EMU- Women's Cross Country Runs to Fifth-Place Finish at Regionals
Provided by EMU
MADISON, Wis. (EMUEagles.com) – The No. 13 Eastern Michigan University women's cross country team had their strongest regional performance in recent history today, Nov. 11, at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional in Madison, Wis. The Eagles finished the close race in fifth with 102 points, which was an improvement over last year by nearly 100 points, while the team also had three harriers finish within the top-20.
"It was a strong team effort for us," said Head Coach Sue Parks. "The girls did a great job of following our race plan and I was pleased with how well we moved up in the later stages of the race. The team scores were tight as we knew they would be and we fell short of our goal of getting an automatic bid. But, we have a number of wins against teams from other regions from meets throughout the season and I feel good about our chances for an at large bid. I'm very proud of our performance."
As a team, the Eagles held strong with a number of tough teams throughout the entire race. In fact, the spread between second-place Notre Dame and fifth-place Eastern Michigan was just 11 points, with Michigan State and Wisconsin tying for third with 97 points. EMU's performance marked a big improvement over last year, as the squad took sixth with 216 points in 2015.
Through the first 2,000-meters, junior Jordann McDermitt (Davison, Mich. – Davison) clung to a top-10 spot, as she sat ninth in the opening third of the race. Additionally, redshirt sophomore Natalie Cizmas (Clinton Twp., Mich. – Chippewa Valley) held onto 21st, while senior Alsu Bogdanova (Kazan, Russia – Lyceum #83) was just behind her in 25th. As a team, Eastern sat in fifth at this point.
The Eagles then began to creep up the standings, as McDermitt jumped two spots into seventh, while Cizmas improved to 18th. Sophomore Sydney Meyers (Zionsville, Ind. – Zionsville Community) also leaped into the top-25, as she sat in 24th at the 4,000-meter mark, and Bogdanova fell one spot into 26th. Eastern remained in fifth through 4,000-meters, and would need to make up some ground in the final stretch of the race.
The final 2,000-meters saw a number of Green and White runners jump up the standings even further. McDermitt ultimately crossed the finish line in fifth, clocking in at 19:59.5, which shattered her previous personal-best 6K time of 20:32.0. Cizmas was also able to secure a top-15 finish, closing out strong and nabbing 14th in 20:23.8, which was also a career-best by roughly 25 seconds.
Bogdanova had a career day as well, as she secured 18th after crossing the finish line in 20:30.2, her best 6K time by nine seconds. Meyers, who finished 25th, had a personal-best time as well, as she clocked in at 20:39.9 to beat her previous best by 32 seconds. Finally, redshirt senior Sofie Gallein (Gits, Belgium – Univ. of Leuven) rounded out the top-five for EMU, taking 40th in 21:02.9.
Also running for Eastern in the race was junior Jenna Wyns (Londerzeel, Belgium – Sportschol KA2) and redshirt junior Anna Aldrich (Fremont, Ind. – Fremont). Wyns ended the race in 95th with a time of 22:05.0, while Aldrich was just behind her in 97th after crossing the finish line in 22:06.3.
Based on their top-25 finishes, McDermitt, Cizmas, Bogdanova, and Meyers were also awarded all-region honors. This marks the second straight year in which McDermitt and Bogdanova received the award, while it is the first for Cizmas and Meyers.
As the Eagles did not end up securing a top-two finish, they will now wait to see if they have earned an at-large bid to the upcoming NCAA Championships, which would mark the second time in program history that the team qualified to the meet. McDermitt, however, appears to be in line to secure an individual berth regardless, as she was one of the top four finishers in the region not on an automatic-qualifying team.
The NCAA Championships are scheduled to be held next week, Saturday, Nov. 19, in Terre Haute, Ind.
Team Results (6K)
1. Michigan 61 pts
2. Notre Dame 91 pts
3. Wisconsin 97 pts
4. Michigan State 97 pts
5. Eastern Michigan 102 pts
EMU Individual Results
5. Jordann McDermitt 19:59.5
14. Natalie Cizmas 20:23.8
18. Alsu Bogdanova 20:30.2
25. Sydney Meyers 20:39.9
40. Sofie Gallein 21:02.9
95. Jenna Wyns 22:05.0
97. Anna Aldrich 22:06.3