WMU - Broncos Take Sixth at MAC Championship

WMU - Broncos Take Sixth at MAC Championship

Provided by WMU

Courtesy: WMU

Release: 10/29/2011

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MUNCIE, Ind. -- Rachel Whitley finished just .2 seconds shy of being named Second Team All-MAC but paced the Western Michigan cross country to a sixth place finish at the 2011 Mid-American Conference Championship hosted by Ball State on Saturday afternoon.

Whitley finished with a personal-best 6k time of 21:42.1 in 15th place, just behind Kristal Studer of Toledo in 14th at 21:41.9. The junior distance specialist was the top finisher on the day for the Broncos, who ended up with 177 points. Toledo took the championship with 33 points, followed by Central Michigan (73), Miami (83), Ohio (86) and Eastern Michigan (89).

"For Rachel it was a great race," said head coach Kelly Lycan. "She was in that position near the top 20 for most of the race and she was able to finish strong and passed quite a few people in the final 800 meters. Our assistant coach Dani Prince has been working with her because she has such great 800 meter speed on the track that she needed to translate it cross country."

Senior Amber Brunmeier finished in 22nd with a time of 21:54.3 at her final MAC Championship. Junior Jeriesha Tucker was just under a minute behind Brunmeier with a time of 22:40.9 as the Broncos' third finisher of the race. Junior Cara Cremeans finished behind Tucker in 48th with a time of 22:59.7 as WMU's fourth finisher, while sophomore Liza Boudreau rounded out the Bronco top five finishers.

"It was a tough day for Amber and she had been bothered with an injury over the past two weeks and it has caused some problems in training so she just wasn't at 100 percent," explained Lycan. "It is a shame because she has worked so hard and was having such a great season as our number one runner all year. She really hung in there today and fought like a champ and was still able to break the top 25."

Sophomore Aisha Hodge just missed out on the Bronco top five, finishing two spots behind Boudreau with a time of 23:06.5.

Western Michigan has a week off before heading to the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championship at Toledo