Oct. 14, 2011
MADISON, Wis. - The Michigan State cross country program finished action at the 2011 Wisconsin adidas Invitational in Madison, Wis., at the Thomas Zimmer Championships Cross Country Course on Friday, Oct. 14.
"The women fared quite well today," said MSU director of cross country and track & field Walt Drenth. "We weren't completely in-sync today, but I thought they raced tough. They get the big picture in terms of competing and when it's not going well individually, it isn't about them. Honestly, finishing in the top 10 today just continues to give us great hope for our final few races of the season. We are all excited for the conference meet in two weeks."
Overall, the women placed ninth overall among a field of 44 squads with 362 points. The Spartans finished ahead of three squads currently ranked in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's weekly top-30 poll. Senior Carlie Green paced the Green and White with a time of 20:48.0, good enough for 38th overall.
Finishing second on the squad and 49th overall was sophomore Sara Kroll. Kroll clocked in a time of 20:54.0. Classmate Julie Otwell placed 75th with a recorded time of 21:07.4, while senior Rebekah Smeltzer clocked in atf 21:09.0 for 84th.
Freshman Leah O'Connor narrowly edged out teammate junior Katie Haines. O'Connor placed 116th with a time of 21:22.6, while Haines crossed the finish line in 21:23.4. Junior Rachel McFarlane rounded out the Spartan runners with her time of 21:49.4 for 188th.
Winning the team crown with a score of 199 was Washington. Rounding out the top 5 was Vanderbilt (211 points), Arizona (230 points), Villanova (232 points) and Stanford (256 points). Sheila Reid of Villanova turned in the top individual performance with a time of 19:55.4.
"On the guy's side, on paper, we were a disaster," noted Drenth on the team's performance. "We had very bad luck this afternoon. At one point in the race, four of our seven all went down. We aren't the type squad that can recover from being right in the mix, to having nearly everyone in the back because of a fall. When you fall in a field with this many people, and in that small of an area, by the time you get back up, you have been passed by most of the field. We can't recover from that stroke of luck, and they will have to do a better job of being attentive to their surroundings when we get into the next big race. We will recover and be significantly better by the time we get to the conference championships."
The Spartan men suffered a bit of trouble in the early portion of the race. With a few kilometers into the competition, four of the seven MSU runners were tripped up by an opposing runner, causing them each to fall to the ground, allowing roughly 150 runners to pass the pile.
After dealing with a rough start, junior Kevin Yarnell paced the Spartans with his time of 24:45.3 to finish 91st overall. The Green and White saw a pair of seniors follow up as the next two runners to finish. Joe Dimambro clocked in at 25:01.5 (137th) and Aaron Simoneau turned in a time of 25:04.0 (143rd). Three of the final four runners for MSU to finish were freshmen.
Pacing the final pack of Spartans was freshman David Madrigal with his time of 25:15.5 (167th). Junior Isaiah VanDoorne turned in a time of 25:54.2 (222nd), while freshmen Alex Wilson and Ben Carruthers wrapped-up the MSU finishers with times of 26:05.3 (229th) and 26:37.6 (254th), respectively.
Invitational host Wisconsin took home the top team crown with a score of 66 points. BYU narrowly edged out Stanford (125 points) for second with 120 points. Princeton (227 points) and Indiana (271 points) rounded out the top-5 teams. Lawi Lalang of Arizona clocked the fastest individual time in the race with a finish of 23:10.8.
The Spartans will travel to Dexter, Mich., on Friday, Oct. 21 for the EMU Fall Classic hosted by Eastern Michigan. Racing begins at 5:30 p.m. at Hudson Mills Metro Park.