Toeing the Line #8: Seven to Go to NCAA Championships Monday

Nov. 17, 2010

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

The No. 17-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team will send seven runners to the NCAA Championships on Monday (Nov. 22) in Terre Haute, Ind. Hosted by Indiana State, the women's 6,000-meter race is slated for a noon start at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course. The race will be streamed online via

The Wolverines' lineup for the NCAA Championships 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 Championships, including a detailed course map, please visit

Michigan has made 22 previous appearances at the NCAA Championships, including 12 of the last 13 years. During his 19 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 30 NCAA All-America citations from 20 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).

Earning All-America honors with her 28th-place finish, Kaitlyn Peale paced U-M to 27th place (637 points) among the 31-team field at last season's NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. Competing in her first NCAA meet, Peale registered a time of 20:38.8, finishing 52 seconds behind race-winner Angela Bizzarri of Illinois and missing her personal best by just five seconds. Michigan's final four scored runners finished in a clump further back in the field as Kaitlyn Patterson, Rachel White, Rebecca Addison and Rachel Severin claimed 176th, 189th, 192nd and 193rd, respectively.

The Wolverines locked up an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships with their runner-up effort at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Nov. 13) at Oakland's Katke-Cousins Golf Course. The Wolverines posted 96 points, finishing just 16 points behind champion Michigan State. Four Wolverine runners earned all-region honors with top-25 finishes, most notably Michigan's top-10 duo of senior Danielle Tauroand sophomore Jillian Smith, who took ninth and 10th place, respectively.

Tauro! Tauro! Tauro! -- Senior Danielle Tauro finished as Michigan's top runner for the sixth time this season, claiming ninth place at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Saturday, Nov. 13). The previous weekend, Tauro took fourth place at the Big Ten Championships (Oct. 31) -- her third top-five finish of the season. She 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 and Kaitlyn Patterson 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 finish at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, the Wolverines climbed to the No. 17 position in the final regular-season NCAA Division I cross country poll, released Tuesday (Nov. 16) by the United States Cross Country Coaches Association.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423