Weekend Roundup: Conclusion Of Fall Cross Country Segment
The fall cross country segment drew to a close this weekend with Saturday’s running of both the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championships and the Southern Conference (SoCon) Championships.
From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: Conference Championships Central
Scroll below to find out what happened at each of those meets.
Also, check back next Tuesday as we’ll release the final NCAA Division I Cross Country National Coaches’ Polls of the fall segment, which may have a few changes.
Southern Conference Championships
Furman made it look easy at the SoCon Championships on Saturday.
That means the #DinMen and the #GirlGang continued their streaks.
Furman swept the team titles for the eighth consecutive year as the squads combined to score an average of 24 points and put 12 athletes among the top-20 combined runners.
The 10th-ranked Furman women recorded a 52-point win over Samford, 28-80. Abigail Robertson and Madelynne Cadeau led the charge for Furman in second and fourth place, respectively, while they were joined in the top-10 by four other teammates (Emily Little, sixth; Jonna Strange, seventh; Megan Marvin, ninth; Emily Lane, 10th).
Furman now has the most consecutive women’s team titles in meet history. Prior to today’s meet, the Paladins were tied with Appalachian State with seven (The Mountaineers strung theirs together from 1986 to 1992). Now, Furman stands alone with 8.
The 28th-ranked Furman men cruised to a 43-point win over VMI, 20-63. Daniel Bernal, last year’s runner-up, moved up on spot to take home the individual title in 24:20.21. Bernal was one of six Furman athletes in the top-10, as he was accompanied by Cameron Ponder (third), Mason Coppi (fourth), Aaron Wier (fifth), Trent Mandato (seventh) and Noah Dolhare (eighth).
Furman has now tied ETSU for the second most consecutive team titles in meet history. Former conference member William & Mary owns the overall record with 10 from 1966 to 1975.
Mid American Conference Championships
Northern Illinois won its first women’s cross country title in program history.
A true team effort sent the Huskies to a narrow three-point win over Toledo, 84-87.
NIU sat sixth as a team at the 1-mile split, moved up to fourth at the 2-mile split and then surged into the lead by the 3-mile split thanks to a combined 14-spot improvement by its top-5 runners. The Huskies dropped their team score five points between the 3-mile split and the finish and needed every single one of those points to hold off the surging Rockets.
Ashley Tutt and Mackenzie Callahan led the way for NIU in second and third place, respectively (Kailee Perry of Bowling Green won the individual title in 20:41.0). Behind Tutt and Callahan, Sara Atkins (23rd), Brooke Lytle (27th) and Hannah Ricci (29th) moved up the pack throughout the proceedings to bolster their team’s chances. Lytle actually improved 22 spots from the 1-mile to the finish.
The men’s race went according to the form chart.
Eastern Michigan picked up its 14th conference title in the past 16 years. The Eagles won four in a row from 2005 to 2008, eight in a row from 2010 to 2017 and now the past two crowns.
A front-running trio propelled EMU on Saturday as Andy Payne, Baldvin Magnusson and Chris Devaney all finished in the top-5. Payne was hot on the heels of eventual individual champion Josh Park of Ohio and finished runner-up less than three seconds back. Magnusson and Devaney were third and fourth, respectively. Toby Gualter finished 10th with Noah Perrin in 20th to round out the scoring lineup.