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Posted on Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 10 a.m.

Eastern Michigan savors MAC cross country championship

By Matt Durr

In its 100th season, the Eastern Michigan men’s cross country team captured its 16th Mid-American Conference cross country championship.

Five Eastern runners placed in the top 20 Saturday on their way to the Eagles' second consecutive MAC championship.

“The competition was spirited as expected and our guys responded with a solid team effort,” said head coach John Goodridge. “(Daryl) Smith and (Nick) Petro were competing in their first conference championship for us and delivered key efforts as our second and third scorers.”

Goodrich was named the MAC Coach of the Year for the second straight season after leading the Eagles, and two runners were named to the All-MAC team. Terefe Ejigu was part of the first team All-MAC and Smith was second team.

Ejigu led the Eagles with a time of 24 minutes, 16.0 seconds to finish second overall. The junior was 15 seconds shy of repeating as individual champion. Smith took ninth with a time of 24:47:3. The team scored 68 points, beating second-place Central Michigan by 10 points.

“Winning a conference championship is always a special collegiate experience,” said Goodridge. “With this year being the 100th anniversary of EMU cross country, it was extra special. I'm very proud of this team and happy for them that they have added another chapter to the tradition of this great program."

Michigan women’s soccer claims Big Ten honors

Although the team did not reach the Big Ten tournament, four members of the U-M women’s soccer team have been honored with All-Big Ten awards.

After leading the team with 11 goals this season, Nkem Ezurike was named to the Big Ten’s second team for the second time. The sophomore led the team in assists and points on her way to becoming the ninth player in program history to have back-to-back seasons as an all-conference first- or second-team member.

Joining Ezurike on the second team is Clare Stachel, who scored five goals. The two forwards combined to score 16 of the team’s 26 goals.

Midfielder Christina Murillo was selected to the all-freshman team after starting all 19 games for the Wolverines. She finished with six assists.

Senior midfielder Courtney Mercier was named as a sportsmanship award honoree. She played in all 19 games and finished her career at Michigan having played in 69 games while scoring three goals and recording three assists.

Michigan runner named Co-Freshman of the Year

Goodrich, Mich., native Taylor Pogue was named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Year on Tuesday for her work with the U-M women’s cross country team this season. At the Big Ten Championships last week, Pogue ran a time of 20:41 to finish 12th overall and earn her a spot on the All-Big Ten second team.

Pogue placed in the top-five in three different races this season and never finished outside of the top-25. Pogue shared the award with Wisconsin’s Gabrielle Anzalone.

Pollard named MAC scholar athlete

Eastern Michigan defensive back Marlon Pollard was named the MAC Male Scholar Athlete of the Week after his performance against Western Michigan on Oct. 22. The award is given to athletes who hold a 3.0 GPA or higher and excel on the field.

Pollard had 10 tackles against WMU, helping the Eagles football team to a 14-10 victory.

Bain to play in Senior Game Michigan senior field hockey player Bryn Bain was elected to be part of the 2011 NFCHA Division I Senior Game on Nov. 19 in Louisville.

Bain has been a key factor for the Wolverines on their way to the Big Ten Championship, which Bain and her teammates claimed last week. Bain has played in all 18 games this season and leads Michigan with nine assists.

As part of the Senior Game, Bain and the other seniors will face off against U.S. Women’s National team and against each other in four, 25-minute sessions.

Upcoming home schedule

Thursday:

Eastern Michigan volleyball - 7 p.m. vs. Central Michigan at Convocation Center

Friday:

Eastern Michigan women’s basketball - 5 p.m. vs. Madonna at Convocation Center

Michigan men’s basketball - 7 p.m. vs. Wayne State at Crisler Arena

Michigan hockey - 7:35 p.m. vs. No. 6 Western Michigan at Yost Arena

Saturday:

Eastern Michigan football - noon vs. Ball State at Rynearson Stadium

Michigan men’s soccer - 5 p.m. vs. Northwestern at U-M Soccer Stadium

Michigan hockey - 7:35 p.m. vs. No. 6 Western Michigan at Yost Arena

Matt Durr covers sports for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at mattdurr@annarbor.com or at 734-623-2532.