EMU - Preseason Polls Rank Eagles First in MAC; Team to Open 2013 Campaign at Home

EMU - Preseason Polls Rank Eagles First in MAC; Team to Open 2013 Campaign at Home

Provided by EMU

BRIGHTON, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) — The Eastern Michigan University men's cross country team will open up their 2013 season at home, Friday, Aug. 30, in Brighton, Mich. The meet marks the first-of-six leading up to the Mid-American Conference Championship, in which the Eagle runners will look to claim a fourth-straight championship and notch a 19th-total title in the EMU annals.

"This triangular meet with Bowling Green and Toledo will be used to give a small group of team members the opportunity to fulfill unaccustomed competitive team scoring points for EMU," says Head Coach John Goodridge. The meet will also have a unique start to the race. According to Goodridge, "EMU and National Hall of Fame Coach Bob Parks will be the Meet Starter, a special way to begin our 2013 season."

In the 2013 pre-season polls, coaches selected the Eagles to place first in the MAC and 13th in the Great Lakes Region.

Coach Goodridge comes into this year's campaign with twelve seasons of guidance for the Green and White under his belt. During his tenure he has led his team to eight MAC championship titles and was named MAC Coach of the Year eight times.

The Eagles return twelve runners from the 2012 season, five of whom competed in the MAC championship. Expected to set the pace for the squad is junior Daryl Smith (Windsor, Ontario / Vincent Massey S.S.). Smith claimed a runner-up finish at the MAC Championship, trailing only behind former teammate Terefe Ejigu, with a time of 24:47.8. He also led the Green and White at the NCAA Great Lakes Regionals with his 34th place finish.

Senior Nick Petro (Erie, Mich. / Monroe), juniors Ian Hancke (Haslett, Mich. / Haslett) and Warren Witchell (Williamstar, Mich. / Dansville), and sophomore Willy Fink (Maumee, Ohio / Maumee) also competed in the championship, finishing 42nd, 57th, 24th, and 21st, respectively. With seven other returners and ten newcomers, the talent and depth that the squad possesses should prove to make them a force with which to be reckoned.

The EMU Triangular will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 30 at Huron Meadows Metro Park in Brighton, Mich. The EMU women's cross country team will race first at 5 p.m. with the men following at 5:45 p.m.