Osika Finishes First, Junewick Fourth at USA XC Championships
Shannon Osika (L) and Ellen Junewick

Feb. 11, 2012

SAINT LOUIS, Mo. -- University of Michigan women's cross country freshmen Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) and Ellen Junewick (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Eastern) crossed the finish line in the first and fourth spots, respectively, at the 2012 USA Cross Country Championships Junior 6K race on Saturday (Feb. 11). Their top-five performances earned them both a spot on Team USA for the North America, Central American, & Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championships, which will be held on March 17 in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

The pair braved the cold and windy conditions at Forest Park, clocking times of 21:04.3 and 21:16.0, respectively.

Osika and Junewick started out slow and broke away with the lead pack after the 2K mark. They remained with a pack of five runners, who paced the group until the 5K marker. In the last kilometer, Osika and Margaret Drazba, out of St. Mary's High School (W.Va.), sped away from the pack. Osika pulled ahead over the last hundred meters and sprinted to the finish to win the women's junior 6K title.

The duo will return to Ann Arbor and continue to train for the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 24-25 before making the trip to Trinidad to compete in the NACAC on March 17.


Michigan Head coach Mike McGuire
On Shannon Osika and Ellen Junewick's performances today ... "I'm very proud of both of them. Ellen has made remarkable strides when you consider where she was during her senior year in cross country. It's a testament to her commitment and the hard work she's put in during the time she's been here at Michigan. Shannon executed another really good race plan. We felt that she had the ability to win the race and she didn't show a trump card until the last 200 meters of the race. We felt that she could be in control of the race without taking too much out of her because we've still got big things that we're trying to do at the Big Ten and national meet with her in indoor track. It was a great opportunity for both of them at the junior level in their first year of college. Any time you get to represent your country, it's quite an honor."

Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423