Toeing the Line #7: No. 18 Michigan Ready for NCAA Great Lakes Regional

Nov. 9, 2010

Saturday, Nov. 13 -- at NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Rochester, Mich.), Noon

The No. 18-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team will resume competition at the 2010 NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Saturday (Nov. 13) in Rochester, Mich. Hosted by Oakland University, the 6,000-meter women's race is slated to begin at noon at the OU Katke-Cousins Golf Course.

The Wolverines' lineup for the NCAA Regional will feature sophomore Rebecca Addison, sophomore Lindsey Hilton, junior Mary Grace Pellegrini, sophomore Kaitlyn Patterson, senior/junior Kaitlyn Peale, sophomore Jillian Smith and senior Danielle Tauro.

For more information about NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships, including a detailed course map, please visit

Scouting the Field at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional
Thirty-four teams will compete at the 2010 NCAA Great Lakes Regional, including Big Ten rivals Michigan State, Indiana, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin. The top two teams and top four individuals who are not members of the top two teams (providing they finish in the top 25) will automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. On Sunday (Nov. 14), the NCAA will select 13 at-large teams and two at-large individuals from the NCAA's nine regions. Thirty-one teams and 38 individuals will qualify for the NCAA Division I Championships.

On this weekend's NCAA Great Lakes Regional ... "We're excited about running in our home state. I like where we're at and the advancement of our training. Michigan State will be the favorite going in following their Big Ten win -- Snoopy and the Red Baron meet again -- but there's other tough teams coming in. Indiana has a possibility of making it as well as Toledo out of the Mid-American Conference. Realistically, those are the four teams contending for the two automatic spots. It's a qualifying meet but at the same time, it's a championship meet, so we're out to try to win the meet. That's our game plan going in."

Headlined by Kaitlyn Peale's second-place finish, the Wolverines claimed third place at the 2009 NCAA Great Lakes Regional at Indiana's Championship Cross Country Course. Rebecca Addison and Jillian Smithalso placed among the top 25, crossing the finish line in the 13th and 21st spots, respectively, while Kaitlyn Patterson and Lindsey Hilton finished as the 27th and 45th runners to round out the scoring contingent.

Senior Danielle Tauro claimed fourth place to lead the Wolverines to a runner-up finish at the Big Ten Championships (Oct. 31) at Wisconsin's Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course. Tauro paced the Wolverines for the fifth time this season and earned her third top-five finish in five appearances, covering the course in a personal-best 20:20.1. Sophomore Jillian Smith also earned All-Big Ten honors, placing 12th to garner second team distinction.

The runner-up performance was Michigan's top Big Ten finish since capturing its fifth consecutive conference title in 2006 and represented a 34-point improvement over last season's fourth-place showing. All five Wolverine scorers crossed the line with a strong 43-second spread and placed among the race's top 30.

Tauro! Tauro! Tauro! -- Senior Danielle Tauro finished as Michigan's top runner for the fifth time this season, claiming fourth place at the Big Ten Championships (Oct. 31) -- her third top-five finish of the season. Tauro clocked a personal-best 20:20.1, shaving nearly four seconds off her previous 6,000-meter personal best, which she registered just four weeks earlier at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational (Oct. 2). After missing a majority of the 2009 season with injury, the Wolverine senior has lowered her personal standard three times this season, trimming more than 49 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 (Oct. 2). 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.

After their runner-up Big Ten finish, the Wolverines climbed to the No. 18 position in the latest NCAA Division I cross country poll, released last Tuesday (Nov. 2) by the United States Cross Country Coaches Association. One of four Big Ten Conference schools featured in the rankings, U-M also owns the second spot among the Great Lakes Region.

Monday, Nov. 22 -- at NCAA Championships (Terre Haute, Ind.), noon

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423