Toeing the Line #9: U-M Wraps 2009 Season at the NCAA Championships

Nov. 17, 2009

Monday, Nov. 23 -- at NCAA Championships (Terre Haute, Ind.), 1 p.m.
Championship Central

The No. 29-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team will send seven runners to the NCAA Championships on Monday (Nov. 23) in Terre Haute, Ind. Hosted by Indiana State, the women's 6,000-meter race is slated for a 1 p.m. start at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course. The race will be broadcast live on Versus Network and streamed online via

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

Scouting the NCAA Field
Thirty-one teams, comprising 18 automatic and 13 at-large bids, will compete for the 2009 NCAA Championship. U-M is one of seven Big Ten Conferences teams to earn selection to the championship and one of five from the Great Lakes Region. Automatic qualifiers include Baylor, Colorado, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Illinois, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Princeton, Providence, SM, Syracuse, Texas Tech, Villanova, Virginia and Washington. Joining Michigan as at-large team selections are Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Georgetown, Indiana, Iowa State, Michigan State, New Mexico, Penn State, UTEP and West Virginia. Additionally, 38 individuals whose teams did not qualify for the NCAA Championships will have the chance to race after finishing among the top 25 individuals in their respective NCAA regional championships, irrespective of their teams' finishes.

Michigan has made 21 previous appearances at the NCAA Championships, including 11 of the last 12 years. During his 18 years at the helm of the Wolverines' cross country team, head coach Mike McGuire has guided U-M to a nine top-10 national finishes, including a program-best third-place showing in 2006. Individually, U-M has boasted 29 NCAA All-America citations from 19 different Wolverine athletes, including 1998 NCAA champion Katie McGregor and three-time All-Americans Molly McClimon (1990, '92, '93) and Rebecca Walter (2003, '04, '05).


Kaitlyn Patterson, Freshman
Freshman Kaitlyn Patterson (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac HS) will look to bounce back from the illness that hampered her last weekend at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional. The U-M rookie, who has consistently placed as U-M's second runner over the season, took 27th place in regional action -- finishing 30 seconds shy of her personal-best 6,000-meter time (21:20), which she recorded two weeks earlier en route to 19th place at the Big Ten Championships.

Earning All-America honors with her 24th-place finish, fifth-year senior Nicole Edwards paced U-M to 16th place (416 points) among the 31-team field at last season's NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. The Wolverine senior clocked 20:31.9 in her final race to earn the second All-America citation of her career. Danielle Tauro was Michigan's second runner across the line, claiming 103rd place with a time of 21:13.5 -- four seconds shy of her personal best. Rounding out the Wolverine scorers were a trio of upperclassman -- Geena Gall, Kelly Sampson and Jenny Morgan -- with finishes of 112th, 114th and 172nd place.

Junior/sophomore Kaitlyn Peale (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington HS) claimed second place to lead the Wolverines to a third-place team performance (104 points) at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Nov. 14). U-M finished just two points behind runner-up Ohio State and 10 points shy of champion Notre Dame. Four rookies joined Peale among the Wolverines' scoring contingent. Freshmen Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven HS) and Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional HS) also placed among the top 25, crossing the finish line in 13th (21:28.55) and 21st (21:37.86) place, respectively. Smith shaved 10 seconds from her previous-best 6,000-meter time. Freshman Kaitlyn Patterson claimed 27th place with a time of 21:50.60, and freshman Lindsey Hilton (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams HS) rounded out scoring in 45th place and 22:11.83.

Peale Out -- Each week brings a new milestone for junior/sophomore Kaitlyn Peale, who already boasts six top-10 finishes in as many appearances this season. Most recently, she claimed runner-up honors at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Nov. 14). Two weeks earlier, she claimed fourth place at the Big Ten Championships on Nov. 1, earning her first career All-Big Ten first team selection and running a personal-best 20:33. Prior to that, she took home Big Ten Runner of the Week accolades after capturing her first collegiate cross country victory at the EMU Fall Classic on Oct. 23 with a time of 17:24.

Fantastic Freshmen -- Four Wolverine rookies placed among Michigan's scoring five at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, while three of them -- freshmen Rebecca Addison, Kaitlyn Patterson and Jillian Smith -- have placed 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 this season, including a runner-up finish at the EMU Fall Classic on 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's second, third and fourth runners in four scored meets this season.

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.

High Five -- Adding the Wolverines' third-place finish at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Nov. 14), the Michigan women's cross country program boasts 37 top-five performances in its last 42 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.

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 dropped several spots, falling to the No. 29 position in the most recent -- and final -- NCAA Division I cross country poll, released Tuesday (Nov. 17) by the United States Cross Country Coaches Association.

USTFCCCA Women's Division I Cross Country National Poll
Ranking Team Region/Rank Totals Previous
1. Washington West-1 358 1
2. Villanova Mid-Atlantic-1 350 2
3. Princeton Mid-Atlantic-2 319 3
4. Oregon West-2 317 5
5. Florida South-1 315 3
6. Colorado Mountain-1 299 6
7. West Virginia Mid-Atlantic-3 290 7
8. Florida State South-2 276 9
9. Texas Tech Mountain-2 263 8
10. Stanford West-3 225 14
11. Penn State Mid-Atlantic-4 223 11
12. Syracuse Northeast-1 220 10
13. Minnesota Midwest-1 217 17
14. Duke Southeast-1 211 15
15. Georgetown Mid-Atlantic-5 198 12
16. Illinois Midwest-2 188 13
17. Arizona State West-4 168 16
18. Iowa State Midwest-3 145 18
19. BYU Mountain-3 135 22
20. Virginia Southeast-1 133 19
21. Providence Northeast-2 128 NR
22. SMU South Central-1 111 25
23. UTEP Mountain-4 96 NR
24. Notre Dame Great Lakes-1 81 NR
25. New Mexico Mountain-5 74 20
26. Baylor South Central-2 63 NR
27. Ohio State Great Lakes-2 51 NR
28. Arizona West-5 44 24
29. MICHIGAN Great Lakes-3 40 23
30. Indiana Great Lakes-4 20 NR

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423