Maize & Blue Women Place Fourth, Finn All-America at NCAAs
Provided by U of M
Site: Terre Haute, Ind. (LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course)
Meet: NCAA Championships (6,000 Meters)
U-M Finish: 4th Place of 31 Teams (215 points)
Top U-M Individual: Erin Finn, 30th (20:40.3)
Next U-M Event: Season Complete
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Freshman Erin Finn (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield) finished 30th to become the first Wolverine All-American since 2009, as the No. 8-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team raced to a fourth-place team finish at the NCAA Championships on Saturday (Nov. 23) at LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course. It is the program's highest finish since 2006 (3rd) and ties for the third-highest ever.
This marks the fifth overall and second straight top-five finish at the NCAA Championships for head coach Mike McGuire, as U-M improved one spot from its fifth-place finish in 2012.
Despite falling more than once in the first 4,000 meters, Finn gained ground within a very compact lead pack. She advanced six spots between 2K and 4K, taking over 22nd place. She was unable to hold her position down the final straightaway but remained within the top 40 to earn All-America honors, placing 30th in 20:40.3.
Sophomore Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) worked hard navigating through the congested field between the 2K and 4K mark, improving 34 spots to locate teammate junior Brook Handler (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester). The two worked together until the final straightaway of the race when Osika's strong kick allowed her to chase down several runners, including her own teammate, sophomore Taylor Manett (Rockford, Mich./Rockford). Osika and Manett crossed the line almost simultaneously in a time of 20:56.6, placing 56th and 57th, respectively. Manett got out fast and settled into 56th place by the 2K mark and held steady for the entirety of the race.
After working with Osika, Handler kicked down a hand full of runners in the final 100 meters to finish 64th overall in a time of 21:03.4.
Junior/sophomore Anna Pasternak (Brighton, Mich./Hartland) scored for Michigan for the first time in her career, placing 105th in a time of 21:20.6. She surpassed 52 runners between the 2K and 4K mark and passed another nine in the final 2,000 meters to help U-M secure the victory.
Senior/juniors Megan Weschler (Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt) (21:41.8) and Alex Leptich (Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline) (22:13.2) rounded out Michigan's championship squad, finishing 159th and 212th, respectively.
In addition to their podium finish at the national meet, the Wolverines also finished the 2013 championships season with a runner-up finish at the Big Ten Championships and defended their third straight NCAA Great Lakes Regional title.
Top 10 Team Standings
1. Providence 141
2. Arizona 197
3. Butler 200
4. MICHIGAN 215
5. Georgetown 226
6. Michigan State 236
7. Colorado 265
8. Florida State 278
9. Virginia 283
10. New Mexico 301
Top 10 Finishers
1. Abbey D'Agostino, Dartmouth 20:00.3
2. Emma Bates, Boise State 20:03.9
3. Kate Avery, Iona 20:05.4
4. Aisling Cuffe, Stanford 20:09.3
5. Emily Lipari, Villanova 20:10.8
6. Colleen Quigley, Florida State 20:11.3
7. Emily Sisson, Providence 20:17.5
8. Shelby Houlihan, Arizona 20:20.9
9. Shalaya Kipp, Colorado 20:21.7
10. Kelsey Santisteban, California 20:21.7
Other Michigan Finishers
30. Erin Finn, U-M 20:40.3
56. Shannon Osika, U-M 20:56.6
57. Taylor Manett, U-M 20:56.6
64. Brook Handler, U-M 21:03.4
105. Anna Pasternak, U-M 21:20.6
159. Megan Weschler, U-M 21:41.8
212. Alex Leptich, U-M 22:13.2
N O T E S
• The No. 8-ranked Wolverines finished ahead of five teams that were ranked ahead of them heading into the NCAA Championships -- No. 3 Arkansas, No. 4 Florida State, No. 5 Colorado, No. 6 Georgetown and No. 7 Iowa State.
• Freshman Erin Finn became the first Michigan All-American since Kaitlyn Peale in 2009. She is also just the third freshman in program history to earn the honor, joining twin sisters Deanna and Pauline Arnill in 1994.
• Michigan has recorded 12 top-10 finishes in program history, 11 of which have come during head coach Mike McGuire's tenure. Five of those finishes under McGuire have been top-five performance, including fifth in 2012 and fourth in 2013.
• Erin Finn, Anna Pasternak, Megan Weschler and Alex Leptich each made their career debut at the NCAA Championships.
• All seven member of Michigan's fourth-place squad are from the state of Michigan.
Contact: Whitney Dixon