BUFFALO, NY - After taking home third place (men) and sixth place (women) finishes at the MAC Championships last season, the young Buffalo cross country squad will be looking to turn some heads as the 2017 campaign begins this weekend. The Bulls are excited to hit the terrain with their first meet set for 11:30 am on Saturday, September 2nd at the Colgate Harry Lang Invitational.
The women's side will be returning a more experienced squad in 2017 led by freshman sensation Stephanie Ward who raced her way into UB record books a season ago. Ward returns for her sophomore campaign after placing 13th at the MAC Championships last season and becoming the first UB runner to earn MAC Freshman of the Year honors. Ward also raced to a 21st place finish at the Northeast Regionals which helped her earn a spot on the All-Region team, the first UB freshman in program history to do so.
The Bulls will also be returning four other runners that raced at the Northeast Regionals a season ago as seniors Morgan Mahoney and Meagan Hopkins will be returning along with a pair of juniors in Rachel Barich and Lauren Reyda. Sophomore Chardae Henry will also return to competition this year after sitting out the 2016 campaign. Henry was the Bulls bright spot as a freshman in 2015 as she took home six top-40 finishes in her seven races during her first season.
The women's roster also features five other runners, Sydney Bova, Laura Libruk, Meghan LaTuso, Charlotte Molloy and Sylvia Russell, who gained experience in 2016 for the Bulls. UB will also welcome three newcomers to the squad this season in Christiana Berge, Alanna Kramer and Anastasia Kurdziel.
On the men's side, the expectations will be high for the Bulls after a third place finish at the MAC Championships a season ago. Buffalo will have a new look this season as they will be looking to replace a strong senior class from a season ago.
Leading the way for the Bulls this season will be a pair of juniors in Jack Jibb who racked up a 17th place finish the MAC Championships a season ago and Justin Van Epps who took home 25th place in the same race. The two juniors are the lone MAC placers returning to the Bulls squad in 2017.
Buffalo will be looking for major contributions from seniors John McCarthy and Tom Meehan while sophomore Caleb Covell will look to build on his strong freshman season that saw him take home 70th place at the Northeast Regionals. Juniors Dylan Servos and Dan Muldoon will also be looked upon to step up this season.
UB will be leaning on strong leadership from the upperclassmen to lift the program to new heights in 2017.