EAST LANSING, Mich.– Michigan State cross country will send younger runners from both the No. 27-ranked women’s team and No. 29-ranked men’s team to the Eastern Michigan University Fall classic on Friday afternoon, Oct. 24. The race will be held at Hudson Mill Metro Park in Dexter, Mich.
“It's kind of an exciting time to see where our young people are at,” said Director of Cross Country Walt Drenth. “A lot of the runners ran at the Wisconsin Invitational, so it will be fun to find out what they learned from there and how they will apply it. For the team it’s a good come-back-together meet. It is a meet with a good level of competition, there are a lot of good collegiate racers in this meet generally, and for the young ones it’s good for them to race against this competition.”
The Spartans will compete in their final event of the regular season before next week’s Big Ten Championship meet. The 5,000 meter race for the women begins at 4:30 p.m., and the men’s 5,000 meter race will take off at 5 p.m.
“This course has been pretty good to us over the past few years,” said Drenth. “We have gone in to this race and run well and came away with personal bests. A lot of the kids ran this course in high school, and now they can go back and see their improvement. It is definitely exciting to see where they were at, and see how much they have progressed in such a short amount of time.”
The last time out the Spartans competed at the annual Wisconsin Adidas Invitational that drew schools from every region. The women and men’s squads finished 19th and 18th, respectively, at the Invite, which featured 18 ranked teams on the women’s side and 19 of the top 30 programs in the women’s race.
In the women’s 6K, senior Alexis Wiersma led the pack with a 12th place finish and a season best time of 20:28.60. Senior Shelby Jackson also garnered a season-best time of 21:02.01 as the second Spartan to cross the finish line.
For the men’s 8K, senior Sherod Hard paced the way for MSU with a 39th place finish and a time of 24:28.05. Second place Spartan finisher, freshman Jesse Hersha, ran his best time clocking in at 24:53.00.
“We are going to hold everyone that may run at the Big Tens,” said Drenth. “For the people that we knew were going to race at the Big Tens, we made sure to do some different workouts in training. We made some adjustments to make sure we give them some confidence going in to the Big Tens.
Results from the Eastern Michigan University Classic will be available on msuspartans.com at the conclusion of the meet.