Cross Country Travels to Wisconsin for Big Ten Championships
Oct. 29, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State cross country team opens its championship season on Sunday, Oct. 31, when it travels to the 2010 Big Ten Cross Country Championships in Madison, Wis. Action begins at 11:45 a.m. ET with the women's race, followed by the men at 12:45 p.m. ET.
This weekend marks the second time this season the Green and White has competed on the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course. MSU gained experience when it traveled to the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Oct. 2.
The Spartan women were the top Big Ten finishers in a race that featured six conference teams - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and Wisconsin. Emily MacLeod was the top individual conference runner as she placed second overall with a career-best time of 20:15.8.
The men also turned in a strong finish as they were the third-best conference team, and sixth overall at the competition. The MSU men competed against eight Big Ten squads - Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin, finishing behind only the Hoosiers and the Badgers. Senior Patrick Grosskopf was the top MSU individual when he turned in a time of 24:10.4, good enough for 30th overall.
Fans wishing to enjoy the Big Ten Cross Country Championships on television can see it tape delayed on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 12 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.
Big Ten Championships History - Men
Last year, the men finished eighth as a team with a score of 188. The top individual finisher was Josh McAlary who placed 22nd overall with a 25:59.5 mark. The Spartans return three of their four top runners in Ben Miller, Spencer Beatty and Patrick Grosskopf. McAlary has been forced to miss the 2010 season due to injury.
Big Ten Championships History - Women
The women enter the weekend looking for their third Big Ten team title, and first once since 2001. MSU won the first sanctioned Big Ten Championships race in 1981. Overall, the Spartans have seen four individuals finish tops at the conference championships, most recently Nicole Bush won the 2008 race with a time of 20:15.8.
In 2009, the women placed fifth as a team with 137 points. Individually, Emily MacLeod was sixth in the race when she clocked in at 20:41. MSU returns its top-three runners from last season in MacLeod, Carlie Green and Rebekah Smeltzer.
Where We Rank
On the men's side, MSU is currently 33rd in the USTFCCCA rankings. The men are also fourth in the Great Lakes Region, sitting behind Indiana, Wisconsin and Notre Dame. The Spartans are the fourth-highest team ranked in the conference based on the national poll.
Smith earned her first career honor after she turned in a fifth-place showing at the Michigan Intercollegiate Championships in Rochester, Mich. Smith's time of 18:17.4 is a career-best mark, and allowed her to earn All-Michigan distinction this weekend.
It also marked Borchard's first weekly Big Ten honor, and the second MSU male this season. Borchard turned in a time of 26:50.3 at the Michigan Intercollegiate Championships. The honor marked the first time Borchard had been the top MSU finisher at a race.
As a result of her two solid races this season, senior Emily MacLeod has received Big Ten Runner of the Week honors after two of the three events she competed in this season. MacLeod earned the honor after placing second at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 2 when she turned in a career-best time of 20:15.8. MacLeod earned the first honor of the season after the Spartan Invitational on Friday, Sept. 17 when she won the event for the second straight year with a time of 20:46.
Following the Spartan Invitational, MacLeod was joined by junior Aaron Simoneau as male runner of the week following his performance at the lone Green and White home race of the season. Simoneau earned his first career conference distinction after tracking down Nick Willis, a silver medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 1,500m, for the his first collegiate win. The Traverse City, Mich., native, bested his previous fastest race by 50 seconds to finish the 8k race in 24:28. Simoneau and MacLeod gave MSU the only weekly sweep by a school this season.
Last Time Out
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