U of M Women - Wolverines Run Rampant at EMU Fall Classic
Provided by U of M
What You Need to Know
» In U-M's final tuneup meet before the Big Ten Championships, the Wolverines tallied with seven of the top 15 finishers, not including two others in that group who ran unattached.
» Five athletes recorded substantially faster 5K times today than what they registered on this same course to begin the 2016 season in September.
» Michigan competed 13 entries in-uniform during today's race, and another four ran unattached.
• Complete Results
Site: Dexter, Mich. (Hudson Mills Metropark)
Meet: EMU Fall Classic (5,000 meters)
U-M Team Finish: Non-scoring
Top U-M Individual: Sophie Linn, 3rd place (17:44.8)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Oct. 30 -- at Big Ten Championships (Minneapolis, Minn.)
DEXTER, Mich. -- The sixth-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country program showed up and showed out during today's (Friday, Oct. 21) EMU Fall Classic hosted by Eastern Michigan University at nearby Hudson Mills Metropark. The 5,000-meter race was littered with Wolverines, including three of the top four athletes, though two were running unattached. Senior/junior Sophie Linn led the way for in-uniform competitors by taking third place in 17:44.8, her fastest 5K time in three races this season, while the Maize and Blue claimed seven of the top 15 overall finishers.
Head coach Mike McGuire liked what he saw from his No. 1 regionally ranked program, which uses today's meet as a measuring stick because it can be directly compared to the season-opening race that U-M ran on the same trails at the Michigan Open nearly two months ago.
"We opened the season (on Sept. 2) here, so the athletes set a benchmark early in the year that they could improve upon this weekend," said McGuire, who felt the times were on the faster side during today's meet, especially considering the mud produced by the afternoon rain.
McGuire was also quick to note how valuable this meet can be for developing future conference championship squads.
"Because we are at an early point in the development for many of these athletes, this is their Big Ten meet," said McGuire, "and it can serve a stepping stone to run in the Big Ten meet in the years to come."
Unattached graduate student Kira Garry led from the gun, and her dominance showed as her lead grew through the 5,000-meter race. Garry broke out ahead of the pack just over 1,000 meters in and by the 2,000-meter mark she had widened the gap formidably. She finished in 17:22.6, a full 16-plus seconds ahead of her next-closest competitor and one of just five sub-18:00 times on the day.
Joining Garry in the 'top unattached performances' category was sophomore/freshman Kayla Keane, who took fourth place in 17:51.8.
After Michigan State's Audrey Wilberding (17:38.9) crossed the line to finish runner-up behind Garry, it was Linn up next, finishing hot on her heels at 17:44.8. Her third-place finish was impressive, and it led the charge for four athletes in the top 10 overall. Junior/sophomore Sydney Badger (eighth), senior/junior Courtney Munley (ninth) and fifth-year senior Gina McNamara (10th) rounded out the top 10 with junior/sophomore Rachel Barrett (12th), junior/sophomore Ellie Leonard(13th) and graduate student Erika Fluehr (15th) also recording to-15 finishes.
U-M put just 10 seconds between its eighth and 15th-place finishers, runners two-through-seven in uniform, bookending Badger's 18:08.0 with Fluehr's 18:18.1
Outside of that duo, a number of athletes recorded significantly faster times today than they did on this same course at the start of the year: Gina McNamara (18:10.6 from 19:05), Barrett (18:15.0 from 18:44.0), junior/sophomore Rachel Coleman (18:33.2 from 18:46.6), junior/sophomore Kali Dent (18:34.1 from 19:21.7) and sophomore/freshman Faith Reynolds (19:00.4 from 19:43.2). Unattached freshmen Jena Metwalli (18:33.4 from 19:37.0) and Kathryn House (18:51.7 from 19:10.0) also showed dramatic improvement, while several other athletes came within seconds of their times recorded at the beginning of the season.
All in all, it was a positive outcome for McGuire and company, who look forward to the conference meet in two weekends.
"We are coming off our best race of the year," said McGuire. "We are healthy and we're excited about the opportunity that presents itself at the Big Ten Championships next Sunday."
The postseason begins at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with the Big Ten Championships on Sunday, October 30. For the first time ever, the championship meet will be streamed live on the Big Ten Network.
Top 10 Individual Finishers
1. Kira Garry, Unattached (17:22.6)
2. Audrey Wilberding, Michigan State (17:38.9)
3. Sophie Linn, U-M (17:44.8)
4. Kayla Keane, Unattached (17:51.8)
5. Kennedy Beazley, Michigan State (17:55.6)
6. Stephanie Barlow, Toledo (18:00.1)
7. Annie Fuller, Michigan State (18:06.7)
8. Sydney Badger, U-M (18:08.0)
9. Courtney Munley, U-M (18:09.6)
10. Gina McNamara, U-M (18:10.6)
Other U-M Finishers
12. Rachel Barrett (18:15.0)
13. Ellie Leonard (18:15.2)
15. Erika Fluehr (18:18.1)
23. Rachel Coleman (18:33.2)
25. Kali Dent (18:34.1)
28. Holly Petrusson (18:41.3)
38. Faith Reynolds (19:00.4)
47. Mary Kate McNamara (19:15.1)
61. Natalie Baxter (19:55.0)
Other Unattached Wolverines
24. Jena Metwalli (18:33.4)
36. Kathryn House (18:51.7)
Communications Contact: Chad Shepard