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   BUFFALO, N.Y. - - The Ball State cross country team's top five runners combined for an average time of 23:15.0 to place 10th of 12 teams at the 2012 Mid-American Conference Championships hosted by Buffalo at Beaver Island State Park Saturday morning.

   Senior MaryKate Mellen (Michigan City, Ind./Michigan City) paced the Cardinals for the 12th consecutive meet, placing 29th overall with a 6K time of 22:29.0. The 29th-place effort was Mellen's best career finish in the league's premier event.

   No. 20 Toledo won the meet for the third consecutive season with a MAC-record 12-team score of 24, as its top five runners all placed in the top eight. Ohio's Julie Accurso won the 6K meet with a clocking of 20:48.4.

   Following the Rockets in the team standings were Miami (81), Ohio (92), Central Michigan (124), Eastern Michigan (144), Akron (178), Buffalo (179), Bowling Green (206), Kent State (213), BSU (267), Northern Illinois (277) and Western Michigan (337).

   Following Mellen, Ball State's next two runners were freshman Katelyn DeVries (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) and sophomore Courtney Edon (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine) who each posted career-best 6K efforts with times of 22:47.5 (44th) and 22:49.4 (45th), respectively.

   Rounding out Ball State's scored runners were senior Emilee Zets (Berlin Center, Ohio/West Branch) in 74th with a time of 24:03.9 and junior Esther Tirado (Lafayette, Ind./Jefferson) in 75th with a clocking of 24:04.8.

   Also running, but not scoring for the Cardinals were sophomore Caitlynn Edon (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine) and freshman Kelly Swift (West Lafayette, Ind./Jefferson) with career-fast times of 24:14.5 and 24:19.8, respectively.

   The Ball State cross country team returns to action Friday, Nov. 9, when select members of the squad travels to Madison, Wis., for the 2012 Great Lakes Regional hosted by Wisconsin at the Zimmer Championship Course.

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