Bulls Ready to Run, Set for 2014 MAC Cross Country Championships

Bulls Ready to Run, Set for 2014 MAC Cross Country Championships

BUFFALO, NY – The State University of New York, Buffalo cross country teams will compete Saturday at the 2014 Mid-American Conference Championships hosted by Central Michigan at the Riverwood Resort Golf Course.

The women's six-kilometer run will take place at 11 am, while the men's 8K will begin at noon. Additional information can be found on the championship central website.

Sophomore Corinne Birchard has led the Bulls' women's team in four of the five races in which she has run. She raced to a season-best 6K of 21:30 at the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh to place 82nd out of 329 runners. One of the four returning Bulls who placed in UB's top seven at the 2013 meet, Birchard is joined by Gabby Leo, Meagan Hopkins and Chrissy Clarkin.

"They're excited," said director and head coach Vicki Mitchell. "They know what they need to do and we're really looking forward to the conference championships."

UB matched the program's second-best finish placing seventh out of 12 teams in both 2012 and 2013. The Bulls' finest finish came in 2004, recording a point total good for fourth.

Ranked 11th in the USTFCCCA Northeast Region, the men's squad will be without 2014 graduate and 2013 MAC champion Zach Ahart. The team, however, returns five of its top seven from a year ago in Cameron Bruce, Alec Peinkofer, Barrett Kemp, Pier Berkmans and Brian Crimmins. Bruce has paced the Bulls in each of the three races he's competed in this season. A junior, he clocked a season-best 8K of 24:30 at the Paul Short Invite to earn 31st out of 359 competitors.

"The guys know that they can compete at the highest level against the best teams in the conference," said associate head men's cross country coach Todd Witzleben. "I expect us to have multiple all-conference athletes this weekend."

The Bulls are coming off back-to-back fifth-place finishes out of the nine teams present. UB had a program-best third-place finish in 2011.

The top seven will record All-MAC First-Team honors, while those earning finishes of 8th-14th will be named to the second team.