Cleveland, Ohio- The league office released the 2006 women’s cross country preseason poll today. The preseason poll voted on by the MAC cross country head coaches, tagged Toledo women’s cross country team as the winner of both the regular season and the MAC Championship.
The Rockets were the 2005 MAC runner up team and recorded their sixth top eight finish at the NCAA Regional Championships, giving them the highest finish by a MAC school. Coach Kevin Hadsell will return nine key runners from the 2005 season. Sophmore Dagmara Handzlik became the 3rd MAC female to qualify individually for a NCAA Championship, placed second in last year’s MAC championship and was named to the 2005 All-MAC first team and the First Team NCAA All-Region. Also returning are seniors Judit Kocsis, Candance Cromley, Erica Moriarty and Sierra Smith along with Juniors Nicole Camp, Alison Tittle, Jennifer Spieldenner and Ema Dimitriu.
Ohio University was tabbed to finish second for the 2006 regular season. The Bobcats ended their 2005 season at fourth place in the MAC championship and 10th at the NCAA Regional Championship. Coach Clay Calkin will welcome back seven starters. Among those seven starters are Carime Reinhart (Jr.), All-MAC First Team and Academic All-MAC team selection. Reinhart placed fourth in the MAC Championships with a time of 17:49 and was named the fourth person to have the highest GPA in the NCAA (3.972). Andrea Maas (Sr.), another returning starter, was named to the 2005 All-MAC second team and finished in 13th place at the MAC championship last year.
Miami University was voted to finish third by the MAC head coaches. The RedHawks finshed at number five during the 2005 MAC Championship and went on to take the 13th position at the NCAA Regional Championships. Head coach Dr. Richard Ceronie welcomes back four juniors and four sophomores. Jennie Stoll (Jr.) was the only RedHawk to receive all conference honors as she was named to the All-MAC second team after placing ninth in the MAC championships.
Western Michigan University were selected to finish fourth for the upcoming season. The Broncos who finished sixth overall in the MAC Championships and 21st in the NCAA Regionals will welcome back four seniors for the 2006 season. Nicole Blake (Sr.), Rachel Bumann (Sr.), Katie Kelel (Sr.) and Christi Valanty (Sr.) will return with hopes of cliniching a MAC Championship title.
Ball State University and Bowling Green State University round out the top six finishers for the 2006 preseason poll. Ball State took third place in the MAC Championship and 12th at the NCAA Regional Championships last year. The Cardinals welcome back five letterwinners for the 2006 season. Bowling Green finished their ?05 season with a tenth place finish in the MAC and 22nd in the NCAA Regional Championship. The Falcons will welcome back seven starters. Following Bowling Green State is the University of Akron at number seven. The Zips were the 2005 MAC champions and placed 11th at the NCAA Regional Championships. Coach Scott Jones was named Coach of the Year for ?05. Akron University named three runners on the All-MAC First Team and one Runner on the All-MAC Second Team. In at number eight is Kent State University who finished their ?05 season tied at number seven in the MAC and 15th at the NCAA Regional Championship. The Golden Flashes will return seven veteran runners. The University at Buffalo clinched the ninth position on the poll. Buffalo finished ninth in the MAC and 16th at the NCAA Regional Championships. The Bulls will welcome six seniors back including Jennifer Jezorski who was named to the Academic All-MAC Team for 2005. Central Michigan University concludes the top ten teams for the 2006 preseason poll. Central Michigan who tied with Kent State for a seventh place finish in the MAC ended their season with a 24th place at the NCAA Regional Championship. The Chippewas return Sophomore Jackie Rivard. Concluding the 2006 preseason poll are Eastern Michigan University at number eleven and Northern Illinois at number twelve.
The University at Buffalo will host the 2006 Mid American Conference Cross Country Championships on Saturday, October 28 in Buffalo, N.Y.