Cross Country Finishes 2009 Season at NCAA Championships
Spartan women finish 26tth; men 31st.
Nov. 23, 2009
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Michigan State cross country teams concluded the 2009 season when they raced at the NCAA Championships hosted by Indiana State University on Monday, Nov. 23. As a team, the women finished 26th overall while the men placed 31st. The women were led by junior Emily MacLeod (Loveland, Ohio) who narrowly missed All-American honors with her 42nd place overall finish with in a time of 20:57. Sophomore Isaiah VanDoorne (Grant, Mich.) was the top male finisher with his time of 31:17 in 108th place.
"Emily MacLeod had another good run," said director of cross country and track & field Walt Drenth. "She probably wasn't as sharp as she was at the NCAA Regionals. But, she learned a lot as it was her first time in a leading role."
Sophomore Tiffany Abrahamian (Rochester, Mich.) finished second for the women with her time of 21:30 (103rd), while junior Carlie Green (Milford, Mich.) turned in a time of 21:40 (121st). Freshman Kristen Smith (Clarkston, Mich.) and sophomore Rebekah Smeltzer (Monroe, Mich.) rounded out the top-five finisher for the women, turning in times of 22:07 (165th) and 22:10 (170th), respectively.
"I feel like the women we're a little too measured early, and the run got away from us. We exceeded our seeding, and finishing 25th is good progress. We have everyone in the top five coming back. I feel like we can make some pretty good progress next year," added Drenth.
This was the women's 11th-consecutive trip to the NCAAs and 18th overall.
The top female finisher was Angela Bizzarri of Illinois who crossed the finish line in 19:47. Villanova won its eighth overall NCAA team title with 83 team points.
Placing second for the men was junior Patrick Grosskopf (Corunna, Mich.), who turned in a time of 31:17 (125th). Sophomore Josh McAlary (Jackson, Mich.) and junior Spencer Beatty (Harbor Springs, Mich.) were the next Spartan finishers with times of 31:28 (130th) and 31:31 (136th), respectively. Freshman Ben Miller (Brooklyn, Mich.) rounded out the men's top five with his time of 31:49 (155th).
"It was a good learning experience for the guys. We have everyone from our top-seven back next year, except for Max (Goldak). I thought we did some pretty good thing, but tt is a hard race and we probably were a little too patient. But, from an overall standpoint, I think we learned quite a bit. With a young group and the progress we made this fall, especially towards the end, it is a really good stepping stone for us for next year," noted Drenth.
This marked the men's first NCAA Championships appearance since the 2006 campaign, and 39th overall.
Winning the men's team championship was Oklahoma State with a score of 127. Liberty's Sam Chelanga took home first-place honors with his time of 28:41.3.