The University of Toledo will hosting the Mid-American Conference Championships Saturday, Oct 27, at Ottawa Park Golf Course. The women’s 6K race will begin at 11 a.m. with the men’s 8K to follow at noon.
“Coaching and preparing for a championship is difficult. When you throw the meet management side on top of it, it just adds another layer, but we love to host, and we’re excited to host,” said Head Coach Linh Nguyen.
The women’s cross country team landed in the top five in team finishes all season, three of which were first-place finishes. Junior Athena Welsh has had a stand-out season with three individual victories.
“I think the women definitely have a shot to win,” Nguyen said. “It’s not going to be easy. There are a couple teams that are pretty good, and their goal coming in will for sure be to win it all. I think the capability is there; we’ll see what happens.”
The women’s squad last competed in the Eastern Michigan Fall Classic, where sophomore Riley Kwiatkowski set the pace for the Midnight Blue and Gold, taking 25th (18:38.6). Junior Amanda Bakley placed 32nd (18:56.4) with freshman Megan Burmeister taking 34th (18:58.3).
“For the men, we want to continue to improve upon our performances. Hopefully, we can move up in the rankings from where we were last year and get things going for the future,” Nguyen said.
The men’s squad last competed in the Bradley Pink Classic, where junior Dismas Koech led the Rockets, placing 71st (25:45.9). Sophomore Jake Papish took 83rd (25:54.2), and senior Jacob Wistinghausen took 113th (26:11.2).
At last year’s MAC Championships, the women’s squad was runner-up to Eastern Michigan. Welsh took 10th (21:10.7) while Jennifer Lichter took 29th (22:00.5), Petronela Simiuc took 35th (22:09.7), and Michelle Hostettler took 60th (22:42.1).
On the men’s side, the Rockets took ninth with Dismas Koech leading the Rockets, taking 35th (25:41.7). Brian Stubelt took 75th (27:12.1) and Josh Oeters followed closely behind to take 76th (27:16.1).