Wolverines Dominate Top 10 at Michigan Open to Kick Off 2010

Sept. 3, 2010

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Site: Dexter, Mich. (Hudson Mills Metropark)
Meet: Michigan Open (5,000 Meters)
U-M Finish: Non-scoring
Top U-M Individual: Danielle Tauro, 2nd (17:51.91)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Sept. 17 -- at Spartan Invitational (East Lansing, Mich.), 1 p.m.

DEXTER, Mich. -- Eight University of Michigan women's cross country runners -- including one who competed unattached -- placed among the top 10 finishers at the 5,000-meter Michigan Open on Friday (Sept. 3) to kick off the 2010 season at the non-scoring event held at Hudson Mills Metropark.

For the fourth time in as many years, senior Danielle Tauro (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional HS) paced the Maize and Blue to the finish line in the season-opening event, but after winning each of her previous appearances, the Wolverine veteran settled for runner-up with a time of 17:51.91. Eastern Michigan's Courtney Calka claimed the top individual spot, opening up a gap in the race's final 1,200 meters before crossing the line in 17:42.00 -- an 18-second improvement over last season's winning time.

Michigan's top five crossed the finish line within a narrow 23-second window, while its top seven came through in a 33-second spread. Sophomore Kaitlyn Patterson (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac HS) took third place in 17:58.87, while senior/junior Kaitlyn Peale (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington HS) -- a 2009 NCAA All-American -- and sophomore Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven HS) crossed the finish line back to back in 18:03.39 and 18:05.31, respectively. Sophomore Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional HS) rounded out the Wolverines' top five in sixth place, clocking 18:14.18.

The Wolverines will take a two-week break before returning to action on Friday, Sept. 17, at the annual Spartan Invitational in East Lansing, Mich. Hosted by Michigan State, the 6,000-meter event is slated to begin at 1 p.m. at the Forest Akers Golf Course.

Complete Results

 1. Courtney Calka, EMU            17:42.0
 2. Danielle Tauro, U-M            17:51.91
 3. Kaitlyn Patterson, U-M         17:58.87
 4. Kaitlyn Peale, U-M             18:03.49
 5. Rebecca Addison, U-M           18:05.31
 6. Jillian Smith, U-M             18:14.18
 7. Lindsey Hilton, U-M            18:21.76
 8. Mary Grace Pellegrini, U-M     18:24.24
 9. Alex Leptich, unattached       18:48.05
10. Morgan Churchwell, EMU         18:59.25
11. Lindsey Gakenheimer, U-M       19:09.50
12. Megan Weschler, unattached     19:10.63
13. Natalie Webb, EMU              19:12.29
14. Tiffany Kinkaid, EMU           19:23.87
15. Alicia Patterson, unattached   19:37.14
16. Rachel Quaintance, EMU         19:42.34
17. Kourtney Moody, U-M            19:46.28
18. Courtney Clancy, U-M           19:46.63
19. Monica Barnes, U-M             19:46.88
20. Lauren Quaintance, EMU         19:49.78
21. Meg Bellino, U-M               19:50.34
22. Chloe Prince, U-M              19:56.21
23. Jami Hill, U-M                 19:59.41
24. Alex Keyser, unattached        20:06.15
25. Christine Farrow, EMU          20:14.46
26. Cassie Coffman, EMU            20:17.81
27. Erica Crane, unattached        20:19.44
28. Taylor Pogue, unattached       20:39.14
29. Meghan Pearson, unattached     20:49.48
30. Ariel Dempsey, unattached      21:00.18
31. Nicole Prince, U-M             21:00.47
32. Kaitlin French, unattached     21:05.24
33. Amber Hutson, EMU              21:06.86
34. Beth Zimpfer, EMU              21:14.64
35. Brooke Sciullo, unattached     21:31.85
36. Lauren Lunsford, EMU           21:43.02
37. Nicola Hallenborg, unattached  21:57.82


Michigan Head Coach Mike McGuire
On the Michigan results ... "We're trying to get the group a little tighter together, and I thought we were able to do that today. Our gap was somewhere in the 22- or 23-second range between our first scorer and our fifth. In that respect, we did a really nice job, and I'm satisfied with what we established as a benchmark here today. We just have to get better. This is our starting point. If we can keep a small gap like that once we extend it over 6K, then we'll be in pretty good shape. We had solid performances out of our first five then I thought that Lindsey Hilton and Mary Grace Pellegrini ran very well for us. We were even closer at six and seven than I thought we'd be going in. That's a good sign from a depth standpoint."

On Michigan's sophomores ... "Off of what we saw at camp, they're a lot wiser and a lot stronger. Now they know what they're into after a year's experience. I think, collectively, we can get a big boost from those three."

On senior Danielle Tauro ... "She's starting to return to form off of some of her previous good races. I'm satisfied with where she's at right now. She and Kaitlyn Peale have established themselves at high-level meets in years' past. If they can hold serve with that and the other three can shore it up, I think we can be pretty good."

U-M Senior Danielle Tauro
On her race ... "Coming off of camp, everyone is feeling pretty dead -- and I was a little under the weather -- so my goal was just to stay with the girls, pack up and stay together as long as we could. I think we did a nice job with that over the first two miles. I think with about 1,200 to go, [EMU's Courtney Calka] started opening up on me and then she just opened more and more. It's tough to stay at a fast pace when you're by yourself and pushing yourself. My arms really lactated; usually you go to your arms when your legs get tired, but I think my arms got tired before my legs did. So, it got a little rough. With about 600 or 800 to go, Kaitlyn Patterson came up on me; that's really what I needed -- a little kick in the pants. She pushed me to get the wheels going to start kicking it in. That's what you have teammates for, and she finished really strong too."

On Michigan's sophomores ... "I think they learned really quick last year. They knew that a lot of the upperclassmen were getting sick or injured, so they really had to step up and learn right away. I think it helped that they had each other. There was so many of them that they never felt like they were alone, so I think they were a lot more comfortable and confident. This year, they're already leaps and bounds stronger. We had an amazing week at camp, and our 1-5 was running together the entire time. Last year, when they were freshmen, they were falling off, but this year, they stayed strong in all of our runs. I think our future is looking good."

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423