Michigan State Cross Country Returns to Madison for NCAA Regionals
Spartans look for auto bids for NCAA Championships.
Nov. 8, 2012
WATCH: Cross Country Preview
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State cross country team will continue its championship season on Friday, Nov. 9, when it travels to the 2012 NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships in Madison, Wis. Action begins at 12 p.m. ET with the women's 6,000-meter race, followed by the men's 10,000-meter race at 1:15 p.m. ET.
The meet will be contested on the campus of the University of Wisconsin at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course.
The top-two teams from each of the nine regionals automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships, which are held November 17 in Louisville, Ky. thirteen at-large teams will also receive qualifying bids.
Individually, the top-four student-athletes that are not part of a qualifying team will receive invitations to compete in the NCAA Championships, along with two at-large selections. Also, the top-24 runners in each race will receive All-Region honors.
NCAA Regionals History - Men
The men enter the weekend looking for the first regional win in program history. Last year, MSU finished ninth at the regional race, led by then-senior Joe Dimambro's 30th-place finish with a time of 31:00.7. Overall, MSU has placed second once, third four times and fourth twice.
NCAA Regionals History - Women
The women have claimed five regional titles in program history. Most recently, the women claimed the crown in 2010 after back-to-back championships in 2006 and 2007. In 2001 and 2010, after winning the Big Ten Championships, the Spartans also ran to a first-place finish at the regional. Michigan State claimed its first ever win in 1981, the first year the race was sanctioned by the NCAA.
Last year, Sara Kroll recorded the Spartans' fastest time of 20:37.30, good for fourth-place overall. Kroll led MSU to a second-place finish, and as a result of the team's success, Michigan State earned an automatic bid to its 13th-consecutive NCAA appearance, the longest active streak in the Big Ten.
Post Season Honors
Junior Sara Kroll was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year after her first-place finish at the Big Ten Championships, as announced by the conference office on Tuesday, Oct. 30. Additionally, redshirt senior Rachel McFarlane and redshirt freshman Caleb Rhynard were recognized as MSU's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipients. McFarlane was also named to the second-team All-Big Ten after she finished 14th overall at the conference championships with a time of 20:44.10. Redshirt sophomore Leah O'Connor also received first-team All-Big Ten honors after placing fourth at the championships in a time of 20:24.60.
Where We Rank
In the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) weekly poll, the women find themselves ranked 11th after a second-place finish at the Big Ten Championships. Regionally, the women continue to sit at second in the Great Lakes Region standings.
On the men's side, MSU is currently sixth in the USTFCCCA Great Lakes regional rankings.
Last Time Out
Junior Sara Kroll led the Michigan State women's cross country team to a runner-up finish as she won the Big Ten Cross Country Championships at Forest Akers East Golf Course on Sunday, Oct. 28. The women finished second with 75 points in the 6,000-meter race and the men placed seventh overall in the 8,000-meter race with 183 points.
Kroll was first overall to cross the finish line with a personal-best time of 20:13 to earn first-team all-conference honors. Redshirt freshman Leah O'Connor also made the first-team all-conference, recording a time of 20:25 to place fourth overall. Redshirt senior Rachel McFarlane received second-team all-conference honors as she finished 14th overall in 20:45.
Freshman Caleb Rhynard was the top MSU runner for the men, recording a time of 24:22 for 19th place.