Nov. 17, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. - As announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association this afternoon, senior Emily MacLeod has been named 2010 Great Lakes Region Female Athlete of the Year, while director of cross country and track & field Walt Drenth was tabbed as the Great Lakes Region Women's Coach of the Year. For MacLeod, this marks the second consecutive year she has received the post-season distinction.
"It is such an honor to once again be named the Great Lakes Athlete of the Year," said MacLeod. "I am so happy to be recognized with such a great distinction. Most importantly, this is something that signifies the hard work the whole team has put into the year in getting where we are heading into the final race of the season on Monday. At the beginning of the season, this was something my coaches and I put into my race plan so it has been something I was working towards."
MacLeod won the NCAA Great Lakes Regional by seven seconds over Wisconsin's Emily Sisson for her second-straight regional crown. MacLeod is the first in Michigan State history to win back-to-back regional titles. The Spartan also won the Big Ten title, clocking a career-best 6k time of 19:53.8 to earn Big Ten Athlete of the Year distinction.
The Loveland, Ohio, native, has led the Spartans this season in each of her five races she has competed in, finishing in the top-nine in each of those races. MacLeod has been the top runner in three races this year, highlighted by her first place showing at both the Big Ten Championships and the NCAA Great Lakes Regional.
Drenth joins MacLeod for his second coach of the year distinction this season as he earned Big Ten Women's Coach of the Year. MSU finished tops at the conference meet for the first time since the 2001 season, and just the third time in school history.
Drenth's Spartans won the NCAA Great Lakes Regional by 16 points over second-place Michigan, their first since taking titles in 2006 and 2007. Michigan State placed three in the race's top 11 at the regional meet. Drenth's crew, ranked 16th nationally, finished sixth at the Pre-National Invitational meet earlier this season. This marks the third time Drenth has received Regional Coach of the Year honors in his MSU career (2006, 2007).
MacLeod and Drenth, along with the rest of the women's team will travel to Terre Haute, Ind. on Monday, Nov. 22 for their 12th-consecutive NCAA Championships appearance, and 19th overall. Joining the women from the men's side is senior Patrick Grosskopf who was selected earlier this week to compete at the NCAA Championship as an individual runner.