Tauro Takes Top Spot for Wolverines Again at Spartan Invitational

Sept. 17, 2010

Site: East Lansing, Mich. (Forest Akers East Golf Course)
Meet: Spartan Invitational (6,000 meters)
U-M Finish: Non-scoring
Top U-M Individual: Danielle Tauro, 5th (20:58)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Oct. 2 -- at Wisconsin adidas Invitational (Madison, Wis.), 11 a.m. CDT

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Senior Danielle Tauro (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional HS) paced the University of Michigan women's cross country team for the second time in as many meets, placing fifth at the non-scoring Spartan Invitational on Friday afternoon (Sept. 17) at Michigan State's Forest Akers East Golf Course. Michigan recorded a familiar top five -- with four Wolverines among the race's top-10 individual finishers -- and posted a 33-second split between its first and fifth runners across the line.

The Wolverines hung together through the early portion of the race before separating around the two-mile mark. Senior/junior Kaitlyn Peale (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington HS), sophomore Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional HS) and sophomore Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven HS) placed seventh, eighth and 10th, respectively, while sophomore Kaitlyn Patterson (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac HS) rounded out U-M's top five in 11th place -- 10 seconds behind Addison with a time of 21:31.

Post-collegiate Lanni Marchant, competing unattached, created instant distance between herself and the field, taking the race out with a quick 5:15 opening mile. Tauro stayed near the front of the first chase pack, crossing the mile marker at 5:20, before the pace slowed in the second mile. After crossing the two-mile mark at 11:00, Michigan State's Emily McLeod and Miami's Rachael Patterson -- the race's top-two eventual finishers -- made their move to create separation. Tauro maintained her position and, accelerating in the final 1,000 meters, closed well but could not catch fourth-place finisher Carlie Green of Michigan State, crossing the finish line just one-hundredth of a second behind the Spartan with a time of 20:58.

Tauro's time was an 11-second improvement on her previous 6,000-meter personal best, while the fifth-place finish was her fourth consecutive top-five showing. Three additional Wolverines clocked personal-best times, most notably Smith, whose 21:17 performance shaved nearly 21 seconds from her previous best.

The Wolverines will take another two-week hiatus before returning to action on Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational in Madison, Wis. Hosted by the University of Wisconsin, the women's 6,000-meter race is scheduled for an 11 a.m. CDT start at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course.

Top Five Individuals

 1. Emily MacLeod, Michigan State     20:46
 2. Rachael Patterson, Miami (Ohio)   20:54
 3. Lanni Marchant, unatt.            20:56
 4. Carlie Green, Michigan State      20:57
 5. DANIELLE TAURO, U-M               20:58

Other Michigan Individuals

  7. Kaitlyn Peale, U-M            21:10
  8. Jillian Smith, U-M            21:17
 10. Rebecca Addison, U-M          21:21
 11. Kaitlyn Patterson, U-M        21:31
 26. Lindsey Hilton, U-M           22:14
 32. Mary Grace Pellegrini, U-M    22:24
 38. Alex Leptich, U-M             22:39
 57. Courtney Clancy, U-M          23:08
 62. Kourtney Moody, U-M           23:15
 73. Monica Barnes, U-M            23:24
 92. Jami Hill, U-M                23:45
 98. Chloe Prince, U-M             23:48
100. Meg Bellino, U-M              23:49


Michigan Head Coach Mike McGuire
On the team's performance ... "If it was scored, Michigan State would have beaten us. I thought both teams ran well. For where we're at right now, I was pretty happy. It was a good race for [Danielle] Tauro, and I thought it was a very good race for Jill Smith and a solid race for Becca Addison. We need to get Kaitlyn Peale and Kaitlyn Patterson in there just a little bit better. I'd like to get a little more there; I'd like to get a little more out of everybody. But I'm pretty happy about where we're at. Our split was about 33 seconds from one to five; I'd like to see us close that up a bit, and I'd like to see us close that up with us running faster and impacting the front of the race even more. Those two things are going to determine whether we're going to be good or really good."

On the race ... "The pace was a lot faster than it was where last year. They were going right from the get. The conditions here were really nice; the wind started picking up a bit after the race, but we had ideal conditions to run in. The fast pace stung a few of them. [Danielle] Tauro was up there the whole time. She did a really good job of establishing herself."

U-M Senior Danielle Tauro
On the Wolverines' team effort ... "The top six times were faster than the winning time from last year. I ran 20 seconds faster than what I ran last year, and almost every girl on our team ran 20 or more seconds faster than they ran last year. Some of our girls wound up running their best 5,000-meter time through the 5k of the 6k, and then they still had another 1,000 meters to go. That's pretty exciting. It was great from some of our younger girls to get their first 6k in. It's also an adjustment for everyone, moving back up in distance. It's a great start, where people are running close to their PRs already. It's a great feeling, and I'm really optimistic for our team. We were right there with Michigan State. It's been a big improvement since cross country camp, and we're running faster than our first meet. As long as we can keep moving forward and keep everyone healthy, it's going to be really good for us."

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423