Nov. 1, 2009
Site: State College, Pa. (Blue/White Golf Course)
Meet: Big Ten Championships (5,000 meters)
U-M Finish: Fourth of 11 Teams (122 points)
Top U-M Individual: Kaitlyn Peale, 4th (20:33)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Nov. 6 -- at Toledo Rocket Open (Toledo, Ohio), 4:30 p.m.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Junior/sophomore Kaitlyn Peale (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington HS) claimed fourth place to lead the University of Michigan women's cross country team to a fourth-place team finish (122 points) at the Big Ten Championships on Sunday (Nov. 1) at Penn State's Blue/White Golf Course. The host Nittany Lions captured the team title with 71 points.
Peale went out with the leaders, jostling for position among the top 15 while maintaining the race's quick initial pace. The Wolverine sophomore gained ground on the frontrunners as the lead pack began to fracture around the midway point and held her position for the remainder of the race, losing a spot to Indiana's Wendi Robinson before retaking it in the final kick. Peale registered a big 6,000-meter personal best, clocking 20:33 -- a 74-second improvement on her previous best -- while her fourth-place effort was her fifth top-10 finish in as many appearances this season.
Freshmen Kaitlyn Patterson (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac HS) and Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven HS) also placed among the top 25, essentially crossing the finish line together in the 19th and 21st spots with times of 21:20 and 21:23, respectively. Freshmen Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional HS) and senior/junior Rachel Severin (Chelsea, Mich./Chelsea HS) finished together several meters behind, placing 38th and 40th in 21:47 and 21:49, respectively. All five of Michigan's scored runners recorded significant personal bests.
The Maize and Blue will run one final tune-up race prior to the NCAA postseason meets, heading south to Toledo, Ohio, for the Toledo Rocket Open on Friday (Nov. 6). The race is slated for a 4:30 p.m. start at the Ottawa Park Golf Course.
1. Penn State 71 2. Illinois 77 3. Minnesota 80 4. MICHIGAN 122 5. Michigan State 137 6. Iowa 150 7. Indiana 161 8. Ohio State 164 9. Purdue 204 10. Wisconsin 254 11. Northwestern 326
Top 10 Individuals
1. Bridget Franek, Penn State 20:03 2. Angela Bizzarri, Illinois 20:10 3. Megan Duwell, Minnesota 20:23 4. Kaitlyn Peale, U-M 20:33 5. Wendi Robinson, Indiana 20:37 6. Emily MacLeod, Michigan State 20:41 7. Kristin Sutherland, Illinois 20:41 8. Sarah Pease, Indiana 20:50 9. Nicole Lord, Penn State 20:52 10. Caitlyn Comfort, Wisconsin 20:54
Other Michigan Individuals
19. Kaitlyn Patterson, U-M 21:20 21. Rebecca Addison, U-M 21:23 38. Jillian Smith, U-M 21:47 40. Rachel Severin, U-M 21:49 44. Rachel White, U-M 21:52 56. Lindsey Hilton, U-M 22:15 73. Mary Grace Pellegrini, U-M 22:39 94. Melany Mioduszewski, U-M 23:42
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Mike McGuire
On Michigan's team performance ... "I was very happy with it. We were ranked fifth coming in. I thought it could go either way with Michigan State for fourth place, but we stepped up and grabbed it. We were solid, and it was a solid performance. I had seven of nine runners where this was their first Big Ten meet. Obviously, it was a good start with Kaitlyn [Peale] taking fourth, and I thought we had great performances from our two freshmen -- Kaitlyn Patterson and Rebecca Addison. So, all in all, I was very happy with the effort. I thought we gained loads from this meet -- both as we finish up this season and for the future."
U-M Junior/Sophomore Kaitlyn Peale
On her race ... "I felt pretty good, and I just held my position for most of the race. It went out really hard, about 5:12 through the first mile. I was pretty far back, but the group kept breaking up, so I worked my way up. Around the 3K, I was pretty close to the top 10, and I just stayed with them. I didn't lose any positions for the last mile."
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423