Tauro Claims Top Honors as U-M Kicks Off Season at Michigan Open

Sept. 4, 2009

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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, 1st (18:00.5)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Sept. 18 -- at Spartan Invitational (East Lansing, Mich.), 1:35 p.m.

DEXTER, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's cross country team kicked off its 2009 season with the annual Michigan Open on Friday (Sept. 4) at Hudson Mills Metropark. Eight Wolverines -- including one who competed unattached -- placed among the top 10 finishers in the 5,000-meter, non-scoring event.

Junior Danielle Tauro(Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) captured the event's top individual honors for the third consecutive season, winning the race with a time of 18:00.5. As two separate groups formed through the race's two-mile point, Tauro paced the lead pack into its second loop through the woods and emerged kicking away from the competition, providing herself about a 60-yard cushion down the final stretch.

Ten Wolverine newcomers made their collegiate debuts -- five ran unattached -- including freshmen Jillian Smith(Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional HS) and Kaitlyn Patterson(Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac HS), who cross the line together to claim second and third place, respectively.

The Wolverines will have a two-week hiatus before returning to action on Friday, Sept. 18, at the Spartan Invitational in East Lansing, Mich. Hosted by Michigan State, the non-scoring event is slated to begin at 1:35 p.m. at Forest Akers East Golf Course.

Complete Results

 1. Danielle Tauro, U-M              18:00.5
 2. Jillian Smith, unatt.            18:11.4
 3. Kaitlyn Patterson, U-M           18:11.8
 4. Kaitlyn Peale, U-M               18:14.0
 5. Courtney Calka, EMU              18:24.2
 6. Lisa Montgomery, unatt.          18:38.1
 7. Becca Addison, U-M               18:43.9
 8. Mary Grace Pellegrini, U-M       18:47.9
 9. Lindsey Hilton, U-M              19:00.1
10. Rachel Severin, unatt.           19:10.7
11. Kourtney Moody, U-M              19:12.6
12. Rachel Hollinger-Janzen, EMU     19:12.6
13. Lindsay Hagan, U-M               19:42.2
14. Linda Montgomery, unatt.         19:45.4
15. Natalie Webb, EMU                19:59.8
16. Rachel Quaintance, EMU           20:00.0
17. Jackie Ellis, EMU                20:05.4
18. Chloe Prince, unatt.             20:13.7
19. Morgan Bailey, unatt.            20:15.2
20. Tiffany Kincaid, EMU             20:18.7
21. Kourtney Clancy, unatt.          20:27.9
22. Beverley Elcock, EMU             20:41.4
23. Christina Farrow, EMU            20:49.9
24. Rachel Kalayjan, unatt.          20:51.1
25. Morgan Churchwell, EMU           20:58.4
26. Nicole Prince, U-M               21:06.1
27. Megan Flewelling, EMU            21:07.9
28. Lauren Quaintance, EMU           21:20.0
29. Lassie Coffman, EMU              21:42.8
30. Beth Zimpfer, EMU                22:00.7


Michigan Head Coach Mike McGuire
On Wolverines' team effort... "In a perfect world, I'd like not to start this early. Coming off of camp, we wanted to keep the group together going out, and I thought we did a pretty good job with that. In particular, the two freshmen -- Jillian Smith, who we ran unattached, and Kaitlyn Patterson -- had a really good race. It was a good start. Danielle (Tauro) ran pretty controlled, and she's going to be our leader this year. We had one fall off the group a little bit, but for the first week I thought it was pretty solid. We've established the benchmark, and we've just got to get better from here."

On the Wolverines' large freshman contingent... "We've got a good group. We had four freshmen in our top 7 today. We're in a position this year where we're going to need help from the freshmen. I think some of them are of the quality where they could have helped one of our past, established teams; they are really high-level athletes. They're definitely going to be called upon, and I think they'll be equal to the challenge."

U-M Junior Danielle Tauro
On the season-opening meet... "This meet is definitely low key. We got back from cross country camp yesterday, so everyone is pretty tired. It's a tough week of camp, and everyone is a bit beat up. We got back yesterday, and then it was move in. So, with this meet, our top priority isn't really to run fast, it's more about getting a race under our belt before the big meets get going. The plan was just to keep our team together, run as a pack and kick it in at the finish. We just wanted to get as many Michigan uniforms -- and those running unattached -- across the line before those Eastern runners."

On her individual performance... "I was planning on going out with the leaders from Eastern. Courtney [Calka] took it out pretty hard, and our plan as a pack was to surround her and run together. We did that for as long as possible. I was just going to settle in until about 800 to go and then kick it in to the finish."

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423