In their final tune-up meet before the MAC Championships at the end of this month, both Cross Country teams headed to Louisville for Pre-Nationals and one of the stronger fields they'll see in a long time.
Racing in the 'Seeded' pack, which featured eleven nationally-ranked teams and six more receiving votes, UB's Men were a shorthanded in an effort to be at their healthiest for the conference championships on Halloween weekend. Brian Crimmins' recent knee surgery was to fix a torn meniscus and will keep him out for the season (as expected), and Jack Jibb and Andrew Berge are both banged up.
Without their top two finishers from Paul Short, and Crimmins (5th for the Bulls at the UB Stampede), the UB Men finished 42nd of 42 in the seeded race:
|279||Justin Van Epps||26:01.4|
For the group, there's mixed results there compared to earlier races in the season, and even beyond Jibb and Berge there's a different name or two. Given the injuries, I wouldn't spend too much time focused on this race.
Three runners also competed in the Open race:
59 Adam Hunt 25:48.4
68 Tyler Scheving 25:57.6
132 Daniel Muldoon 29:29.1
UB's women did not race in the seeded race, but put forth a case that they belonged there with a strong, strong showing in the unseeded race, running with Washington State for the win. Among those on the scoreboard are nine regionally-ranked teams. Though none are from UB's Northeast region, Indiana is currently #6 in the Great Lakes.
The Women's Open race is just starting, but I'll update with those times once results are available. Of the top seven here, everyone for the most part is in the same range as they were at Paul Short, with the exception of Morgan Mahoney. We can probably expect a similar or stronger range of times at the MAC Championships.
Had the women run this race in the seeded division, they would have finished 37th, beating Bowling Green in addition to the other MAC programs in the unseeded race. Of conference opponents at this meet, only heavy favorite Eastern Michigan ran faster.