Nov. 9, 2012
Site: Madison, Wis. (Zimmer Championship Course)
Meet: NCAA Great Lakes Regional (6,000 Meters)
U-M Finish: 1st of 32 Teams (41 points)
Top U-M Individual: Jillian Smith, 4th (20:14)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Nov. 17 -- at NCAA Championships (Louisville, Ky.), Noon
MADISON, Wis. -- The No. 6-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team defended its regional title at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Friday (Nov. 9) to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships on Nov. 17. All five Wolverine scorers finished the 6,000-meter race within the top 15 runners to tally 41 points at Wisconsin's Zimmer Championship Course.
Michigan State finished runner up with 77 points, while Notre Dame took third with 89 points.
U-M's five scorers each earned All-Great Lakes Region honors for finishing within the top 25 runners. The five ran a 31-second split, starting with senior Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional), who paced the Maize and Blue to the finish line, finishing fourth in a time of 20:14.
Senior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven), freshman Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) and senior Lindsey Hilton (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams) finished seven-eight-nine, respectively, within a 10-second span. Addison ran 20:30, while Osika and Hilton followed in times of 20:38 and 20:40.
Sophomore Brook Handler (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester), who was also Michigan's fifth scorer at the 2011 regional meet, improved 16 spots from last year, placing 13th in a time of 20:45
Fifth-year senior Amanda Eccleston (Adrian, Mich./[Tecumseh) (21:08) and freshman Taylor Manett (Rockford, Mich./Rockford) (21:32) were also members of Michigan's regional squad, finishing 32nd and 47th, respectively.
The Wolverines will conclude their season at the NCAA Championships on Saturday, Nov. 17, at Louisville's E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park. The race is set for a noon start.
1. MICHIGAN 41 2. Michigan State 77 3. Notre Dame 89 4. Butler 144 5. Toledo 162 6. Ohio State 166 7. Indiana 180 8. Wisconsin 182 9. Purdue 267 10. Miami (Ohio) 306
Top 10 Finishers
1. Julie Accurso, Ohio 20:07 2. Katie Clark, Butler 20:10 3. Sara Kroll, Michigan State 20:12 4. JILLIAN SMITH, U-M 20:14 5. Ashely Beutler, Wisconsin 20:19 6. Gabi Anzalone, Wisconsin 20:25 7. REBECCA ADDISON, U-M 20:30 8. SHANNON OSIKA, U-M 20:38 9. LINDSEY HILTON, U-M 20:40 10. Kelly Curran, Notre Dame 20:40
Other U-M Finishers
13. Brook Handler, U-M 20:45 32. Amanda Eccleston, U-M 21:08 47. Taylor Manett, U-M 21:32
N O T E S
• Michigan won its second straight Great Lakes Region team title and ninth in program history. Eight of the nine regional titles have come during head coach Mike McGuire's tenure at Michigan.
• All five of Michigan's scorers placed in the top 25 to earn All-Great Lakes Region honors.
• Senior Jillian Smith has finished in the top 15 each year at the Great Lakes Regional, recording a career-best fourth-place finish today.
• In the last 11 years (2002-12), Michigan has won five regional titles and never finished lower than third place.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Mike McGuire
On defending the regional title ... "We're proud of defending our title. The regional is a little more relaxed than it is going into the Big Ten meet. I was a little surprised at us winning the regional last year, but we were established in this race. Our presence from about 2.5 through 3K was there and we did a great job of moving up. Collectively it was an even better job than last year."
On individual performances today ... "Without question, this was a career best race for Lindsey Hilton. She did a heck of a job. She ended up our fourth finisher, but was up as high as our second runner for a long time. Brook (Handler) had her best race of the year. I think Shannon (Osika) was better than she was at the Big Ten. Jill (Smith) was obviously better since she was able to stay healthy. Amanda (Eccleston) has been a little under the weather so she struggled a little as the race went on, but time will be her ally getting better for next week. Some were up a little up from the Big Ten, some were off a little from what they ran at the Big Ten, but collectively, we were better than we were at the Big Ten. It definitely was a step in the right direction going into the NCAA Championships."
On the strong senior leadership ... "The tri-captains had a huge presence in the scoring five. I thought Lindsey (Hilton) ran well at the Big Ten meet, but she had a super race here at the regional. We tweaked the race plan a little bit with Lindsey, Shannon (Osika), Brook (Handler), Amanda (Eccleston) and Taylor (Manett) -- we had them go out a little bit off of Jill (Smith) and Becca's (Addison) pace and they just did a heck of a job. There were periods when we were side-by-side, running hard together and that's a great presence to have when two or three Maize and Blue shirts are going by a different color shirt."
On moving forward to the NCAA Championships ... "I like the momentum we have going in. We'll focus on what we've done the last couple of weeks and the collective energy and momentum that we have. If we continue to do what we're doing, I think we're going to like where we end up."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423