Walt Drenth Named Regional Men’s Coach Of The Year
Drenth led No. 11 men’s team to first regional championship.
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
Michigan State Director of Cross Country Walt Drenth was named Great Lakes Regional Men’s Coach of the Year, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Tuesday. This marks the first men’s honor of its kind for Drenth.
In the latest USTFCCCA rankings, the men’s team came in at No. 11 in the nation, the highest ranking this late in the season for the Spartans since 1998.
Throughout the season, the men’s cross country team has been present in the national rankings, starting the season at No. 23 in the coaches poll. The team finished second at the Griak Invitational on Sept. 23, beating out several ranked teams. The finish resulted in a jump to No. 17 for the team ahead of the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational on Oct. 13, where the team claimed an 11th-place finish, its highest since 2010 at the prestigious meet.
At the Big Ten Championships on Oct. 29, the then-ranked No. 15 Spartans were the conference runner-up, just 11 points out of first place. MSU emerged as the top team in the region at NCAA Great Lakes Regionals, capturing its first-ever regional championship and upsetting the No. 1 Great Lakes Regional team and No. 8 in the nation Michigan.
Four individuals on the men’s team earned All-Region honors. Sophomore Morgan Beadlescomb was the first Spartan finisher in fifth place with a career-best 10K time of 31:02.2, redshirt senior Clark Ruiz claimed eighth place (31:04.7), redshirt senior Max Benoit finished in 10th with a career-best time of 31:12.8 and redshirt freshman Brayden Law claimed the fourth accolade in 17th, clocking in at 31:24.1.
The men’s and women’s teams both earned automatic bids to NCAA Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, on Nov. 18.