Spartans Have Strong Showing At Auto-Owners Spartan Invitational
Seventeen runners finish in the top 20.
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
Michigan State cross country finished the 37th annual Auto-Owners Spartan Invitational at with eight individuals placing in the top 10 on Friday afternoon at Forest Akers East Golf Course.
"I thought we did a nice job of staying together as a group. We were pretty patient early. There were a lot of positives there," Director of Cross Country, Walt Drenth said. "I think we've got to clean up some things. I think our discipline on the course was a little bit lax. I wanted them to wait until the last third, and I think we got a little impatient after the first third. It cost us a couple, and it came off our run a little bit. All in all, I thought we managed ourselves. We solved some problems. People ran into trouble, both genders, but we kind of came out of it. They looked out for each other, so there's some pretty good growth. We'll be better in another week; I'm sure of that."
Four Spartans finished in the top five of the women's 6K, led by redshirt junior Erin McDonald in second place overall with a time of 21:23.9. Following closely behind in third was freshman Maggie Farrell (21:27.2) in her first race in the Green and White. Redshirt sophomore Jeralyn Poe ended in fourth place with a time of 21:36.3, her highest career finish at the event. Redshirt sophomore Lynsie Gram rounded out the Spartans in the top five with a time of 21:52.3 in her first Spartan Invitational.
Redshirt senior Max Benoit earned a second-place finish in the men's 8K, ending with a time of 24:48.0 for his career-best finish at the event. Redshirt senior Clark Ruiz (25:17.5) and sophomore Morgan Beadlescomb (25.17.6) rounded out the top 10 finishes for the men's team.
"I think both squads are pretty good. I think both have a chance to be good at the national level and be really competitive in the Big Ten. That's our objective, and our recruits come here for that reason. That's going to stay our plan."
Up next, Michigan State will compete in the 32nd annual Roy Griak Invitational hosted by Minnesota in Minneapolis. The men's race will begin at 1:10 p.m (ET) and the women will follow at 2:20 p.m. (ET). The races will be streamed on FloTrack.