Top college cross country teams from Michigan ready for Saturday's national championship meets
By Steven Marcinkowski, RunMichigan.com
Four college National Championships will be decided this weekend as the NCAA Division 1, 2,3 and NAIA finals will be held on Saturday, November 17th. And the state of Michigan will be well represented at all meets.
In Division 1, the women’s teams from Michigan and Michigan State qualified as they finished 1, 2 at the Great Lakes Regional meet.
The 6th ranked University of Michigan women are looking to improve on last year’s 15th place finish. The team of Rebecca Addison, Amanda Eccleston, Brook Handler, Lindsey Hilton, Taylor Manett, Shannon Osika and Jillian Smith all boasted strong finishes at the regional meet. The Wolverines placed 5 runners in the top 13 to score 41 points. The Michigan State Spartans women's squad scored 77 points in their second place finish at the Great Lakes Regional meet. Going into Saturday’s NCAA championship meet, the MSU women are ranked 13th in Division One and are counting on the veteran experience from Sara Kroll, Julia Otwell, Leah O’Connor and Rachel McFarlane who competed on last year’s championship squad. Lindsey Clark, Olivia Sydow and Megan Rodgers round out the top 7.
For the men in D1, the Wolverines of Michigan finished in second place with 73 points behind Wisconsin at the recent regional meet. Dan Lowry, Mark Beams, Brendon Blacklaws, Morsi Rayyan, Zach Ornelas, James Yau and Nick Kern comprise the 12th ranked team looking for a top-ten finish.
The Michigan State men also qualified for the national meet with their 4th place regional finish receiving one of the 13 at-large bids. Scoring 113 points, the team of Alex Wilson, Caleb Rhynard, Josh McAlary, David Madrigal, Ben Miller, Ben Carruthers and Drake Veitenheimeris, the Spartan national qualifying team are looking to make a statement.
Individually, former Grand Blanc High School state champion, Gabi Anzalone will be competing for Wisconsin following her 4th place individual finish at the regional meet.
Louisville hosts the championship with the women’s 6k race beginning at noon with the men’s 10k to follow at 1:15. RunMichigan.com will provide an ongoing updates page/blog from the NCAA D1 Meet in Louisville.
Click here for photos, result and updates from the NCAA Division One Cross Country Championship Meet.
The Division 2 National Championship boasts the largest Michigan field amongst the races with 3 women’s teams, 2 men’s teams and 2 individuals.
The Grand Valley State women’s team won the Midwest Regional with 45 points, scoring 6 runners in the top 25. Allyson Winchester, Hannah Osborn, Courtney Brewis, Madie Rodts, Molly Slavens, Brianna Hewett and Kelcie Severson are the top 7 women to compete at nationals on Saturday.
Saginaw Valley State also qualified taking 2nd place at the Midwest Regional. The team of Emily Short, Lauren Hill, Taylor Stepanski, Tori Peet, Teha Ames, Amanda Paris and Chantelle Fondren scored 110 points to advance to the championship meet.
The Ferris State women’s team was the 3rd team to qualify as they placed 3rd with 134 points. Samantha Johnson, Alyssa Osika, Kristie LeSage, Jordan McGuire, Breeann Ovokaitys and Haleigh Przybylek is the qualifying team that heads to nationals.
For the men, Grand Valley State won with 62 points for the 11th straight season.. The team of Brent Showerman, Alan Peterson, Spencer Pageau, Jake Isaacson, Josh Moskalewski, Joe Duff and Joe Graves are the national qualifying team.
The Bulldogs of Ferris State also qualified with a third place finish at the Midwest Regional meet. Andrew Harper led the team while his teammates Brandon Cushman, Ryan Chute, David Silversmith, Tyler Crossman, Alex Bladecki and Spencer Gerber turned in great performances to qualify.
Amanda Brewer of Wayne State qualified as an individual with her 7th place finish. Also qualifying as an individual was Joshua Mirth of Hillsdale College.
The NCAA Division 2 National Championship will be held in Joplin, MO with the men’s 10k at 11:30 and the women’s 6k at 12:30.
For Division 3, the men’s and women’s teams from Calvin have qualified to the national meet held Saturday in Terre Haute, IN. The men’s 8k is at 11:00 with the women’s 6k to follow at noon.
The 3rd ranked men’s team of Dan Kerr, Nick Kramer, Job Christiansen, David Vande Bunte, Matt VanderRoest, Greg Whittle and Sam Kerk will be looking to grow on their success thus far this season. The women’s team finished third at the Great Lakes Regional meet with the team of Nichole Michmerhuizen, Alyssa Penning, Kate Ardinger, Kimby Penning, Mackenzie Diemer Alyssa Oram and Lizzy Vannette.
The Hope women also qualified as the team of Sheri McCormack, Sharon Hecker, Meredith Busman, Camille Borst, Taylor Mattarella Katie Carlson and Julia Stock won the Great Lakes Regional meet with 91 points.
Individually, Paul Lewis and Matt Melvin of Albion and Blake Rottschafer of Hope qualified for the national championship.
Michigan as usual is well represented at the the NAIA finals which will be held in Vancouver, Washington. For more information on the NAIA meet, click here.