Toeing the Line #5: U-M Women to Wrap Up Regular Season at EMU Classic

Toeing the Line #5: U-M Women to Wrap Up Regular Season at EMU Classic

Provided by U of M

Oct. 16, 2012

Friday, Oct. 19 -- at EMU Fall Classic (Dexter, Mich.), 4:30 p.m.

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Race Day Information: Meet Information 

The No. 7-ranked University of Michigan women's cross country team will compete in its final meet of the regular season and third in-state meet of the season on Friday (Oct. 19) at the EMU Fall Classic. The women's 5,000-meter race will begin at 4:30 p.m. at Hudson Mills Metropark in Dexter, Mich.

Wolverines in Action
Eight Wolverines will compete in uniform for Michigan this weekend -- Meg Bellino,Michaela CarnegieChloe GilbertNicola HallenborgDevon HoppeAnna Pasternak,Kaitlyn Patterson and Chloe Prince


• The EMU Fall Classic will mark the last regular-season meet of the season, as the Wolverines will begin the championship portion of their season on Oct. 28 with the Big Ten Championships, hosted by Michigan State.

• Michigan's 'B' squad will be in action this weekend, as its 'A' team prepares for the Big Ten Championships on Oct. 28.

• Michigan has competed at Hudson Mills Metropark twice a year for the last six seasons, running at the Michigan Open and EMU Fall Classic each year. The Wolverines have competed in the EMU Fall Classic each year dating back to 2002.

• The Wolverines also competed at Hudson Mills Metropark in the 5,000-meter Michigan Open to kickoff the 2012 season.

• After beginning the season at No. 12 in the USTFCCCA National Coaches Poll, the Wolverines continued to climb and are tied for seventh in the country in the most-recent poll, released Oct. 16.

• The Wolverines remained No. 1 in the USTFCCCA NCAA Great Lakes Region Coaches Poll, released on Oct. 15. U-M has been the top team in the region in each of the five regular-season polls this season.

• Three different harriers have led the Wolverines in meets this season. Freshman Shannon Osika paced U-M at the Michigan Open and Spartan Invitational and senior Rebecca Addison was the top finisher at the Rim Rock Farm Classic, while senior Jillian Smith led the Wolverines at NCAA Pre-Nationals this past weekend.


 Jillian Smith 
Manahawkin, N.J.

1. On the importance of having several different runners who can lead the team ... "It's awesome this year how we haven't had the same person finish in the front yet. Shannon (Osika) did really well and finished first at Spartan (Invitational) and then Becca (Addison) at Kansas and me at Pre-Nats, so it definitely takes a lot of pressure off of us. There is always pressure going into races to race well, but it's definitely better to have teammates that you can count on. We're all so close in racing, which we've never had, in terms of our splits between one through five, or even one through seven. That helps a lot and even if you're falling off a little bit in a race, you know there are four or five people around you that can help you rally."

2. On bringing Michigan back to a top-10 team in the country ... "It's pretty crazy. I know my freshman year we were probably 20th or higher. As one of the five freshmen that were traveling to nationals that first year, there is definitely a different atmosphere on the team now. I think it says a lot about the amount of the work we've put in and the friendships we've made over the years. I think you really need that as your base -- you need your best friends on the starting line with you. I hope we can keep up with the rankings, we just have to give solid efforts over the next couple of weeks in the championship part of our season. I think it definitely speaks volumes being way ahead of where we've been in the last four years. It's a confidence booster and gets us excited for the rest of the season."

3. On the team's confidence after solid performances at Kansas and Pre-Nationals ... "I was actually pretty surprised at how everyone dealt with the pressure and atmosphere at Pre-Nats. It's definitely a lot different than any of the races we've been at -- Kansas was on the smaller side and we're pretty used to racing at Michigan State. It's important for us to be in races that are going to be similar to Big Tens, regionals and nationals, especially with the amount of people in the races and the depth up front. It was important that we dealt with the stress well and moved through the field well. Being able to deal with a situation like that where there is more runners in the field speaks volumes for what we are capable of doing."

4. On her role as a leader keeping the team calm and focused for the postseason ... "One of the biggest things we've been trying to say as upperclassmen, because we've been to big races numerous times, is that you can't let the meet get in your head. These meets do count for a lot more than previous meets, but it's the same thing -- you're starting at the starting line and racing against other teams with your teammates. It's pretty much like a glorified workout and we just have to keep that in mind. We can't get overwhelmed by the atmosphere, but at the same time get excited that we're working together and moving through people."

5. On supporting the girls running at the EMU Fall Classic ... "I think it's a great experience for both the upperclassmen and travel squad, as well as the younger girls or ones who have been injured. It brings us back to see what each other has been doing because we have different practice groups and we don't get to see how hard everyone else is working. It's definitely good to bridge that gap at this meet and be able to cheer on our teammates. I think it's great for the freshmen that aren't traveling that might in the future because it's a good way to get close to those who have been traveling and share those experiences. We're going to have a meal after as well to catch up with teammates that we doesn't always get a chance to."

Senior Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) and U-M's other four scorers each finished within the top 40 in a field of 265 runners to lead the Wolverines to a third-place finish at NCAA Pre-Nationals on Saturday, Oct. 13. Smith was Michigan's top finisher, taking 10th place in a time of 20:13.7.

Sunday, Oct. 28 -- at Big Ten Championships (East Lansing, Mich.), 10:45 a.m.
Friday, Nov. 9 -- at NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Madison, Wis.), Noon CDT