CEDARVILLE, Ohio – The Michigan Tech cross country teams traveled to Cedarville, Ohio to compete in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championship Races at the Elkin R. King Cross Country Course on Saturday. The women's team finished No. 8 and the men's team placed ninth with junior Emily Vigil earning All-Region Honors.
The 2017 season goes down in the books as the best finish for the women's program at the regionals, earning 8th place. The Huskies positioned themselves for a top 10 finish at the regional meet in 2014 where the men's team placed 8th in the Midwest Regional Championship races. In 2011, the women's team finished 11th overall.
"Today was another great step forward for both of our programs," said Michigan Tech head coach Jake Isaacson. "Two top-10 finishes is awesome, and we return all of the women and nine of our top-10 men next season."
In a loaded field of 197 runners, Emily Vigil led the women's team in 23rd place. Vigil hit the finish line of the 6K race with a time of 22 minutes and 12.3 seconds. Emily Byrd followed just seconds later at 22:18.6, clinching 26th place. Liz Bloch was the 34th runner to cross the finish line at 22:40.6.
"Emily Vigil ran the best race of her career, and earning All-Region is a tremendous accomplishment for her," said Isaacson. "We return all of these women next year, and it will be exciting to see how far we can go."
Matt Pahl was the top finisher for the Tech men, securing 33rd place in the 10K race with a time of 32:30.3 out of 198 competitors. Pahl was honored as a GLIAC First Team All-Conference runner and has led the Huskies throughout the season.
"For the men, we had four freshmen and one sophomore get their first race experience at this level, and I am very proud of how they responded to the competition," added Isaacson.
Senior, Grant Brown, participated in his last competitive race of his college career. Brown finished with a time of 34:34 for 135th place.
"Grant Brown ended his cross country career today, and his leadership will stay with this young core for years to come," Isaacson said. "I'm unbelievably proud of the young man he's become."
The NCAA II National Championships are set to be held November 18 in Evansville, Indiana. Three teams from each of the eight regions will earn automatic bids this weekend. On Monday (Nov. 6) eight more at-large teams from around the country will be chosen to complete the 32-team National Championships field.