Nov. 15, 2016
NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Head coach Mike McGuire and senior Erin Finn of the No. 5-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team were recognized by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) as regional coach and athlete of the year on Tuesday (Nov. 15).
For McGuire, this marks his 10th regional coach of the year honor, one shy of the 11 titles he has coached the Wolverines to during his 25 years at the helm of the program. McGuire's teams have finished first or second 19 times in those 25 seasons, and the team has only finished fifth or worse once.
After winning the regional crown last fall, U-M has now won back-to-back regional titles for the first time since it won three straight from 2011-13. In all, it marks the sixth different time McGuire's Wolverines have won back-to-back regional titles.
The title-winning effort produced five all-region performers. In addition to individual champion Finn, the Wolverines also had senior/junior co-captain Gina Sereno (eighth), junior Avery Evenson (ninth), senior/junior Jamie Morrissey (21st) and freshman Madeline Trevisan (22nd) earn all-region recognition. In all, McGuire has coached seven different individual regional champions.
For Finn, this marks her first career individual honor at the regional level, as she is the program's first regional champion since Danielle Tauro in 2011. It will pair nicely with her three all-region honors and comes after her individual title came in 19:27.8, which helped her cross the line with an eight-second cushion. She has been the top-finishing Wolverine in 20 consecutive races while competing in uniform, and she has won six of seven races this fall, with margins of victory of 24 seconds in three of those six victories.
The West Bloomfield, Michigan, native and biochemistry major earns this distinction on the heels of her third career Big Ten individual title, won last month (Oct. 29) in Minnesota. With that win, she became the first-ever woman to win three non-consecutive Big Ten individual cross country titles in any era, and she is the only athlete to record three individual titles at 6K since the conference switched to that distance in 2005. She is also Michigan's first repeat conference champion since Katie McGregor (1997-98) and the conference's first back-to-back winner since Wisconsin's Erica Palmer won two 5K titles in 1999-2000. She is the first Wolverine to win the individual Big Ten title while leading Michigan to a team win since Rebecca Walter in 2003 and closes her cross country career with three of the last four conference crowns.
Finn and her teammates will complete the 2016 postseason run with this weekend's NCAA Championships. The 6,000-meter race will be run at the Lavern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Indiana, and is set for an 11 a.m. gun.
Communications Contact: Chad Shepard