Sept. 25, 2012
Saturday, Sept. 29 -- at Rim Rock Farm Classic (Lawrence, Kan.), 10 a.m. CT
The No. 11-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team will travel to Lawrence, Kan., for the Rim Rock Farm Classic on Saturday (Sept. 29). The women's 6,000-meter race, the first scored meet of the season, will begin at 10 a.m. CDT at Rim Rock Farm, following the men's event at 9 a.m. CDT.
Michigan will be joined by 15 other teams at Kansas, including Indiana and Nebraska from the Big Ten Conference. The Wolverines will face one other ranked opponent in No. 22 Toledo.
Wolverines in Action
Twelve Wolverines will compete in uniform for Michigan this weekend -- Rebecca Addison, Meg Bellino, Michaela Carnegie, Amanda Eccleston, Lindsey Hilton, Taylor Manett, Shannon Osika, Anna Pasternak, Kaitlyn Patterson, Taylor Pogue, Jillian Smith, and Megan Weschler.
Immediate Impact -- As the only true freshman in uniform for the Wolverines at the Michigan Open on Aug. 31, freshman Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) won the race by a 10-second margin. She followed the win with another team best, a third-place finish at the Spartan Invitational on Sept. 14.
Osika enrolled at the University of Michigan in January and competed for the Maize and Blue during the 2012 indoor track season, running the 1,200-meter leg of its distance medley relay. The DMR won its ninth straight Big Ten title and finished 12th at the NCAA Championships, landing the four-woman squad on the All-America second team list. Osika appeared on the All-America second team a second time after finishing ninth in the mile at her first NCAA Championships.
Career Debut -- Freshman Taylor Manett (Rockford, Mich./Rockford) will make her career debut in uniform on Saturday at Kansas. She ran unattached in each of the first two meets, finishing 23rd most recently at the Spartan Invitational. Manett was the Division I state runner-up during her senior year of high school and was also a Footlocker Nationals Finalist in 2011.
Last Time on the Course -- The Wolverines saw their first competition of the season at the Spartan Invitational on Sept. 14. For the second straight race, freshman Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) was U-M's top finisher in third place (21:23). Senior Lindsey Hilton (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams) set the tone for the Wolverines, leading the majority of the race but was passed on the home stretch, finishing just five seconds behind Osika in fifth place (21:28).
Talented Depth -- Michigan put four harriers in the top 10 at the Spartan Invitational, finishing within a nine-second spread. The Wolverines also had eight runners in the top 25 and the entire 16-person squad crossed the line in the top 125 in a field of 309 runners.
On the Rise -- Under head coach Mike McGuire's guidance, the Wolverines have improved their postseason finishes at the Big Ten Championships, NCAA Great Lakes Regional and NCAA Championships each year since 2009. The team constructed its best season since 2008 last year, finishing runner-up at the conference meet, capturing the regional title and capping the season with a 15th-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Michigan has been topped by Michigan State at each of the last two Big Ten Championships but dominated the field at last year's regional meet, which included the Spartans. The 2012 conference meet will take place at Michigan State's Forest Akers Golf Course.
Calling the Shots -- Head coach Mike McGuire is in his 21st season as head coach of the Michigan women's cross country team. During his tenure, the Wolverines have won eight Big Ten titles and seven NCAA Regional crowns, including the 2011 regional title. McGuire has been honored as the Big Ten Coach of the Year on eight occasions and was named NCAA Regional Coach of the Year for the sixth time in 2011. Under McGuire, Michigan has posted 16 top-two finishes in 20 seasons at the Big Ten Championships, 15 top-two finishes at NCAA Regionals and nine top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships.
Leaders of the Pack -- Seniors Rebecca Addison and Jillian Smith lead the Wolverines as team captains in 2012 for the second consecutive season, while fellow senior Lindsey Hilton (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams) was selected as a tri-captain for the first time. The trio has been a part of Michigan's varsity squad during each of the last three seasons, helping the Maize and Blue to its best season since 2008 last year.
2011 Rewind -- In 2011, the Wolverines had their most successful season since 2008 in terms of postseason success. Michigan finished runner-up at the Big Ten Championships, matching its performance from the previous year. The team went on to win the Great Lakes Regional by a 32-point margin and capped the season with a 15th-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
Head coach Mike McGuire was named Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year for the sixth time in his career, while recent graduate Danielle Tauro earned Regional Athlete of the Year for winning the individual regional title. Tauro and Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven HS) earned All-Big Ten first team accolades for finishing in the top seven at the conference meet, while senior Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional HS) and junior/sophomore Taylor Pogue (Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich) landed spots on the second team. Pogue also collected Big Ten co-Freshman of the Year.
IN THE POLLS
Michigan remained No. 11 in the third regular-season NCAA Division I cross country poll, released Tuesday (Sept. 25) by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). As the highest of four Big Ten Conference schools featured in the top 30, U-M continues to own the top spot in the USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region poll for the third straight week.
Michigan women's cross country is on Facebook. Connect with the program, alumni and fans by clicking the "Like" button at facebook.com/michiganwomenstrack. Also, be sure to follow the team on Twitter (@umichtrack) for up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond.
Saturday, Oct. 13 -- at NCAA Pre-Nationals (Louisville, Ky.), 10:15 a.m.
Friday, Oct. 19 -- at EMU Fall Classic (Dexter, Mich.), 4:30 p.m.
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423