Peale's Runner-up Effort Paces U-M to Third at NCAA Regional

Nov. 14, 2009

Site: Bloomington, Ind. (Indiana University Championship Cross Country Course)
Meet: NCAA Great Lakes Regional (6,000 meters)
U-M Finish: Third of 32 Teams (104 points)
Top U-M Individual: Kaitlyn Peale, 2nd (20:51.92)
Next U-M Event: TBA

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Junior/sophomore Kaitlyn Peale (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington HS) claimed second place to lead the University of Michigan women's cross country team to a third-place team performance (104 points) at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Saturday (Nov. 14) at the Indiana University Championship Cross Country Course. The Wolverines finished just two points behind runner-up Ohio State and 10 points shy of champion Notre Dame.

With several runners taking the race out hard from the gun, Peale stayed off the initial pace and maintained position in the early chase pack. She hung with eventual-winner Emily MacLeod of Michigan State, and the duo began moving up and the leaders came back to the rest of the field. She held her spot through the finishing kick, crossing the finish line in 20:51.92 -- nine second behind the Spartan runner. Peale's runner-up effort was her sixth top-10 finish in as many appearances this season and her fifth finish among the top four.

Four rookies joined Peale among the Wolverines' scoring contingent. Freshmen Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven HS) and Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional HS) also placed among the top 25, crossing the finish line in 13th (21:28.55) and 21st (21:37.86) place, respectively. Smith shaved 10 seconds from her previous-best 6,000-meter time.

Freshman Kaitlyn Patterson (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac HS) claimed 27th place with a time of 21:50.60, and freshman Lindsey Hilton (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams HS) rounded out scoring in 45th place and 22:11.83.

Only the top two teams at the regional receive automatic bids to the NCAA Championships, and the Wolverines will have to wait until 7 p.m. tomorrow (Sunday, Nov. 15) to find out if they earn an at-large selection. The NCAA Championships will be held Monday, Nov. 23, in Terre Haute, Ind. The 6,000-meter women's race will start at 1 p.m. at the Lavern Gibson Championship Course.

Team Standings

 1. Notre Dame         94
 2. Ohio State        102
 3. MICHIGAN          104
 4. Indiana           105
 5. Michigan State    121
 6. Toledo            169
 7. Purdue            228
 8. Miami (Ohio)      241
 9. Central Michigan  320
10. Butler            341

Top 10 Individuals

 1. Emily MacLeod, Michigan State       20:42.70
 2. Kaitlyn Peale, U-M                  20:51.92
 3. Lindsey Ferguson, Notre Dame        20:58.62
 4. Sarah Pease, Indiana                21:01.06
 5. Jordan Jennewine, Ohio State        21:03.56
 6. Wendi Robinson, Indiana             21:07.07
 7. Alison Bishel, Ball State           21:07.39
 8. Caitlyn Comfort, Wisconsin          21:10.87
 9. Ari Fisher, Toledo                  21:11.46
10. Alexandra Lizarribar, Kent State    21:13.60

Other Michigan Individuals

13. Rebecca Addison, U-M                21:28.55
21. Jillian Smith, U-M                  21:37.86
27. Kaitlyn Patterson, U-M              21:50.60
45. Lindsey Hilton, U-M                 22:11.83
49. Rachel Severin, U-M                 22:15.94
58. Rachel White, U-M                   22:25.54


Michigan Head Coach Mike McGuire
On Michigan's team performance ... "It was a heck of a meet. I definitely knew of three teams along the way -- Notre Dame, Ohio State and us -- I couldn't quite keep track of Indiana's fifth over the course of the race. Notre Dame ran a lot better than they had at their conference meet, and Ohio State was equal to the challenge. I thought we put forth a good, solid effort. So, we'll see if it was good enough to get us in. We'll just have to see what happens. But I thought we competed well."

On Michigan's individual performers ... "Kaitlyn Peale backed up her good Big Ten effort, and I thought Rebecca Addison, Jillian Smith and Lindsey Hilton all ran their best race of the year. Kaitlyn Patterson has been under the weather all week, so it was a struggle for her today. It's hard to run when you're sick. We're running four freshmen, and I feel that they're really standing up to the challenge. I'm proud of them, and we'll just continue to get better. So, all in all, it was a good, competitive effort from Michigan today."

U-M Junior/Sophomore Kaitlyn Peale
On her race ... "It was a bit crowded in the beginning, a lot of pushing and jockeying for position, which is what you expect in these kinds of races. I stuck with the strategy of going out comfortable and then staying in position and keep moving up. I ran almost the entire race with Emily MacLeod, who ended up winning, caught about four or five girls in the last two-and-a-half kilometers. I feel like I've gotten better throughout the season. This is my first competitive season, so I am still figuring things out. I didn't have a PR today, but I've been a little sick, which tends to make it a struggle, so I just competed. I feel like I'm reaching a peak. We're tapering a little bit, so I should be in good shape for nationals."

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423