Eastern Michigan’s men’s and women’s cross country teams finished in first place in the MAC championships on Saturday, Nov. 2 in DeKalb, Ill. The Eagles women’s team has won five straight conference championships, the longest streak in MAC history. The men’s title represents the 23rd conference championship in school history.
The Eastern Michigan men’s team finished with 59 points. Miami (OH) took second place with 64 points. Buffalo finished in a distant third place with 108 points. The final standings were: Eastern Michigan (59), Miami (64), Buffalo (108), Akron (118), Central Michigan (122), Ohio (126), Toledo (168), Bowling Green (190) and Kent State (196).
EMU had three players finish in the top-10 as sophomore Andy Payne earned fourth place with a time of 25:35.2. Baldvin Magnusson finished at 25:42.8, while junior Owen Day wasn’t too far behind with a score of 25:49.0. Magnusson finished in seventh place. Day took 10th place.
The Eagles also had two more athletes finish in the top-20. Austin Wicker, who is a senior out of Pinckney, earned 18th place with a time of 26:06.8. Chris Devaney was just a few seconds behind Wicker, scoring a 26:11.6, which was good enough for 20th place. Solomon Costa clocked in at 26:27.1.
With the championship, the Eagles have earned their 23rd conference title and their 13th in the past 15 seasons. EMU head coach John Goodridge was also named MAC Coach of the Year, following his 14th MAC championship, which is also a conference record. The team will have next week off before returning to competition.
In the women’s competition, the Eagles earned a narrow victory over Northern Illinois. The final standings were as follows: Eastern Michigan (60), Northern Illinois (62), Miami (93), Toledo (102), Akron (117), Ball State (156), Ohio (199), Western Michigan (222), Buffalo (224), Bowling Green (251), Kent State (268) and Central Michigan (311).
Natalie Cizmas, who won the event last year, finished in second place with a time of 21:28.0. She had the fastest time for the Eagles and was one of three EMU players to earn top-nine finishes. Karlie Swanson, a senior, finished in fourth place with 21:55.4. Emily Smith took ninth place with a score of 22:13.1.
Three other Eagles women finished in the top-32 as Madison Distelrath, a junior from Fort Wayne, grabbed 15th place with a final time of 22:29.2. Kaitlyn St. Bernard took 30th place with 22:55.2, while Emily DeLine was two spots behind her with a time of 22:55.9. Esme Davies, a freshman, earned 54th place.
Sue Parks also won MAC Coach of the Year.
This is the fourth time in the last five years that the Eagles have won the men’s and women’s MAC championships. Both teams will be off next weekend as they get ready for the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, which will take place on Friday, Nov. 15, in Madison.