Rockets win women’s cross country MAC ChampionshipWritten by Jason Mack | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The UT women’s cross country team won its second straight conference title Oct. 27 at the Mid-American Conference Championships.
“It means a lot,” Toledo head coach Kevin Hadsell said. “No matter what sport you’re in, this is college athletics and your goal is to win your conference championship. Anything over that is gravy. We were the defending champions coming in and knew we had the target on our back, but we embrace it. It means a lot to us. This is what we shoot for all year. Now we can turn our focus to getting back to the NCAA Championships.”
Hadsell was named the MAC Women’s Coach of the Year, an honor voted on by coaches following the race. He also won the award in 2001, 2002 and 2010. Seniors Ari Fisher and Emma Kertesz and sophomore Megan Vogelsong were named All-MAC first team. Juniors Kaylin Belair and Kristal Studer were named All-MAC second team.
Ohio’s Juli Accurso finished in 20:35.3 to win the individual title. Kertesz and Fisher took home silver and bronze with times of 20:48.4 and 20:53.5, respectively. Fisher won the 2009 and 2010 individual titles.
“Ari Fisher did a great job,” Hadsell said. “She had gotten hurt and missed six weeks of training. She’s only been running for two weeks. For her to go out and get third, and Emma Kertesz getting the runner-up, that was really impressive.”
Hadsell was particularly impressed by the performance of Studer, who finished in 21:41.9 for 14th place to give the Rockets a conference record score of 33 points, 40 points ahead of second place Central Michigan at 73.
“The best race of our group came from Kristal Studer who ended up being our fifth runner,” Hadsell said. “She probably passed eight people in the last 200 meters or so. That allowed us to score only 33 points. That’s the record for the lowest score, and she was a big part of that.”
The Rockets will host the NCAA Great Lakes Regional meet Nov. 12 to compete for a spot in the national meet.
The men’s cross country team finished in sixth place. Eastern Michigan won the MAC title, and Central Michigan’s Tecumseh Adams finished in 24:34.3 to win the individual title.
Jonathan Dewitt was Toledo’s top finisher in seventh place with a time of 24:34.3. Nick Thomas finished in 24:53.6 for 13th place. Dewitt was named All-MAC first team and Nick Thomas earned All-MAC second team honors.
“The men ran well,” Hadsell said. “We were only one point behind Ohio for fifth place. We have been steadily improving from year-to-year and I am extremely excited about the future of the men’s program.”