Wolverines Welcome Seven Freshmen for 2010 Season

July 16, 2010

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan women's cross country head coach Mike McGuire announced today (Friday, July 16) the addition of seven student-athletes for the upcoming 2010 cross country season. Erica Crane (Dearborn, Mich./Divine Child), Ariel Dempsey (Jenison, Mich./Jenison), Lauren Grunewald (Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids), Alex Leptich (Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline), Alex Matthews (Birmingham, Mich./Seaholm), Taylor Pogue (Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich) and Megan Weschler (Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt) will all join the Wolverines for the 2010 fall season.

"Our class is led by Leptich, Grunewald and Pogue, who are all coming off successful high school cross country seasons," McGuire said. "They have performed consistently at a high level during their high school careers, and we are hoping that over time, they can do the same at this level. We have also added some people who will develop over time. This class is coming in hungry and with a great attitude. Combining this class with the people we already have, we hope to find some energy with the entire group."

Grunewald was a two-time all-state cross country selection, finishing third as a junior and second as a senior at the state meet. During the 2010 track season, Grunewald ran on the winning 4x800-meter relay (9:24.12) for East Grand Rapids while finishing seventh as an individual in the 3,200-meter run (11:13.16).

Leptich was a four-time all-state cross country selection at Saline High School. She was named the 2009 Washtenaw County girls cross country Runner of the Year by AnnArbor.com after finishing fifth (18:19.1) to lead Saline to the MHSAA DI title. During track season, she placed 14th in the 3,200-meter run at the state championships (11:12.77).

Pogue won the 2009 MHSAA DII state title over fellow recruit Grunewald in 18:11.0 at Michigan International Speedway. She was a three-time all-state performer at Goodrich and became only the school's second state champion with her win this past season. Pogue, who did not run cross country as a freshman, won three straight Genesee Area Conference titles to become the conference's second three-time champion.

Crane finished runner-up in the 1,600-meter run at the 2010 MHSAA DII state finals, crossing the line in 5:05.04 while placing fourth in the 3,200-meter run (11:07.43) to help Divine Child to its first-ever track and field state championship. During the 2009 cross country season, she finished 15th at the state championship in 19:17.2.

Dempsey finished fourth in the 800-meter run (2:13.82) at the DI state finals and left Jenison with two school records. She was one of 32 high school seniors to earn the Class A Scholar-Athlete Award.

Mathews placed 42nd (19:45.8) at the 2009 MHSAA cross country championship, helping Seaholm to a ninth-place finish.

Weschler finished the 800-meter run at the MHSAA regional 2:16.90 while completing the 1,600-meter run in 5:10.20 at the same meet. She was named the MVP of the News-Herald Track and Field Championships for the second consecutive season after winning the 800- and 1,600-meter runs while anchoring the 3,200-meter relay team to a victory. During cross country season, she finished seventh in the 5K run during regional action, crossing in 20:07.9 before finishing 147th (20:56.3) at the state championships.

The Wolverines open the 2010 season with their lone home event, the Michigan Open on Sept. 3 in Dexter.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423