Toeing the Line #6: U-M Kicks Off Postseason at Big Ten Championships

Sunday, Nov. 1 -- at Big Ten Championships (State College, Pa.), 11:30 a.m.

The No. 22-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team kicks off the postseason on Sunday (Nov. 1) at the Big Ten Championships in State College, Pa. Hosted by Penn State University, the 6,000-meter women's race is slated for an 11:30 a.m. start at the Blue-White Golf Course.

The Wolverines' Big Ten lineup will include freshman Rebecca Addison, freshman Lindsey Hilton, junior/sophomore Melany Mioduszewski, freshman Kaitlyn Patterson, junior/sophomore Kaitlyn Peale, sophomore Mary Grace Pellegrini, senior/junior Rachel Severin, freshman Jillian Smith and senior/junior Rachel White.

For complete Big Ten Championships information, including diagrams of the men's and women's courses, please visit


Kaitlyn Peale, Junior/Sophomore
Junior/sophomore Kaitlyn Peale (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington HS) has established herself as the Wolverines' top and most consistent performer of late, pacing the U-M squad in each of the last two outings and boasting four top-10 finishes in as many appearances this season. Peale earned Big Ten Runner of the Week accolades after capturing her first collegiate victory at the EMU Fall Classic last Friday (Oct. 23) and owns 6,000-meter personal best of 21:47 -- the top time among the Wolverines headed to this weekend's Big Ten Championships.

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 (2002-6) since 2000. U-M has finished second or better at the Big Ten meet in 14 of head coach Mike McGuire's 17 seasons at the helm.

Paced by Danielle Tauro's 13th-place finish, the Wolverines took fifth place at the 2008 Big Ten Championships at the U-M Golf Course. Three other Michigan harriers earned top-25 finishes. Senior/junior Kelly Sampson led a trio of Maize and Blue runners across the line, finishing 22nd in a time of 21:34.8. Junior Jennifer Morgan (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston HS) was 23rd in 21:35.1 and fifth-year senior Nicole Edwards was 24th with a time of 21:36.4.

After losing their previous appearance due to snow and wintry conditions, the Wolverines ran their horses at the EMU Fall Classic (Oct. 23) and stole the show, boasting six of the top-10 individual finishers, including four among the top five. Junior/sophomore Kaitlyn Peale (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington HS) captured top individual honors to pace the U-M squad for the second straight meet, clocking 17:24 -- the second-quickest 5,000-meter time of her career. Three rookies joined Peale among the Wolverines' top-five finishers as freshmen Kaitlyn Patterson (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac HS), Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven HS) and Lindsey Hilton (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams HS) placed second, fourth and seventh, respectively. Hilton clocked a personal-best time of 18:28 as U-M's fifth runner across the line.

High Five -- Adding the Wolverines' fifth-place finish at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational (Oct. 3), the Michigan women's cross country program boasts 35 top-five performances in its last 40 scored meets since 2003. [Two of U-M's non-top-five showings were sixth-place efforts at the NCAA meet (2004, '05).] Over that stretch, Michigan has claimed 18 first-place performances, including six in 2005. U-M has boasted at least one team victory in every season since 2002.

Peale Out -- Poised for a breakout campaign, junior/sophomore Kaitlyn Peale already boasts four top-10 finishes in as many appearances this season, surpassing her previous career total for top-10 finishes. Most recently, she claimed Big Ten Runner of the Week accolades after capturing her first collegiate cross country victory at the EMU Fall Classic (Oct. 23) with a time of 17:24. The time was the second quickest of her career. In her previous appearance, Peale claimed fourth-place honors at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Oct. 3, clocking 17:11.3 as Michigan's top finisher -- a mark that shaved 50 seconds from her previous career-best 5,000-meter time. She claimed seventh place in her 6,000-meter debut at the Spartan Invitational on Sept. 18, clocking 21:47 as Michigan's second runner across the line, and took fourth place at the season-opening Michigan Open on Sept. 5.

Fantastic Freshmen -- Michigan's standout rookie trio of freshmen Rebecca Addison, Kaitlyn Patterson and Jillian Smith has made a quick impact in the Wolverine lineup this season with all three placing among their team's top five in each completed appearance this season. Patterson has stood out from the pack with a three top-10 showings in Michigan's first two events of the season, including a runner-up finish at the EMU Fall Classic (Oct. 23), while Smith and Addison claimed second and seventh, respectively, at the season-opening Michigan Open on Sept. 5. The trio crossed the line as U-M second, third, and fourth runners, respectively, in their scoring debut at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Oct. 3.

Ten Wolverine newcomers have made their collegiate debuts this season. The 2009 Michigan team boasts 13 newcomers; only four members of the squad have junior or senior eligibility.

Calling the Shots -- Head coach Mike McGuire is in his 18th 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 17 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 remained in the No. 22 spot in the latest NCAA Division I cross country poll, released Tuesday (Oct. 27) by the United States Cross Country Coaches Association. One of six Big Ten Conference schools featured in the rankings, U-M also owns the top spot among the Great Lakes Region.

USTFCCCA Women's Division I Cross Country National Poll
Ranking Team Region/Rank Totals Previous
1. Washington West-1 360 1
2. Villanova Mid-Atlantic-1 347 2
3. Colorado Mountain-1 331 19
4. West Virginia Mid-Atlantic-2 329 3
5. Florida South-1 311 9
6. Florida State South-2 294 11
7. Princeton Mid-Atlantic-3 289 5
8. Oregon West-2 279 4
9. Georgetown Mid-Atlantic-4 248 13
10. Syracuse Northeast-1 241 15
11. Virginia Southeast-1 225 10
12. Stanford West-3 220 6
13. Illinois Midwest-4 209 18
14. Texas Tech Mountain-2 197 20
15. Minnesota Midwest-2 192 8
16. Duke Southeast-2 189 14
17. Arizona West-4 164 NR
18. Penn State Mid-Atlantic-5 162 16
19. Iowa State Midwest-3 154 7
20. New Mexico Mountain-3 124 21
21. BYU Mountain-4 117 22
22. MICHIGAN Great Lakes-1 90 23
23. Iowa Midwest-4 85 29
24. Providence Northeast-2 78 25
25. UTEP Mountain-5 74 NR
26. Baylor South Central-1 72 12
27. Michigan State Great Lakes-2 51 24
28. North Carolina Southeast-3 43 NR
29. Arkansas South Central-2 37 NR
30. Notre Dame Great Lakes-3 33 24

Saturday, Nov. 14 -- at NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Bloomington, Ind.), 1:15 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 23 -- at NCAA Championships (Terre Haute, Ind.), 1 p.m.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423