Toeing the Line #7: Great Lakes Regional Title on the Line Saturday

Nov. 9, 2011

Saturday, Nov. 12 -- at NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Toledo, Ohio), 1:15 p.m.
Meet Information

The 15th-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team will continue its run in the postseason at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Saturday (Nov. 12) at the University of Toledo. The 6,000-meter race is set to start at 1:15 p.m. at Ottawa Park Golf Course in Toledo, Ohio.

The Wolverines will enter the meet as the second-ranked team in the USTFCCCA Division I regional poll. Michigan State, the 2011 Big Ten champion, is the top ranked team in the region. The Spartans finished just six points ahead of Michigan at the conference championships on Oct. 30.

Michigan's regional lineup will include junior Rebecca Addison, freshman Brook Handler, senior Mary Grace Pellegrini, sophomore/freshman Taylor Pogue, junior Jillian Smith, fifth-year senior Danielle Tauro and sophomore/freshman Megan Weschler.

Michigan used four all-conference performances to take second at the 2011 Big Ten Championships on Oct. 30. The squad's score of 61 points was just six points behind repeating champion Michigan State.

Fifth-year senior Danielle Tauro (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) led the Wolverines to the finish line, placing third in a time of 20:14. Junior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven HS) followed on Tauro's heels to take fourth in 20:21. Tauro and Addison each ran personal-best 6,000-meter times to secure All-Big Ten first team. Junior Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) and sophomore/freshman Taylor Pogue (Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich) finished 11th and 12th, respectively, to garner All-Big Ten second team. Michigan's scorers from the conference championships, which also includes senior Mary Grace Pellegrini (Louisville, Ky./DuPont Manual), will all return to the Wolverine lineup for the NCAA Great Lakes Regional.


Regional Rewind -- The Wolverines took second at the 2010 Great Lakes Regional behind All-Region performances from fifth-year senior Danielle Tauro (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional), junior Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) and junior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven HS). The trio finished ninth, 10th and 17th, respectively and will all return to lead the Maize and Blue at this year's regional meet.

Keys to Qualifying -- The top two teams in each of the nine regions across the country qualify for the NCAA Championships on Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind. Another 13 teams are awarded an at-large bid, for a total of 31 teams. Michigan has qualified for the NCAA Championships in each of the last nine seasons, dating back to 2002. During that stretch, the Wolverines won three regional titles and recorded four runner-up finishes. U-M has won a total of seven regional crowns in program history -- six of which have come during Coach Mike McGuire's tenure. The most recent title came in 2008.

Big Ten Recognition -- Sophomore/freshman Taylor Pogue (Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich) was named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Year, the conference announced on Nov. 1. In her postseason debut at the Big Ten Championships (Oct. 30), Pogue placed 12th in a time of 20:41 to earn All-Big Ten second team. She has scored for Michigan in all five races this season, recording top-25 finishes in each, including three top-five marks. Fifth-year senior Danielle Tauro (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) was also chosen as Michigan's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree. One runner from each of the 12 Big Ten Conference institutions receives the award annually.

Calling the Shots -- Head coach Mike McGuire is in the midst of his 20th 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 16 top-two finishes in 20 seasons at the Big Ten Championships, 13 top-two finishes at NCAA Regionals and eight top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships.

In a repeat NCAA Division I cross country poll, the Wolverines are ranked No. 19 as released Tuesday (Nov. 8) by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). As the second-highest of five Big Ten Conference schools featured in the national rankings, U-M sits in the No. 2 spot among the Great Lakes Region.

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.

Monday, Nov. 21 -- at NCAA Championships (Terre Haute, Ind.), 1 p.m.

Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423