The Eastern Michigan cross country team hosted the 2021 MAC championship at the Eagle’s Crest Country Club on Oct. 30.
Eastern Michigan’s men's cross country team was able to defend their title and win their 25th MAC championship, which is also their 15th consecutive win in the past 17 years.
“When I started here in January my goal was to try to keep the level of success the program has had, now we’ve won 15 in the last 17 MAC cross country titles”, Coach Mark Rinker said.
Junior, Baldvin Magnusson earned 1st overall in the men’s 8k with a time of 24:05.7. The last Eagle to earn that title was Hylnur Andersson in 2017.
Additionally, four members of the men’s team were able to achieve personal bests in the 8k: Toby Gualter (24:15.1), Josh Hill (24:31.7), Noah Perrin (25:06.2), and Linus Vennemann (25:08.6). Gualter, Hill, and Magnusson were also named All-MAC First Team. In addition, Chris Devaney and Andy Payne were named All-MAC Second Team.
“Last year our 5th man was 20th and this year our 8th man was 19th, that was a piece that was most satisfying, that the team as a whole has gotten better. We have 16 guys on the roster, 1-16 I think everybody did better than they ever did, that's the piece I was most proud of and excited about”, Rinker said.
The accomplishments don’t stop there, men’s cross country coach Mark Rinker was also awarded MAC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year.
“I think that winning coach of the year is more of a testament to the guys winning the meet,“ Rinker said. "I was excited, excited to be able to celebrate another award with the guys.”
The women’s team finished 9th overall, with four runners achieving personal-bests in the 6k: Marta Moreno (21:55.4), Lexi Seifert (22:00.8), Chloie Musta (23:19.7) and Ella Garvin (24:47.1).
Next up for the Eagles is the Great Lakes Regional set to be hosted Nov.12 at the University of Evansville, where the top two teams will advance to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
“We’re ranked 7th in the region, so our goal is to perform better than our ranking and ideally try to get into the top 5 and give ourselves a chance to potentially run in the NCAA Championship,” Rinker said.