Nov. 17, 2016
The sixth-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team will compete at the NCAA Championships this weekend, running the 6,000-meter race at 11 a.m. Saturday (Nov. 19) at the Lavern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Indiana.
This year's meet will feature full lineups from 31 teams in addition to the 38 individually qualified athletes for more than 250 competitors in the field. Senior Erin Finn, ranked No. 1 in the Saucony Flo50 rankings, is expected to challenge for the individual national title.
Michigan's lineup consists of: Claire Borchers, Avery Evenson, Finn, Sophie Linn, Jamie Morrissey, Jaimie Phelan, Gina Sereno, Madeline Trevisan and Sarah Zieve. Borchers, Evenson and Trevisan will make their NCAA Championships debuts for U-M in the event, while Linn and Zieve are expected to serve as alternates.
U-M returns to "Cross Country Town, U.S.A." for the national meet for the third time in the last four seasons and the 11th time in the last 13 seasons overall. This is Michigan's third trip to Terre Haute this season and will mark the seventh time in the last four seasons that U-M has competed at the Lavern Gibson Championship Course.
The course is rolling and challenging. Double white lines, natural boundaries and fence mark the course, which is friendly to spectators and coaches. Kilometer and mile markers are located for all race distances. Fans should look to Twitter for live updates as well. Check the hashtag #ncaaXC to get in on the action, as @XCTownUSA, @NCAATrackField, @IndStTrackField and @Flotrack will be among the most active handles come Saturday.
Top Returning Times at 6,000 Meters
Erin Finn -- 19:27.8
Gina Sereno -- 20:15.5
Jaimie Phelan -- 20:17.2
Avery Evenson -- 20:19.1
Jamie Morrissey -- 20:33.1
Madeline Trevisan -- 20:33.8
Sophie Linn -- 20:34.7
Courtney Munley -- 20:57.0
Claire Borchers -- 20:58.5
THINGS TO KNOW
Michigan seeks its 13th top-10 finish at the NCAA Championships and its 12th under head coach Mike McGuire. A podium placing (top four) would be the program's fourth since 1994, as U-M has been fourth twice, third once and second once in that span.
The Wolverines enter this weekend's championship festivities ranked No. 5 in the nation according to the latest United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll. It is the highest ranking of the season for U-M and marks the third straight season in which U-M has appeared in the top five at least once during the year.
U-M posted a 112-7 record through the Big Ten Championships, including a 27-2 mark in the Great Lakes Region. Aside from Eastern Michigan's 90 wins, Mississippi State's 87 wins and the three teams in the 70-win bracket (Arkansas 76, N.C. State 75, Providence 70), no program is within reach of the Wolverines' overall W-L record.
Finn will be the focus of the individual race, vying for her first NCAA title. She was a two-time NCAA runner-up during the 2016 track season (3K, 5K indoors) and won her third Big Ten crown last month before taking her first regional title last weekend. Last fall, Finn became the seventh Wolverine with multiple All-America honors by placing 19th despite running over 4,000 meters with no shoes.
Overall, Finn has six wins in seven races this fall, and she has led U-M in 20 consecutive races while competing in uniform.
Katie McGregor is Michigan's lone NCAA cross country champion, having won her title in 1998. U-M finished 11th as a team that year (380 points).
This Michigan squad is peaking at the right time, with Big Ten and NCAA Great Lakes Regional championships already underfoot. The last time U-M won both titles was 2012, when the team finished fifth nationally.
Overall, U-M has won both the Big Ten and Great Lakes Region on six occasions (1993-94, 2004-05, 2012, '16). The five instances prior to this year produced NCAA finishes of sixth, second, sixth, sixth and fifth.
Under McGuire, U-M has been first, second or third in the Great Lakes Region during 23 of his 25 seasons at the helm, with 11 regional and 10 conference titles in those 25 years.
The women's course record in Terre Haute is held by Sally Kipyego (Texas Tech) at 19:28.1 over 6,000 meters (set in 2008).
TWEET OF THE WEEK
-- Michigan Track&Field (@UMichTrack) November 15, 2016
Communications Contact: Chad Shepard