Women’s cross country team wins MAC title

October 31, 2011 | News, UToday
By Brad Pettiford

Assistant Coach Sara Vergote and Head Coach Kevin Hadsell held the MAC Championship trophy as the women's cross country team posed for a photo.

The Toledo women’s cross country team can check off one of its season objectives, as it scored a conference record-low 33 points to win the Mid-American Conference cross country championship Saturday at Muncie Elks Country Club in Indiana.

The win gives the UT women’s program back-to-back conference titles for the second time in school history.

All five of Toledo’s scoring runners earned All-MAC honors. Seniors Emma Kertesz and Ari Fisher and sophomore Megan Vogelsong made first team, while juniors Kaylin Belair and Kristal Studer earned second-team recognition.

As has been the case all season, Kertesz led the way for the Rockets, finishing in second place with a time of 20:48.4. Close behind was Fisher, a two-time MAC champion, who posted a third-place finish in her first race of the season, being clocked at 20:53.5. Vogelsong came in fifth place with a time of 21:11.3. Rounding out the scoring five, Belair finished in ninth place with a time of 21:22.9, and Studer finished 14th in 21:41.9.

Freshman Liz Weiler (18th place, 21:47.4) and Mackenzie Chojnacky (26th place, 22:00.9) crossed the line for UT sixth and seventh, respectively.

Another pair of freshmen, Brooke Tullis (27th place, 22:03.0) and Priscilla Timmons (29th place, 22:097.5), completed the UT lineup.

“The women ran great,” Head Coach Kevin Hadsell said. “We have been very patient all year and it paid off. We are really excited about the repeat and the new MAC record. But now we turn our attention to the region.”

He added, “We are rounding into form at the right time, getting Fisher back in the fold and with Vogelsong and Studer improving week to week right now since we spent most of the summer just cross-training. We showed today why we have been nationally ranked this year.”

In the men’s race, Toledo finished in sixth-place with a score of 128 points. Senior Jonathan DeWitt led the way for UT, finishing in seventh place with a time of 24:44.9 and being named to the All-MAC first team for the second straight year. Earning second-team All-MAC honors for the second year in a row was junior Nick Thomas, who came in 13th place with a time of 24:53.6.

Redshirt-freshman Jake Kasperski was the third Rocket finisher, crossing the line in 28th place with a time of 25:12.7. Freshman Hillary Serem (35th place, 25:23.7) and junior Elliot Livensparger (45th place, 25:40.4) completed Toledo’s scoring five.

“The men ran well,” Hadsell said. “We were only one point behind Ohio for fifth place. We have been steadily improving from year to year, and I am extremely excited about the future of the men’s program.”

Hadsell was named the MAC Women’s Coach of the Year after the racing was completed; it is the fourth time the honor has been bestowed upon him. He won the award in 2001, 2002 and 2010, along with conference championships. Hadsell has kept UT a fixation in the upper-echelon of the MAC, as the Midnight Blue and Gold have finished in the top two in the conference seven times in the last 11 years.

The men’s and women’s teams will race in the Great Lakes Region championship meet at Ottawa Park Saturday, Nov. 12. The men’s 10K race will go off at noon, followed by the women’s 6K race at 1:15 p.m.

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