Toeing the Line #3: U-M Set to Defend Title at Rim Rock Classic
Megan Weschler

Oct. 1, 2013

• Wolverine Spotlight: Megan Weschler
• The Team Behind the Team: Academic Success Program

Saturday, Oct. 5 -- at Rim Rock Farm Classic (Lawrence, Kan.), 10 a.m. CDT

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Race Day Information: Meet Information PDF | Course Map

After two weeks off from competition, the 16th-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team will look to defend its title at the Rim Rock Farm Classic on Saturday (Oct. 5) at the University of Kansas. The scored women's 6K race will begin at 10 a.m. CDT, following the men's 8K at 9 a.m. at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kan. Admission to Rim Rock Farm is free.

Athletes in Action: Gabriella DeFlorio, Erin Finn, Brook Handler, Devon Hoppe, Alex Leptich, Taylor Manett, Gina McNamara, Anna Pasternak, Taylor Pogue, Brittany Robinson, Victoria Waidley, Megan Weschler.


• Michigan won the Rim Rock Farm Classic individual and team titles a year ago. Current undergraduate assistant coach Rebecca Addison won the race, leading all five U-M scorers across the finish line within the top 11 spots.

• Michigan (No. 16) will be the only nationally ranked team, as well as the only Big Ten institution, in action at Kansas.

• Individual awards will be presented to the top 25 finishers in the women's 6K races. The team champion will also receive a trophy.

• Senior/junior Taylor Pogue (Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich), sophomore Taylor Manett (Rockford, Mich./Rockford), senior/junior Megan Weschler (Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt) and junior/sophomore Anna Pasternak (Brighton, Mich./Hartland) were each members of U-M's winning squad at the 2012 Rim Rock Classic. Pogue was the Wolverines' fifth scorer, taking 11th, to give Michigan a winning score of 33 points.

• The Wolverines were tabbed No. 16 in this week's U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I National Cross Country Coaches' Poll, moving up on spot from a week ago. U-M began the season ranked No. 17 in the preseason poll and remained there for the first two weeks of the regular season. The Wolverines have begun 18 of the last 19 seasons ranked in top 30 in the preseason poll and has remained in the top 30 for 96 straight weeks dating back to the 2002 season; U-M received votes in the preseason and first regular-season polls of 2002.

• The last time U-M competed, the Wolverines won the Purdue Invitational on Sept. 13 with a near-percent score of 16 points. Michigan's scorers went 1-2-3-4-6, led by Taylor Pogue's first career individual win.

Taylor Pogue and junior Brook Handler (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester) were selected to represent Michigan as team captains for the 2013 season.

• The Wolverines are under the guidance of 22nd-year head coach Mike McGuire, who earned his ninth Big Ten Coach of the Year and seventh Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year honor in 2012.

• The Wolverines returned 17 runners, including five from its 2012 Big Ten championship squad. Brook Handler and sophomores Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) and Taylor Manettreturn as U-M's core that helped lead the Wolverines to a fifth-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Championships.

• Michigan's 2013 roster includes 11 true freshmen, including 10 who have not competed in uniform yet this season. Freshman Erin Finn (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield) made her collegiate debut at the Purdue Invitational (Sept. 13), finishing fourth with a 6K time of 21:31.1.

• The Wolverines are coming off their best season since 2006, winning the program's ninth Big Ten title and second straight Great Lakes Regional crown, and they capped the season with a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

Shannon Osika returns as U-M's most decorated runner from a year ago, as she was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and also earned All-Big Ten second team and All-Great Lakes Region honors. Taylor Pogue joined Osika on the All-Big Ten second team, while Brook Handler earned a spot on the all-region squad.

• In each of the last two seasons, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year has worn the Maize and Blue, with Taylor Pogue earning the honor in 2011 and Shannon Osika collecting the award in 2012.

• Michigan's strength in 2012 was its tight split between its five scoring runners. U-M's five scorers posted a 31-second split at both the Big Ten Championships and Great Lakes Regional and split an incredible 22 seconds at the NCAA Championships, including a 12-second split between the top four scorers.

• Under 22nd-year 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 2006 last year, winning the Big Ten and Great Lakes Region titles and capped the season with a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

During McGuire's tenure, the Wolverines have won nine Big Ten titles and eight NCAA Regional crowns, winning both in 2012. In 2012, McGuire earned his ninth Big Ten and seventh Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year honors. Under McGuire, Michigan has posted 17 top-two finishes in 21 seasons at the Big Ten Championships, 16 top-two finishes at NCAA Regionals and 10 top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships.

Michigan's Recent Annual Results Under McGuire

Year Big Ten Regional NCAA
2008 5th 1st 16th
2009 4th 3rd 27th
2010 2nd 2nd 22nd
2011 2nd 1st 15th
2012 1st 1st 5th

Saturday, Oct. 19 -- at NCAA Pre-Nationals (Terre Haute, Ind.), Time TBA
Friday, Oct. 25 -- at EMU Fall Classic (Dexter, Mich.), 4 p.m.

Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423