Toeing the Line #6: Wolverines Run at Big Tens in Madison This Sunday

Oct. 26, 2010

Sunday, Oct. 31 -- at Big Ten Championships (Madison, Wis.), 10:45 a.m. CDT

The No. 21-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team will send nine runners to the annual Big Ten Championships on Sunday (Oct.31) at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country course in Madison, Wis. In their first step in the postseason, the Wolverines will compete in the 6,000-meter race is slated for a 10:45 a.m. CDT start.

The Wolverines' Big Ten lineup will feature sophomore Rebecca Addison, sophomore Lindsey Hilton, freshman Alex Leptich, junior Mary Grace Pellegrini, junior/sophomore Kourtney Moody, sophomore Kaitlyn Patterson, senior/junior Kaitlyn Peale, sophomore Jillian Smith and senior Danielle Tauro.

For more information about Big Ten Championships, including a course video tour, please visit

The Wolverines have claimed eight conference titles dating back to their inaugural 1979 campaign and have been the dominant Big Ten team of the last decade with five conference titles (2002-06) since 2000. U-M has finished second or better at the Big Ten meet in 14 of head coach Mike McGuire's 18 seasons at the helm.

Headlined by Kaitlyn Peale's fourth-place finish, the Wolverines took fourth place at the 2009 Big Ten Championships at Penn State's Blue/White Golf Course. All five of Michigan's scored runners recorded significant personal bests. Kaitlyn Patterson and Rebecca Addisonalso placed among the top 25, essentially crossing the finish line together in the 19th and 21st spots, respectively, while Jillian Smith and Rachel Severin finished together several meters behind, placing 38th and 40th.

Junior/sophomore Kourtney Moody (Las Vegas, Nev./Spring Valley HS) captured her first collegiate victory to lead the Wolverine squad at the EMU Fall Classic (Oct. 23) in the regular-season finale at Hudson Mills Metropark. With her performance, Moody earned the final spot on the nine-member squad that will represent U-M at this week's Big Ten Championships.


Tauro! Tauro! Tauro! -- With her sixth-place effort at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Oct. 2, senior Danielle Tauro has paced the Wolverines to the finish line in each appearance this season. Tauro clocked a personal-best 20:24.1, shaving nearly 17 seconds off her previous 6,000-meter personal best, which she registered just two weeks earlier at the Spartan Invitational on Sept. 17. After missing a majority of the 2009 season with injury, the Wolverine senior has twice lowered her personal standard this season, trimming more than 45 seconds from her best time entering the year.

Saving the Best -- Michigan boasted multiple personal-best performers as five of the Wolverines' top seven, including the first four across the line, established new standards at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational. Michigan's sophomore trio of Jillian Smith, Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven HS) and Kaitlyn Patterson (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac HS) claimed 17th, 21st and 34th place, respectively. Just two weeks after posting a personal best at the Spartan Invitational, Smith trimmed 36 seconds from her best time with a 20:41. Addison registered 20:46.3 to improve 37 seconds on her previous best, while Patterson shaved 25 seconds from her best with a 20:55 finish.

It was the first time in six years that Michigan's top five all ran under 21 minutes, dating back to the 2004 NCAA Great Lakes Regional -- an event the Wolverines won by 39 points. U-M claimed sixth place at the NCAA Championships nine days later.

Calling the Shots -- Head coach Mike McGuire is in 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 dropped a couple spots to the No. 21 position in the latest NCAA Division I cross country poll, released last Tuesday (Oct. 19) by the United States Cross Country Coaches Association. One of five Big Ten Conference schools featured in the rankings, U-M also owns the second spot among the Great Lakes Region.

Saturday, Nov. 13 -- at NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Rochester, Mich.), Noon
Monday, Nov. 22 -- at NCAA Championships (Terre Haute, Ind.), Noon

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423