EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women’s cross country team is ranked No. 6 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I National Cross Country Coaches' Preseason Poll, which was released on Tuesday. The Spartans also finished sixth overall with 236 points at the 2013 NCAA Cross Country Championships, the third-best finish in program history and their highest since the 2007 season. A total of four Big Ten schools are ranked in the Top 25 Poll, including top-ranked Michigan, No. 16 Wisconsin, and No. 25 Minnesota.
Michigan State returns six runners from last year’s Big Ten Championship squad, led by First Team All-Big Ten performers Leah O’Connor and Katie Landwehr. Second team selections Lindsay Clark and Rachele Schulist were also key contributors to the Spartan’s successful 2013 campaign. MSU Head Coach Walt Drenth, entering his 11th season in East Lansing, is looking forward to the team’s continued improvement and building off last year’s success in 2014.
“We finished sixth last year at the national meet and were one of the better teams in the country all year. We return everybody, so we have pretty high expectations,” said Drenth. “Leah O’Connor and Katie Landwehr bring back some really good big race experience for us along with Lindsay Clark and Rachele Schulist.”
The Spartans open the 2014 season on Friday, Aug. 29 at the Central Michigan University Jeff Drenth Memorial in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.