Oct. 15, 2013
Wolverine Spotlight: Taylor Manett
Saturday, Oct. 19 -- at NCAA Pre-Nationals (Terre Haute, Ind.), 11:40 a.m.
After a week off from competition, the 14th-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team will get a preview of the national championships course at NCAA Pre-Nationals on Saturday (Oct. 19) at Indiana State University. The scored women's 6K race will begin at 11:40 a.m. at LaVern Gibson Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center.
Athletes in Action
Women's 6K Blue Race (11:40 a.m.): Erin Finn, Brook Handler, Alex Leptich, Taylor Manett, Anna Pasternak, Taylor Pogue, Megan Weschler
Women's 6K Open Race (2:10 p.m.): Devon Hoppe, Gina McNamara, Heather Price, Brittany Robinson, Victoria Waidley
NCAA Pre-Nationals will give Michigan a preview of LaVern Gibson Course, which will also be the site of the 2013 NCAA Championships on Saturday, Nov. 23. Indiana State hosted the national meet each year from 2004-11 and will again be the host school for the 2013 event. Louisville hosted in 2012.
Seven Wolverines will compete in the blue race at 11:40 a.m., which is reserved for full seeded teams, while five harriers will run the open race at 2:10 p.m.
Michigan (No. 14) will be joined by 12 other nationally ranked teams at Pre-Nationals. Penn State (No. 27) will be the only other ranked Big Ten team in action at the NCAA preview, while Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State and Purdue will also represent the Big Ten.
Michigan has competed at NCAA Pre-Nationals in each of the last three years, finishing third in 2012 and 2011 and seventh in 2010.
Senior/junior Taylor Pogue (Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich) and junior Brook Handler (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester) were each members of U-M's third-place squad at the 2012 NCAA Pre-Nationals, finishing as its fourth and fifth scorers.
The last time U-M competed, it defended its team and individual titles at the Rim Rock Farm Classic (Oct. 5). Taylor Pogue took the individual title, leading U-M's 1-2-3-4 finish in an 11-second split.
Winning the Rim Rock Farm Classic helped the Wolverines move up two spots to No. 14 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I National Cross Country Coaches' Poll on Oct. 8. U-M has remained in the top 30 for 97 straight weeks dating back to the 2002 season -- U-M received votes in the preseason and first regular-season polls of 2002. The next poll will be released on Oct. 22.
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 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.
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.
HEAD COACH Mike McGuire
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
Friday, Oct. 25 -- at EMU Fall Classic (Dexter, Mich.), 4 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 3 -- at Big Ten Championships (West Lafayette, Ind.), 11:45 a.m.
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423