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Cross Country Places 8th At MAC Championships

   MUNCIE, Ind. - - Three runners finished in the top 40 to help the Ball State women's cross country team place eighth among 12 teams at the 2011 Mid-American Conference Cross Country Championships hosted by the Cardinals at the Muncie Elks Country Club.

   Toledo won its second-consecutive women's title with a team score of 33, which was a Mid-American Conference Championships meet record score for a 12-team race. Ohio's Juli Accurso paced all runners with a time of 20:35.3.

   Following Toledo in the women's standings were Central Michigan (73), Miami (83), Ohio (86), Eastern Michigan (89), Western Michigan (177), Akron (212), Ball State (227), Kent State (257), Buffalo (262), Northern Illinois (309) and Bowling Green (379).

   On the men's side, Eastern Michigan took home its second-straight title (and sixth in the last seven years) with a team score of 68. Central Michigan's Tecumseh Adams won the event with a time of 24:01.6.

   Following Eastern Michigan in the men's standings were Central Michigan (78), Buffalo (91), Kent State (107), Ohio (127), Toledo (128), Akron (133), Miami (173) and Bowling Green (256).

   In Saturday's MAC Championship meet, the Cardinals were led once again by junior MaryKate Mellen who placed 32nd overall with a career-fast 6K time of 22:16.3. The effort knocked a little over 25 seconds off her previous career-best 6K time of 22:41.8 set two weeks ago at the Ball State Invitational.

   Redshirt junior Christine Talhelm was BSU's second-best runner at the meet, placing 35th overall with a career-best time of 22:30.7 which was 35 seconds faster than her previous career-best 6K effort.

   Senior Madeline Goheen rounded out Ball State's top three performers, taking home 40th with a career-fast time of 22:41.1. Goheen topped her previous career-best time by a little over 12 seconds.

   Rounding out BSU's scored runners and also posting career-best times were sophomore Esther Tirado (56th; 23:16.6) and redshirt sophomore Emilee Zets (64th; 23:34.5).

   Overall, the Cardinals top five runners combined for a time of 22:51.8, knocking off over five seconds from the team's combined effort last season. BSU's combined score of 227 was also 47 positions better than a year ago, which helped the Cardinals climb two spots in the team rankings from 10th to eighth.

   Also running for the Cardinals in Saturday's MAC Championships were Allison Blanck (67th; 23:58.2), Courtney Edon (73rd; 24:42.8), Caitlynn Edon (24:46.8) and Madelyn Webster (25:00.5).

   The Ball State cross country team returns to action Nov. 12, when it competes at the 2011 Great Lakes Regional hosted by Toledo. The meet is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.

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