MSU - Cross Country Kicks Off Season At Jeff Drenth Memorial

MSU - Cross Country Kicks Off Season At Jeff Drenth Memorial

Provided by MSU

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State cross country programs head to the first meet of the 2013 season as they make the short trip to Mt. Pleasant for the 28th Annual Jeff Drenth Memorial on Friday, Aug. 30. Hosted by Central Michigan, the meet will take place at the Pleasant Hills Golf Course with the women set to race 5,000 meters at 10 a.m. ET, followed by the men running 5,000 meters at 10:45 a.m. ET.

Where We Rank

In the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason coaches' poll, the women find themselves ranked 13th. It marks the 13th-straight year the women are ranked in the top-30 nationally heading into the season. Regionally, the women top the Great Lakes Region entering the 2013 season.

On the men's side, MSU is currently fifth in the USTFCCCA Great Lakes regional rankings. For the first time since 2010, the men have cracked into the top-30 nationally at No. 30.

2012 Season Recap

The women finished second at the Big Ten Championships, led by returner Sara Kroll who took first-place individual honors at the meet. After placing second at the Great Lakes Regional Championships, the women made their 12th-straight appearance at the NCAA Championships, the longest active streak in the Big Ten Conference, where they finished 16th overall. Five returning Spartans earned All-Great Lakes Region honors, including Leah O'Connor, Julia Otwell and Lindsey Clark.

Last year, the men qualified for their first NCAA Championships since 2009 after placing fourth at the Great Lakes Regional Championship and earning an at-large bid to the national meet. Several members of the men's team made great strides during the 2012 season, including breakout redshirt sophomore Caleb Rhynard who was MSU's top-finisher at the Big Ten Championship. Four Spartans who finished in the top-30 to earn a fourth-place team finish at the Great Lakes Regional meet return to the 2013 squad, including Alex Wilson, Rhynard, David Madrigal and Ben Miller. Together, the team will attempt to make a second-straight trip to the national meet.

Next Up

The Spartans will be back in action as they host the 2013 Auto-Owners Spartan Invitational at Forest Akers East Golf Course on Friday, Sept. 13 at 12 p.m.