EMU - Women's Cross Country Claims Second Straight MAC Title

EMU - Women's Cross Country Claims Second Straight MAC Title

Provided by EMU

KENT, Ohio (EMUEagles.com) – After an incredible regular season, the No. 14 Eastern Michigan University women's cross country began the postseason with a bang, bringing home its second consecutive Mid-American Conference Cross Country Championship today, Oct. 29. The Eagles' depth was a big factor in the event, as the squad had four harriers finish within the top-10 on their way to a first-place finish with 27 points.

"I'm very pleased with the win," remarked Head Coach Sue Parks. "The girls remained patient in the early stages of the race and executed our race plan well. It's not easy being the defending champions and the favorites, but the girls showed up ready to compete. It was a great team effort. We've never had more than three All-MAC runners during my time at Eastern, so it was very satisfying to have six today."

After winning their first-ever MAC team title last season, the Eagles came back this year with a very strong foundation and delivered throughout the regular season, building momentum heading into today's race. Winning the conference championship for the second consecutive season, the Eagles became the first program to win league titles in back-to-back years since Toledo won three straight from 2010-12.

At the first split, redshirt sophomore Natalie Cizmas (Clinton Twp., Mich. – Chippewa Valley) led the squad, sitting second overall, while junior Jordann McDermitt (Davison, Mich. – Davison) was just behind her in third. Senior Alsu Bogdanova (Kazan, Russia – Lyceum #83) also held a top-10 spot, sitting in seventh through the early goings.

McDermitt took the lead by two seconds, while Cizmas slipped one spot into third roughly halfway throug hte race. Bogdanova, however, surged into fourth-place, while sophomore Sydney Meyers (Zionsville, Ind. – Zionsville Community) made a big move into sixth. Behind her, redshirt senior Sofie Gallein (Gits, Belgium – University of Leuven) also improved her standing, rising to 13th.

Like she has done all season, McDermitt ended up running away with the individual crown, crossing the finish line with a time of 20:34.1, which was just shy of her career-best. The victory also marked the third straight season in which an Eagle harrier has finished atop the podium. Last year's champion, Bogdanova, had a strong race as well, bringing home bronze with a time of 20:59.3.

"I am very proud of Jordann," said Parks. "She has worked so hard to make this a great season, and it was exciting to see it all pay off for her today."

Just behind Bogdanova, Cizmas turned in a fourth-place finish in her first ever MAC Championships, clocking in at 21:10.5. Meyers closed out an impressive race, bringing home seventh-place with a time of 21:11.7, beating her previous career-best by 11 seconds. Rounding out the top-five for EMU was Gallein, who ended up taking 12th in 21:43.7. Redshirt junior Anna Aldrich (Fremont, Ind. – Fremont) also had a strong race, clocking in at 21:50.5, which was a career-best by eight seconds, to nab 14th-place.

Junior Jenna Wyns (Londerzeel, Belgium – Sportschol KA2) managed to finish the race in 24th-place, crossing the finish line with a time of 22:04.1. Finally, redshirt sophomore Allie Knoll (Warren, Mich. – Warren Mott) and junior Danielle Bentzley (Birmingham, Mich. – Seaholm) rounded out the squad with 40th and 47th-place finishes after clocking in at 22:44.5 and 22:55.1, respectively.

At the conclusion of the race, McDermitt, Bogdanova, Cizmas, and Meyers were all named First Team All-MAC. Additionally, Gallein and Aldrich brought home Second Team All-MAC honors. Head Coach Sue Parks also reeled in league honors, claiming her second MAC Coach of the Year honor as an Eagle, and her third overall.

"We're very happy to defend our title and win a championship for EMU, but we still feel like we haven't had our absolute best day as a team," stated Parks. "We're ready to get back to some hard work in preparation for the regional meet."

The Eagles will next have a weekend free of competition, followed by the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, Nov. 11, in Wisconsin.

Team Standings (6K)

1. Eastern Michigan 27

2. Northern Illinois 78

3. Bowling Green 116

4. Central Michigan 126

5. Toledo 127

6. Buffalo 141

7. Miami 145

8. Western Michigan 206

9. Ohio 247

10. Ball State 249

11. Akron 290

12. Kent State 305

First-Team All-MAC

Jordann McDermitt, EMU

Rachel Walny, Bowling Green

Alsu Bogdanova, EMU

Natalie Cizmas, EMU

Maria Scavuzzo, Miami

Hope Schmelzle, NIU

Sydney Meyers, EMU

Second-Team All-MAC

Kelsey Hildreth, NIU

Megan O'neil, Central Michigan

Kelly Schubert, Central Michigan

Rebecca Schott, Bowling Green

Sofie Gallein, EMU

Stephanie Ward, Buffalo

Anna Aldrich, EMU

2016 MAC Champion: Jordann McDermitt

2016 MAC Coach of the Year: Sue Parks

EMU Individual Results

1. Jordann McDermitt 20:34.1

3. Alsu Bogdanova 20:59.3

4. Natalie Cizmas 21:10.5

7. Sydney Meyers 21:11.7

12. Sofie Gallein 21:43.7

14. Anna Aldrich 21:50.5

24. Jenna Wyns 22:04.1

40. Allie Knoll 22:44.5

47. Danielle Bentzley 22:55.1