Toeing the Line #1: Wolverines Start 2010 as Host of Michigan Open

Aug. 31, 2010

Friday, Sept. 3 -- host Michigan Open (Dexter, Mich.), 4 p.m.

The University of Michigan women's cross country team will kick off its 2010 season on Friday (Sept. 3), hosting the annual Michigan Open at the Hudson Mills Metropark in Dexter, Mich. The 5,000-meter race is slated for a 4 p.m. start.

Top Returning Times
5,000-Meter Run 6,000-Meter Run
Kaitlyn Peale 17:11.3 Kaitlyn Peale 20:33
Danielle Tauro 17:15 Danielle Tauro 21:09.5
Kaitlyn Patterson 17:35.6 Rebecca Addison 21:23
Rebecca Addison 17:40.5 Jillian Smith 21:37.86
Jillian Smith 17:48.9 Kaitlyn Patterson 21:50.6
Mary Grace Pellegrini 18:15 Lindsey Hilton 21:52
Lindsey Hilton 18:28 Mary Grace Pellegrini 22:39
Lindsey Gakenheimer 18:45


Danielle Tauro, Senior
Senior Danielle Tauro entered the Wolverines' 2009 campaign as the squad's top-returning runner and paced U-M with top-two performances at the Michigan Open and Spartan Invitational before injury derailed her junior season. Healthy once more, Tauro will look to provide leadership to a young Michigan team and regain her status as one of the Wolverines' horses up front. Among her notable performances, she finished 13th at the 2008 Big Ten Championships, earning All-Big Ten second team honors, and followed with 16th- and 103rd-place showings at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional and NCAA Championships, respectively.


Familiar Faces -- Michigan returns nine letterwinners from last season's squad, including NCAA All-American senior/junior Kaitlyn Peale (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington HS), All-Big Ten selection senior Danielle Tauro (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional HS) and conference-meet scorers sophomore/freshmen Becca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven HS), Kaitlyn Patterson (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac HS) and Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional HS). For the second consecutive season, the Wolverine squad only boasts four members with junior or senior eligibility.

Introducing the Newcomers -- After adding 15 newcomers to last season's roster, Michigan will add nine freshmen to the cross country team this fall. Among the most notable additions are Lauren Grunewald (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids HS), Alex Leptich (Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline HS) and Taylor Pogue (Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich HS); all three are top-five finishers at last season's Michigan state cross country championships. Pogue won the Division 2 as a senior, just edging out Grunewald for top honors, and was a three-time all-state honoree. In addition to her runner-up showing in 2009, Grunewald also placed third as a junior, while Leptich was a four-time all-state selection, placing fifth in the 2009 Division 1 event.

Calling the Shots -- Head coach Mike McGuire begins his 19th season as head coach of the Michigan women's cross country team. During his tenure, the Wolverines have won eight Big Ten titles and six NCAA Regional crowns. McGuire has been honored as the Big Ten Coach of the Year on eight occasions and has been named NCAA Regional Coach of the Year five times. Under McGuire, Michigan has posted 14 top-two finishes in 18 seasons at the Big Ten Championships, 12 top-two finishes at NCAA Regionals and eight top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships.

Michigan cross country/track is now on Twitter. Sign up and follow the Wolverines (michigan_track) with up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond. Twitter is a free casual, online social network that is designed to connect businesses, organizations and individuals. Each Twitter post (or "tweet") can be received on a user's cell phone via text or on the web.

The Wolverines enter the 2010 campaign with the No. 27 ranking in the NCAA Division I cross country preseason poll, released Tuesday (Aug. 31) by the United States Cross Country Coaches Association. One of six Big Ten Conference schools featured in the rankings, U-M also owns the fourth spot among the Great Lakes Region.

Friday, Sept. 17 -- at Spartan Invitational (East Lansing, Mich.), 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 2 -- at Wisconsin adidas Invitational (Madison, Wis.), 11 a.m. CDT

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423