Courtesy: Courtesy Photo
The men's and women's cross country teams begin their championship season Saturday with the Mid-American Conference Championship Meet in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Cross Country Set to Compete at MAC Championships

MOUNT PLEASANT, MIch. - The men’s and women’s cross country teams begin their championship season Saturday with the Mid-American Conference Championship Meet in Bowling Green, Ohio, hosted by Bowling Green State University.

Held at the relatively flat Forrest Creason Golf Course the men’s 8k race is set to begin at 11 a.m., while the women’s 6k competition will go at noon.

Last year, the women placed fourth and the men placed second at the MAC Championships. The men’s team has finished runner-up at the past two MAC Championship meets.

The women’s squad enters the weekend ranked 10th in the most recent US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Great Lakes Region rankings, and is the third-ranked MAC team in the region. Toledo (seventh), enters as the favorite, while Miami (OH) (eighth), Ohio (13th) are also ranked among the MAC.

Senior Krista Parks will look to lead the pack for the women. Parks has been the top female finisher for the Chippewas in all five of the meets this season.

“I’m pretty excited to see where we go, because I think we are a better team than we were last year on the women’s side.” Associate head coach, Matt Kaczor said. “This is stepping stone for them, we are a quality top-ten team in the region and that’s nothing to be disappointed about.”

The men’s team enters the weekend 13th in the USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region rankings, making them the fourth-ranked MAC team behind Eastern Michigan (ninth), Miami (OH) (10th) and Akron (11th).

Sophomore Nate Ghena and junior Ethan Lievense have led the way for the Chippewas this season, finishing one-two in each of their races since the Spartan Invitational, the second race of the season.

“It comes down to what kind of pride we have, it’s going to be a tight meet,” Kaczor said. “It’s going to be fun, having a tight competition of teams where you don’t know coming in who is going to be your clear-cut favorite. Any team one through five has a shot at winning.”

Results from Saturday's race can be found at www.mac-sports.com.

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