Shannon Osika (L) and Brook Handler
Aug 27, 2013
NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The University of Michigan women's cross country team was tabbed No. 17 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I National Cross Country Coaches' Preseason Poll, as announced Tuesday (Aug. 27).
The Wolverines are one of four Big Ten institutions to be ranked among the nation's top 30, including Penn State (No. 11), Michigan State (No. 13) and Minnesota (No. 19).
The Wolverines, who are led by 22nd-year head coach Mike McGuire, are coming off their most successful season since 2006, as they captured the Big Ten and Great Lakes Region titles and finished fifth at the NCAA Championships. U-M returns 17 runners from a year ago, including five from its Big Ten Championship squad. Junior Brook Handler (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester) and sophomores Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) and Taylor Manett (Rockford, Mich./Rockford) return as U-M's core that helped lead the Wolverines to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
Osika returns as U-M's most decorated runner, as she was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and also earned All-Big Ten second team and All-Great Lakes Region honors. Senior/junior Taylor Pogue (Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich) joined Osika on the All-Big Ten second team, while Handler also earned a spot on the All-Region squad.
Michigan also boasts an 11-person freshman class, which includes Erin Finn (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield), who is a two-time state cross country champion and the 2013 North America, Central America & Caribbean (NACAC) champion as a member of Team USA.
The Wolverines will open the 2013 season on Friday (Aug. 30), hosting the annual Michigan Open at 10:30 a.m. at Hudson Mills Metropark in Dexter, Mich. Purdue will join the Wolverines for the non-scoring 5,000-meter race.
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423