Toeing the Line #4: U-M to Get NCAA Preview on Sunday at Pre-Nationals

Oct. 12, 2011

Sunday, Oct. 16 -- at NCAA Pre-Nationals (Terre Haute, Ind.), 11:40 a.m.
Meet information

The No.-18 ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team will return to action at the NCAA Pre-Nationals meet on Sunday (Oct. 16) at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Ind. The 6,000-meter race is slated for an 11:40 a.m. start at LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course -- the site of the 2011 NCAA Championships.

The Wolverines will enter the race with two team titles under their belt from their previous two meets -- the Illinois Orange & Blue Preview on Sept. 16 and Greater Louisville Classic on Oct. 1. U-M will face its toughest field of the season, which will feature six other ranked squads, including No. 3 Florida State and No. 5 Georgetown.

The U-M lineup will include junior Rebecca Addison, sophomore/freshman Erica Crane, sophomore/freshman Nicola Hallenborg, freshman Brook Handler, junior Lindsey Hilton, freshman Ellen Junewick, senior Mary Grace Pellegrini, sophomore/freshman Taylor Pogue, junior/sophomore Chloe Prince, junior Jillian Smith, fifth-year senior Danielle Tauro and sophomore/freshman Megan Weschler.

Top Wolverine Times
5,000-Meter Run 6,000-Meter Run
Danielle Tauro 17:01.99 Danielle Tauro 20:19.0
Taylor Pogue 17:04.38 Rebecca Addison 20:26.0
Rebecca Addison 17:17.33 Taylor Pogue 20:34.0
Brook Handler 17.44.53 Jillian Smith 20:41.0
Megan Weschler 17:48.28 Kaitlyn Patterson 21:03.3
Jillian Smith 17:48.90 Megan Weschler 21:05.0
Lindsey Hilton 18:05.92 Mary Grace Pellegrini 21.12.0

The Wolverines clinched their second straight team title, winning the Greater Louisville Classic on Oct. 1. Fifth year senior Danielle Tauro (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional HS) paced the Maize and Blue to the finish line for the third time this season, setting a new personal-best 5,000-meter time of 17:01.99. Eight other U-M harriers also set new PRs en route to the team victory.

On what he's expecting from Pre-Nationals ... "This will be our most competitive meet to date and a catalyst for us going into the Big Ten meet in a couple weeks. We are excited to see where we stand nationally at this point. There will be a few highly ranked teams with Florida State and Georgetown. It will also present a big opportunity for us to beat teams outside of our region."


365-Day Rewind -- This year's Pre-Nationals meet will take place exactly one year from the 2010 event. The Wolverines placed seventh out of 40 teams a year ago. Five of the Wolverines' top seven runners from that race, including lead runner Danielle Tauro, who finished 21st overall, will return to that same course this weekend. U-M was ranked 19th in the nation at the time of last year's meet and is currently sitting in the 18th spot.

Calling the Shots -- Head coach Mike McGuire is in the midst of his 20th 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 15 top-two finishes in 19 seasons at the Big Ten Championships, 13 top-two finishes at NCAA Regionals and eight top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships.

The Wolverines are ranked No. 18 in the latest NCAA Division I cross country poll, released Tuesday (Oct. 11) by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). As the second-highest of five Big Ten Conference schools featured in the rankings, U-M sits in the No. 2 spot among the Great Lakes Region.

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.

Friday, Oct. 21 -- at EMU Fall Classic (Dexter, Mich.), 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 30 -- at Big Ten Championship (Champaign, Ill.), 11:45 a.m. CDT

Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423