Women’s Cross-Country Sets Sights On MAC Team Title

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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 eleventh campaign with the team. When Calkins was asked how this year's team would be different then last year's, he simply 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 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 by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Along with Accurso, the Bobcats have 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. However, he contends that "there are some up-and-comers that could be impact performers immediately such as sophomore Krista Roehlig and freshman Tara Tollett." On top of young talent, Ohio possesses a veteran roster with five seniors looking to make their final year their best. Coach Calkins says that the team will be "pulling on the upperclassmen hard to be compeitive."

The team as a whole has high hopes starting at the top. Calkins says that the team is trying for a MAC Championship.

“The team is fantastic and ready to put in the work to be a championship team,” said Calkins. “We have a lot of returning upperclassmen and a solid recruiting class."

To accomplish this feat the team is trying to build on what it had last year and Calkins said they 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 what Calkins says will 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.