Osika Begins 2012 with Top Finish at Michigan Open

Osika Begins 2012 with Top Finish at Michigan Open

Provided by U of M

Site: Dexter, Mich. (Hudson Mills Metropark)

Meet: Michigan Open (5,000 Meters)

U-M Team Finish: Non-scoring

Top U-M Individual: Shannon Osika, 1st (17:58)

Next U-M Event: Friday, Sept. 14 -- at Spartan Invitational (East Lansing, Mich.), Noon

DEXTER, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's cross country team kicked off its 2012 season with its annual Michigan Open on Friday (Aug. 31) at Hudson Mills Metropark. The Wolverines captured the top nine spots, with freshman Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) winning her collegiate debut in a time of 17:58.

Fifth-year senior Amanda Eccleston (Adrian, Mich./[Tecumseh), a transfer, made her Michigan debut, crossing the line second in 18:08. Sophomore Brook Handler (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester), senior tri-captain Lindsey Hilton (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams) and junior/sophomore Taylor Pogue (Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich) secured the third (18:14), fourth (18:25) and fifth spots (18:40), respectively.

Senior tri-captains Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) and Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) finished sixth and seventh, stopping the watch at 18:50 and 19:02, respectively.

Senior/junior Kaitlyn Patterson (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac) returned to the course for Michigan after missing the 2011 season due to injury and placed eighth in a time of 19:07. Sophomore/freshman Anna Pasternak (Brighton, Mich./Hartland) ran her first race in Maize and Blue, rounding out Michigan's nine consecutive finishers.

The Wolverines will take a week off from competition before traveling to in-state rival Michigan State for the Spartan Invitational on Sept. 14. The meet will be a preview of the Big Ten Championships, which will be hosted by Michigan State on Oct. 28.

Complete Results (5,000 meters)

1. Shannon Osika, U-M 17:58

2. Amanda Eccleston, U-M 18:08

3. Brook Handler, U-M 18:14

4. Lindsey Hilton, U-M 18:25

5. Taylor Pogue, U-M 18:40

6. Jillian Smith, U-M 18:50

7. Rebecca Addison, U-M 19:02

8. Kaitlyn Patterson, U-M 19:07

9. Anna Pasternak, U-M 19:17

10. Taylor Manett, Unattached 19:25

11. Megan Weschler, U-M 19:37

12. Michaela Carnegie, U-M 20:01

13. Heather Price, Unattached 20:08

14. Laura Addison, U-M 20:09

15. Devon Hoppe, U-M 20:11

16. Meg Bellino, U-M 20:18

17. Chloe Prince, U-M 20:35

18. Brie Barry, Unattached 20:46

19. Danielle Pfeifer, Unattached 21:30

20. Lauren Cody, Unattached 22:14



Michigan Head Coach Mike McGuire

On this race as a starting point for the season ... "This was a tough day weather-wise with us battling the heat and we tried to be as prudent as we could, particularly early in the race, but I saw some good things. Our two newcomers -- Shannon Osika, who was here last year for track, but is new to the cross country scene, and Amanda Eccelston got us started with some very good times in these conditions. Brook (Handler) has trained well and I feel she's at a different level than she was last year at this time and Lindsey Hilton had a great summer of training. It's just a matter of tightening things up and we're on our way to a good season."

On his thoughts moving forward this season ... "We're excited about getting a base line established and obviously we want to stay healthy. I think we're capable of running fast and packing up better than we did today. We were packed in the early portion of the race and some people handled the heat better than others. It's an insidious thing to deal with and first and first and foremost, the health is more important than anything."

On competing at the Spartan Invitational in two weeks ... "It will give us a chance to get on the Big Ten course. We'll get a benchmark racing Michigan State and they will get a benchmark racing us -- we're two of the favorites for the conference title later this year. Some of our kids are familiar with the course, but we haven't raced up there in a couple years so it will be a good race for course recognition. We did that last year at Illinois and I feel that played well for us later in the season."

Contact: Whitney Dixon