Oct. 30, 2013
The Team Behind the Team | Anna Pasternak Spotlight
Sunday, Nov. 3 -- at Big Ten Championships (West Lafayette, Ind.), 11:45 a.m.
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Race Day Information: Championship Central
The 14th-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team will kick off the championship portion of the season by defending its conference title at the Big Ten Championships, which will be hosted by Purdue on Sunday (Nov. 3). The women's 6K race is slated to begin at 11:45 a.m. following the men's 8K event at 10:45 a.m. at Boilermaker Cross Country Course. Admission is free for the event, and parking in adjacent lots will be $10.
Athletes in Action: Erin Finn, Brook Handler, Devon Hoppe, Alex Leptich, Taylor Manett, Shannon Osika, Anna Pasternak, Taylor Pogue, Megan Weschler
Michigan captured the 2012 Big Ten title to give the program nine total conference crowns (1992-94, 2002-06, 12). The Wolverines scored 55 points as all five of its scorers finished within the top 20.
Head coach Mike McGuire and then-freshman Shannon Osika were named Big Ten Coach and Freshman of the Year, respectively, by the conference after winning the 2012 title. It marked McGuire's ninth Big Ten Coach of the Year distinction. Michigan has won the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in each of the last two years, as senior/junior Taylor Pogue (Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich) was co-winner in 2011.
Shannon Osika (13th), Taylor Manett (18th), Brook Handler (29th), Taylor Pogue (28th) and Megan Weschler (50th) were members of Michigan's Big Ten-winning squad in 2012 and will return to help the Wolverines defend their title.
Sophomore Shannon Osika, an All-Big Ten second teamer as a freshman, will run in her first race since the season-opening Michigan Open (Aug. 30) due to injury.
The Big Ten Championships will mark Michigan's second time competing at Boilermaker Cross Country Course this season as the Wolverines went 1-2-3-4-6 to win the Purdue Invitational on Sept. 13.
Six Big Ten teams are ranked heading into this year's conference meet, including No. 6 Michigan State, No. 14 Michigan, No. 15 Minnesota, No. 21 Indiana, No. 28 Wisconsin and No. 29 Penn State. Just four teams were ranked going into last year's conference event.
Michigan has never finished lower than fifth place at the Big Ten Championships during McGuire's tenure, earning first or second place in 17 of the 21 seasons.
This year's Big Ten Championships will mark the first time the Boilermakers will host since 2002 and the first time since their course was redesigned earlier this season. [ 6K Course Map ]
Freshman Erin Finn is the only true freshman competing in Michigan's lineup this year. The remainder of U-M's 11-person freshman class is redshirting the 2013 season.
With its sixth-place performance at Pre-Nationals (Oct. 19), Michigan remained No. 14 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I National Cross Country Coaches' Poll, which was announced Oct. 22. U-M has remained in the top 30 for 98 straight polls dating back to the 2002 season -- U-M received votes in the preseason and first regular-season polls of 2002.
Sophomore/freshman Victoria Waidley was Michigan's top finisher for the first time in her career at the EMU Fall Classic on Friday, Oct. 25, finishing seventh in 18:08.1.
Taylor Pogue and Brook Handler 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 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 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.
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, and it has continued to be its strength through the 2013 regular season. U-M's five scorers posted a 31-second split at both the 2012 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, Nov. 15 -- at NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Madison, Wis.), 1:15 p.m. CST
Saturday, Nov. 23 -- at NCAA Championships (Terre Haute, Ind.), 1:15 p.m.
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423