MT. PLEASANT, MI – The State University of New York, Buffalo cross country teams raced Saturday in the 2014 Mid-American Conference Championships hosted by Central Michigan at the Riverwood Resort Golf Course. The men's team finished fourth out of nine teams, its second-best showing in program history, while the women placed seventh for the third consecutive year.
The men's finish was the finest since a program-best bronze in 2011. It bettered the Bulls' fifth-place showings in 2012 and 2013, while the women's seventh-place finish ties for the second-best MAC finish in program history.
Tallying 102 points, just three shy of matching third place, the men were led by sophomore Alec Peinkofer with a career-best eight-kilometer time of 24:52. His 12th-place finish out of 80 competitors earned him Second-Team All-MAC honors.
Sophomore Barrett Kemp and juniors Brian Crimmins and Cameron Bruce raced consecutively to place 18th, 19th and 20th. Kemp crossed the finish line in 25:03, while Crimmins and Bruce each did so in 25:04.
Rookies Andrew Berge and Tom Meehan finished fifth and sixth for the Bulls, and junior Derek Palafox rounded out the top seven. Berge finished 34th overall in 25:32, Meehan was 37th in 25:36 and Palafox placed 57th with a time of 26:09.
"Alec Peinkofer ran a very strong second half to pull up to All-MAC standings," said director and head coach Vicki Mitchell. "The men were on the edge of third place by just three points and that was tough. They ran well and will look ahead to regionals."
The UB women's team, who ran just four points behind sixth-place Western Michigan, was once again paced by Corinne Birchard. The sophomore placed 27th out of 104 runners with a 6K time of 21:41. Classmate Melinda Wheeler followed in 36th and senior Chrissy Clarkin in 39th with times of 21:58 and 22:05, respectively.
Sophomore Amy Shaw and senior Gabby Leo were the last two to score for the Bulls. Shaw finished in 22:24 to place 46th and Leo was 50th after crossing the finish line in 22:29. Junior Maggie Russell placed 55th in 22:33 and freshman Morgan Mahoney was right on her heels in 57th with a time of 22:36.
"The top 3 women showed significant improvements over their races from last year. However, being just four points out of sixth was tough," said Mitchell.
The Bulls will next compete on Friday, Nov. 14 at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships.
Men's Team Scores: 1. Eastern Michigan 23, 2. Akron 49, 3. Central Michigan 99, 4. Buffalo 102, 5. Ohio 121, 6. Kent State 166, 7. Miami (OH) 181, 8. Toledo 210, 9. Bowling Green 276
2014 Men's All-MAC First Team
Willy Fink, Eastern Michigan
Lahsene Bouchikhi, Eastern Michigan
Joseph Stewart, Miami
Clayton Murphy, Akron
Hlynur Andresson, Eastern Michigan
Nate Ghena, Central Michigan
Nicholas Raymond, Eastern Michigan
2014 Men's All-MAC Second Team
Warren Witchell, Eastern Michigan
Kyle Cochrun, Akron
Trevor Norris, Akron
Daniel Zupan, Akron
Alec Peinkofer, Buffalo
Silas Dekalita, Central Michigan
Matt Kahl, Kent State
2014 Men's Coach of the Year
John Goodridge, Eastern Michigan
Women's Team Scores: 1. Toledo 48, 2. Eastern Michigan 69, 3. Miami (OH) 103, 4. Bowling Green 127, 5. Central Michigan 155, 6. Western Michigan 183, 7. Buffalo 187, 8. Kent State 202, 9. Northern Illinois 212, 10. Ohio 231, 11. Akron 258, 12. Ball State 359
2014 Women's All-MAC First Team
Victoria Voronko, Eastern Michigan
Maria McDaniel, Western Michigan
Sofie Gallein, Eastern Michigan
Mackenzie Chojnacky, Toledo
Kelsey Hildreth, Northern Illinois
Jess Hoover, Miami
Abbey Kelto, Central Michigan
2014 Women's All-MAC Second Team
Brooke Tullis, Toledo
Jordann McDermitt, Eastern Michigan
Janelle Noe, Toledo
Meghan Heuer, Northern Illinois
Cara Deangelis, Toledo
Rebecca Rae, Bowling Green
Liz Weiler, Toledo
2014 Women's Coach of the Year
Linh Nguyen, Toledo