It's a good bit harder to write about runners than members of UB's other teams. There's not exactly different positions or roles among the cross country teams, nor is there much variation in strategy over the course of a competition; everyone's job is to get across the finish line a quickly as possible.
Still, there's more teamwork in a cross country race than you might think. The UB men in particular last year did a good job all season of maintaining a tight pack, which both makes it easy to push your teammates to a faster pace and helps keep your team score low as everyone finishes right after another.
Following Zach Ahart's final cross country season, which ended with an individual MAC Championship, Cam Bruce looked to be the new #1 for Buffalo, having been the next Bull in 2013, finishing 25th at the conference championships.
And for much of the season, Cam ran the show for the men's team, leading the Bulls in each of his first three races. In particular, at the largest meet of the season, Lehigh's Paul Short Invitational, Bruce was the fastest Bull by a full twenty seconds, highlighting a strong team effort that was good enough for 7th of 42 teams at the invite and propelled UB into the regional rankings.
Cam was slowed by a minor injury the last few weeks of the season and was unable to run with the front pack at the MAC Championships, but only dropped back to UB's next pack, still improved by 50+ seconds on his 2013 MAC Championship performance, and did well to finish alongside Brian Crimmins and Barrett Kemp as the team as a whole posted their best finish at the conference championships since 2011, dropping an average of 43 seconds per runner from their 2013 race, did so with a lineup featuring no seniors, and on a tougher course than the year before, to boot.
Men's Cross Country, much like a few other UB teams, returns a ton of juniors and sophomores this season, and given New York's strength in high school running, is a team that's poised to keep improving. In 2014 Bruce was the clear preseason favorite to lead the Bulls. After last fall and the improvements of Crimmmins, Kemp, Andrew Berge, and Justin Van Epps, maybe it's not so cut and dry in 2015, but there's no question that when it comes to leading the pack, no one yet has as much experience as the junior.