College cross country teams from around the Mid-American Conference traveled to Athens, Ohio on Saturday, Oct. 29 to compete in the league’s championship on the Ohio University Golf Course.
Both Eastern Michigan University teams took third in their respective races, while Miami, Ohio took first in the men’s 8K and Toledo claimed victory in the women’s 6K.
Sophomore Toby Gualter finished just 2.4 seconds behind the winner of the men’s 8K and claim second place with a time of 23:42.1, a new personal best.
Just behind Gaulter was senior runner Baldvin Magnusson who rounded out third place with a time of 23:45.1. Magnusson was in familiar territory as the Eagle won the race last year, helping EMU win its 25th MAC men’s cross-country title.
In the consolation of a title defense, the two men harriers were awarded All-MAC First Team honors for their performances. Senior Marcus Kemp would take 15th with a time of 24:17.5, while fellow senior Eddie Zuercher stole the last stop in the top 20 with a finish of 24:28.5.
In the women’s 6K, junior Faith Rono led EMU in its best team performance of the season. Rono finished the race with a new personal best time of 20:39.6, coming in 11th and earning All-MAC Second Team honors.
Also finishing in the top 20 for the women and posting personal bests to do so were sophomore Sofia Ivanko with a time of 21:02.6, earning her 15th, and senior Esme Davis finishing in 21:09.3 to secure 18th in the 6K race.
Three freshman Eagles competed in the MAC cross country championship and all three ran their best races of the year. Men's runners Sam Peterson ran a 25:33.9 to earn a top-50 finish and Brady Messer would complete the 8K in 26:30.6. Kiera Hansen ran the 6K in 23:45.2 for the women's team.
The EMU men's and women's cross country teams will continue postseason action on Friday, Nov. 11, when they will head to Terre Haute, Indiana to compete in the NCAA Division 1 Great Lakes Regional on the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course. The women's race is set for a 10 a.m. start, while the men will race afterward at 11 a.m.
For more information on the EMU men’s and women’s cross-country teams, you can visit EMUEagles.com.