Peale Runs to All-America as Michigan Places 27th at NCAAs

Nov. 23, 2009

Site: Terre Haute, Ind. (LaVern Gibson Championship Course)
Meet: NCAA Championships (6,000 meters)
U-M Finish: 27th of 31 Teams (637 points)
Top U-M Individual: Kaitlyn Peale, 28th (20:38.8)
Next U-M Event: Season Completed

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Junior/sophomore Kaitlyn Peale (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington HS) claimed 32nd place to capture All-America honors and lead the University of Michigan women's cross country team to a 27th-place team performance (637 points) at the NCAA Championships on Monday (Nov. 23) at Indiana State's LaVern Gibson Championship Course. Villanova claimed the team trophy with 86 points.

Competing in her first NCAA meet, Peale registered a time of 20:38.8, finishing 52 seconds behind race-winner Angela Bizzarri of Illinois. The 6,000-meter effort was the second quickest of Peale's career; she missed her personal best by just five seconds.

As Colorado's Jenny Barringer and Florida State's Susan Kuijken pushed to the front at the gun to take the initial lead through the opening 1,000 meters, Peale stayed back among the crowded field, running within striking distance of the leaders among the top 40 runners. While the field began to string out at 2,000 meters and a several packs formed behind the leading duo, Peale maintained her position near the front of the second chase group.

The leaders continued to pull away from the rest of the 254-runner field, creating a 50-meter distance at the halfway point of the race. Over the final stretch, Peale put on a surge to move around a handful of competitors in the last 500 meters and into All-America contention. She nearly pulled within the top-25 placers, finishing just 4.7 seconds behind the 25th runner -- Texas Tech's Purity Biwott.

Michigan's final four scored runners finished in a clump further back in the field as freshman Kaitlyn Patterson (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac HS), senior/junior Rachel White (New Lothrop, Mich./New Lothrop HS), freshmen Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven HS) and senior/junior Rachel Severin (Chelsea, Mich./Chelsea HS) claimed 176th, 189th, 192nd and 193rd, respectively.

Top Five Teams

 1. Villanova         86
 2. Florida State    133
 3. Washington       188
 4. Texas Tech       191
 5. Princeton        251
27. MICHIGAN         637

Top 10 Individuals

  1. Angela Bizzarri, Illinois       19:46.8
  2. Kendra Schaaf, Washington       19:51.6
  3. Susan Kuijken, Florida State    19:57.7
  4. Catherine White, Virginia       19:59.5
  5. Allie McLaughlin, Colorado      20:01.1
  6. Amanda Marino, Villanova        20:02.4
  7. Megan Duwell, Minnesota         20:06.9
  8. Emily Infeld, Georgetown        20:07.9
  9. Risper Kimaiyo, UTEP            20:10.9
 10. Cecily Lemmon, BYU              20:11.9

Other Michigan Individuals

 32. Kaitlyn Peale, U-M              20:38.8
176. Kaitlyn Patterson, U-M          21:52.7
189. Rachel White, U-M               21:57.4
192. Rebecca Addison, U-M            22:01.0
192. Rachel Severin, U-M             22:01.3
224. Lindsey Hilton, U-M             22:29.5
252. Mary Grace Pellegrini, U-M      24:55.1


Michigan Head Coach Mike McGuire
On Michigan's NCAA performance ... "The goal going in for Kaitlyn [Peale] was to be an All-American, and she finished right around where I thought she would. So, I'm proud of her. She had a heck of a season. The rest of the girls were back a little bit -- a little further back than I was expecting. If you don't get out well, it really hurts you at this meet. So, this was a growing process, and I think they gained a lot from today. We battled pretty hard all year. For all seven of the girls we put on the line, it was their first appearance at the NCAA meet. Now they can appreciate what this stage is all about. That experience is just as important as the training for next year's event. We'll continue to grow and get better. And part of that is processing what happened today and improving on it."

U-M Junior/Sophomore Kaitlyn Peale
On the race ... "I knew I had to go our hard, because the field went out really hard. It was very fast through the first K, similar to Big Tens, so I had some experience with such a fast start. But I had to get used to running with so many people around you the whole time. I just kept in control; I couldn't fall too far back. It was really maintaining balance between falling back and staying on pace."

On her breakout season ... "I definitely think I have a lot more confidence in my racing. Last spring, when I wasn't feeling very well, I was really nervous going into races, because I didn't know how I'd feel. But this year, I have really enjoyed racing more. I have a lot of confidence that I can go out and run with whoever is in the field. I have a lot more confidence in my finish, and that will help with the upcoming indoor and outdoor seasons."

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423