Updated Thu, Aug 22, 2013 11:57 am
The Ohio women's cross country team has a bright outlook for the upcoming year after an impressive 2012 season. Each runner hopes to meet her personal goals and contribute to the team's success under coach Clay Calkins during his 11th campaign with the team.
Calkins, when asked how this year's team will be different from last year's, said, "We are going to be more successful."
In 2012 the 'Cats finished third in the Mid-American Conference. They were led by senior Juli Accurso, who looks to continue her dominance from years past and to add to her long list of accolades. She has won the MAC individual title two years in a row and hopes to capitalize again as a senior. Accurso was named to the 2012 All-MAC First Team and was recognized as the Great Lakes Region Runner of the Year.
Along with Accurso, the Bobcats return junior Morgan Reichert and senior Melissa Thompson, who were both named to the All-MAC Second Team in 2012. Calkins indicated that sophomores Morgan Meade and Kayla Scott will round out the top five for the team, but there will be some underclassmen that’ll contend for their spots.
“There are some up-and-comers that could be impact performers immediately, such as sophomore Krista Roehlig and freshman Tara Tollett,” Calkins said.
On top of the young talent, Ohio possesses a veteran roster, with five seniors looking to make their final year their best. Calkins said that the team will be "pulling on the upperclassmen hard to be competitive."
The team as a whole has high hopes starting at the top. Calkins said the team "is trying for a MAC Championship."
“The team is fantastic and ready to put in the work to be a championship team,” Calkins said. “We have a lot of returning upperclassmen and a solid recruiting class."
To accomplish this feat, Calkins said the Bobcats are following a building block process of continually adding miles to what they have already mastered to improve their times.
Ohio begins its season by facing rival Miami (OH) in Oxford, Ohio, on Sept. 7 at 10 a.m., in which Calkins said is "going to be a good test." The Bobcats compete in their sole home meet, the Ohio Invitational, on Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. The full season consists of six meets, which all lead up to the highly contested MAC Championship on Nov. 2 in Bowling Green, Ohio, at 11 a.m. Ohio will have the opportunity to make a splash in the NCAA Regionals and Nationals following the conference championship.