was the one who sparked her interest in running.
“I was good at it,” she said. “So that’s how I started running.”
Fink gave a lot of sports a try before deciding on running.
“As a kid, I played - or at least tried out for - just about every sport, but I wasn’t really any good,” he said. “I was only good at the running portions. So it seemed natural to try out for cross country and I really enjoyed it.”
She said she is close with her teammates – including her new running partner.
“We have a small team so we’re [all] pretty close with each other,” Voronko said. “I usually run with a freshman – her name is Jordann [McDermitt]. We usually run longer stuff together so its very nice.”
The exercise physiology major said she enjoys studying. She also said she enjoys to get coffee with friends and do yoga.
Off the course, Fink said he is pretty laid back.
“I like to hang out with my girlfriend, Alexa [EMU volleyball player Salisbury], and play with our bunny, Rocky,” Fink said. “I also play guitar and sometimes video games.”
Both runners said they would like to qualify for nationals – as individuals and with their respective teams.
Voronko said her goals are the same for indoor and outdoor track season – which starts Dec. 5 with the EMU Holiday Meet.
Follow Al Willman on Twitter: @AlWillmanEcho