Nov. 18, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's cross country team concludes its season when it travels to the 2011 NCAA Cross Country Championships on Monday, Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind. The meet is hosted by Indiana State and the women's race s scheduled to begin at 12:58 p.m.
The women will be making their 11th straight NCAA Cross Country Championships appearance as a team, the longest active streak in the Big Ten Conference. This is also the 13th-consecutive year MSU has had at least one individual competing in the race.
MSU qualified as a team after placing second at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Saturday, Nov. 12.
Individually, the top-40 runners in each race will receive All-America honors.
NCAA Championships History - Women
The women enter the championships looking for their first NCAA title program history. The highest the team has placed is fourth in 1981. MSU also has a fifth-place finish under its belt back in 2007. Former Spartan Nicole Bush's fifth-place showing at the 2007 NCAA Cross Country Championships with a time of 20:14 is the best finish by an individual at the event.
Last year, the Spartans placed 23rd with a team total of 481 points. Emily MacLeod recorded the Spartans' top individual finish when she crossed the line in 20:48.1, earning All-America honors with a 37th-place finish.
Post Season Honors
Director of cross country and track & field Walt Drenth was named Big Ten Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year for the second-straight year, as announced by the conference office on Tuesday, Nov. 1. Additionally, freshman David Madrigal was tabbed Big Ten Men's Freshman of the Year for only the fourth time in program history, and first since 2000.
Where We Rank
In the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) weekly poll, the women find themselves ranked 15th after placing second at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships. This marks the highest ranking for the Green and White since Nov. 4, 2008, when the Spartans found themselves ranked 10th nationally.
In the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) weekly poll, the women find themselves ranked 12th after winning the Big Ten Championships. Regionally, the women continue to sit atop the Great Lakes Region standings, while also holding the best national ranking in the Big Ten Conference. This marks the highest ranking for the Green and White since Nov. 4, 2008, when the Spartans found themselves ranked 10th nationally.
Last Time Out
The women placed second overall at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships on Saturday, Nov. 12 in Toledo, Ohio with 77 points. Leading the team with her fourth-place finish was sophomore Sara Kroll. In arguably her best race in her career, Kroll turned in a time of 20:37.3. Classmate Julia Otwell also recorded a top 10 performance for the Green and White, as she finished ninth with a time of 20:44.4.
Junior Katie Haines was the third Spartan to finish today in Toledo, finishing in 20:59.8 for 15th-place overall. Capping off the scoring for MSU was a pair of seniors in Rebekah Smeltzer and Rachel McFarlane. Smeltzer clocked in a 21:10.0 for 22nd, while McFarlane finished 27th with a time of 21:20.6.