Oct. 25, 2013
Site: Dexter, Mich. (Hudson Mills Metropark)
Meet: EMU Fall Classic (5,000 Meters)
U-M Team Finish: Non-scoring
Top U-M Individual: Victoria Waidley, 7th (18:08.1)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Nov. 3 -- at Big Ten Championships (West Lafayette, Ind.), 11:45 a.m.
DEXTER, Mich. -- The 14th-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team was led by sophomore/freshman Victoria Waidley (Dexter, Mich./Dexter) in its regular-season finale at the EMU Fall Classic on Friday (Oct. 25) at Hudson Mills Metropark.
On the same 5,000-meter course where the Wolverines opened the season hosting the Michigan Open on Aug. 30, Waidley clocked a team-best time of 18:08.1 in today's contest to finish seventh overall, chopping 1:29 off her time from the season-opening event. Waidley made a strong sprint to the finish over the last 50 meters to beat out Michigan State's Alana O'Mara by .02 seconds, becoming the second Big Ten finisher.
Sophomore/freshman Gina McNamara (Northville, Mich./Northville) also made significant improvement from the Michigan open, finishing in 19th place in a time of 18:38.1, which was 1:16 faster than her Michigan Open mark.
Senior/junior Nicola Hallenborg (Summit, N.J./Summit), Michigan's third finishers, slashed nearly two minutes off her time from the season opener to cross the line 22nd in a time of 18:39.3.
The Wolverines' fourth and fifth finishers crossed the line back to back and were separated by less than three seconds. Sophomore/freshmen Brittany Robinson (Fenton, Mich./Fenton) and Heather Price (Holland, Mich./Saugatuck) finished in 24th and 25th place, respectively, in times of 18:39.9 and 18:42.6.
Junior/sophomore Megan Pearson (Paw Paw, Mich./Paw Paw) (19:39.9) and sophomore/freshman Hailey Middlebrook (Boone, N.C./Watauga) (20:10.4) rounded out Michigan's seven-person squad at today's regular-season finale, as Pearson took 47th and Middlebrook finished the race 52nd.
The Wolverines will begin the championship portion of their season when they travel to Purdue for the Big Ten Championships on Sunday, Nov. 3. The women's race will begin at 11:45 a.m., following by the men's race at 10:45 a.m. at Boilermaker Cross Country Course.
Top 10 Finishers
1. Nicole Sifuentes, Saucony 16:57.1 2. Becca Addison, Unattached 17:24.4 3. Raquel Serna, Michigan State 17:39.0 4. Julia Otwell, Unattached 17.50.9 5. Corinne Florie, Unattached 17:57.7 6. Gina Sereno, Unattached 17:59.5 7. Victoria Waidley, U-M 18:08.1 8. Alana O'Mara, Michigan State 18:08.3 9. Jamie Morrissey, Unattached 18:10.9 10. Danae Dracht, Spring Arbor 18:11.6
Other U-M Finishers
11. Sarah Zieve, Unattached 18:12.0 19. Gina McNamara, U-M 18:38.1 22. Nicola Hallenborg, U-M 18:39.3 23. Courtney Munley, Unattached 18:39.5 24. Brittany Robinson, U-M 18:39.9 25. Heather Price, U-M 18:42.6 35. Jessica Miles, Unattached 19:03.1 47. Megan Pearson, U-M 19:39.9 51. Jillian Smith, Unattached 19:58.4 52. Hailey Middlebrook, U-M 20:10.4
N O T E S
Former Wolverines Nicole (Edwards) Sifuentes (2005-08) and Rebecca Addison (2010-13) competed unattached in today's race, finishing first and second, respectively, in times of 16:57.1 and 17:24.4. Sifuentes was a member of Team Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, competing in the 1,500-meter run.
Michigan has competed at Hudson Mills Metropark twice a year for the last seven seasons, running at the Michigan Open and EMU Fall Classic each year. The Wolverines have competed in the EMU Fall Classic each year dating back to 2002.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Mike McGuire
On the team's improvement since the Michigan Open ... "I saw a byproduct of eight weeks of fitness. We had a good day to run -- the course conditions were pretty good. We really felt going in that they had a chance to be 30, 35, 40 seconds faster than they were in the end of August and they were successful with that, and then some."
On the younger girls being the future of this program ... "For the most part these are girls who won't run the Big Ten meet, but we have people running the Big Ten meet next week that ran in this meet last year so it's all part of the process. By design, we redshirted all our freshmen with the exception of Erin Finn and so in particular for them, this was their Big Ten meet, because this was only their second racing opportunity. I thought they really showed great form today."
On having Nicole Sifuentes and Becca Addison racing today ... "I know the Michigan athletes were excited about it. There are a lot of high school athletes out here today as well and it's not like they get a lot of opportunities to see an Olympian this close to home. Becca is aspiring to make that next step post-collegiate running as well so it was great to have them both out there today."
U-M Sophomore/Freshman Victoria Waidley
On the difference between the Michigan Open and today's race ... "The beginning of the season, we had just gotten back from camp and it was super hot that day. The competition wasn't as high that day and today had such a great vibe. Traveling over the course of the season and going to bigger meets and experiencing what it feels like to stay in a hotel and race without any distractions has been really helpful. Today was that last chance to give it everything. Personally, I just love racing, and I thrive off it. Workouts are the hard part and racing is supposed to be fun -- it's the part I love about running. Today was awesome -- it was competitive and had such a great vibe. This is also my home course from high school so it was such a great feeling to be out here."
On what she's learned from racing with the varsity this season ... "I definitely learned to get out of my comfort zone. Before the season started I didn't realize I had a comfort zone, but then after doing workouts with varsity, you come to realize what you can actually do. And once you do it in workouts, you learn to apply it to races. At first you second guess yourself, but after working out enough, you learn what you really are capable of and it's just your job to implement it into races. I learned a lot through racing, and having big competitions really helped because there are so many people to feed off of."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423