U of M Women - Osika Defends Michigan Open Title to Begin 2013

U of M Women - Osika Defends Michigan Open Title to Begin 2013

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 (17:44.09)

Next U-M Event: Friday, Sept. 13 -- at Purdue Invitational (West Lafayette, Ind.), 6 p.m.

DEXTER, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's cross country team began the 2013 season securing the top three places at the annual Michigan Open on Friday (Aug. 30) at Hudson Mills Metropark. Sophomore Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) defended her title from 2012 at this year's 5K non-scoring event, which also featured the Purdue Boilermakers.

Osika clocked a time of 17:44.09, and was followed by teammates junior Brook Handler (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester) and senior/junior Taylor Pogue (Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich), who secured the second and third spots, respectively, with times of 18:08.66 and 18:24.50.

Purdue occupied the fourth and fifth spots before senior/junior Megan Weschler (Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt) (18:33.59) and junior/sophomore Anna Pasternak (Brighton, Mich./Hartland) (18:42.33) crossed the line in seventh and eighth place, respectively.

Senior/junior Alex Leptich (Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline) ran a time of 18:49.94 to finish 10th and round out the six Michigan runners who finished in the top 10.

Handler, Pogue and Osika took the lead from the gun and helped pace a strong group of Wolverines that remained packed up through the first mile. Over the second mile, the pack slowly began to spread out and with 1,000 meter to go, Osika had pulled significantly away from the pack to earn the win.

The Wolverines will take a week off from competition before traveling to West Lafayette, Ind., for the Purdue Invitational on Friday, Sept. 13. The meet will serve as a preview of the Big Ten Championship course, which will be hosted by the Boilermakers on Sunday, Nov. 3.

Complete Results (5,000 meters)

1. Shannon Osika, U-M 17:44.09

2. Brook Handler, U-M 18:08.66

3. Taylor Pogue, U-M 18:24.50

4. Blair Doney, Purdue 18:27.24

5. Shari Lund, Purdue 18:29.47

6. Megan Weschler, U-M 18:33.59

7. Anna Pasternak, U-M 18:42.33

8. Jaimie Phelan, Unattached-Michigan 18:42.83

9. Linsey Daluga, Purdue 18:45.73

10. Alex Leptich, U-M 18:49.94

11. Laura Maibuecher, Purdue 18:50.60

12. Brynn Olinger, Purdue 18:55.74

13. Corinne Florie, Unattached-Michigan 18:56.21

14. Dana Payonk, Purdue 18:58.69

15. Kiara McIntosh, Purdue 19:11.14

16. Taylor Manett, U-M 19:11.41

17. Jamie Morrissey, Unattached-Michigan 19:14.59

18. Gina Sereno, Unattached-Michigan 19:17.29

19. Devon Hoppe, U-M 19:17.44

20. Katie Hoevet, Purdue 19:18.88

21. Kristin Fritts, Purdue 19:23.59

22. Hope Schmelzle, Purdue 19:26.46

23. Michelle Potter, Purdue 19:26.68

24. Cailey Daluga, Purdue 19:27.37

25. Heather Price, U-M 19:28.01

26. Laura Addison, U-M 19:33.40

27. Karen Jensen, Purdue 19:35.15

28. Tori Waidley, U-M 19:37.41

29. Taylor Smith, Purdue 19:42.12

30. Brittany Robinson, U-M 19:45.65

31. Taylor Jones, Purdue 19:49.91

32. Gina McNamara, U-M 19:54.31

33. Desarae Diedrich, Purdue 19:54.46

34. Kristen Eisenhauer, Unattached-Michigan 20:16.82

35. Megan Pearson, U-M 20:19.44

36. Clair Kintner, Unattached 20:24.65

37. Jillian Smith, Unattached-Michigan 20:31.79

38. Nikki Hallenborg, U-M 20:35.54

39. Casey Aishman, Unattached 21:14.44


Michigan Head Coach Mike McGuire

On preseason camp ... "I thought we had a very good camp on both fronts, from a training standpoint and a team bonding standpoint. We have 11 newcomers and the upperclassmen did a good job of showing them the Michigan way of doing things. We lucked out with some pretty good weather up there and then came back to the heat here for today's race. Overall it was a very productive eight days in Pellston, Mich."

On how the team executed the race plan today ... "We knew the weather was going to be a factor, but I don't think it was to the extent of last year -- I'm glad we ran at 10:30 a.m. instead of 4:30 p.m. because it's only going to get worse. Brook Handler, Shannon Osika and Taylor Pogue really controlled the pace early up front and kept the group together. It was very conservative for the front group. I'd like to see us packed up a little bit better than what we were. Shannon is at a whole different level than she was last year off of her training. I think we're going to front-run major races at a high level this year and our success is going to be predicated on tightening things up after that."

On what the next couple weeks will bring until the team competes again ... "We're going in a thousand different directions right now with the freshmen moving in last night, families are in town and we have a lot of meetings with various departments. I think things will settle down once kids are in class on Tuesday. From there, there will be a semblance of balance between going to class in the morning, going to practice in the afternoon and then studying at night. I'd say everyone is going to feel like they have their feet on the ground by next week at this time. We set up the schedule with that in mind, racing two weeks subsequent to today. We got a benchmark today in terms of where we're at with Purdue's runners and then we're going to their course in two weeks. There will be several other Big Ten teams at Purdue, so it will be at a much higher level and I expect we'll race at a much higher level. But before that, we'll have two weeks of having our feet planted in Ann Arbor, which I think will have a lot to do with our improved performance."

U-M Sophomore Shannon Osika

On how today's race played out ... "I think it went pretty smooth. We kind of had a plan to stick together the first mile or so and then feel it out. I felt pretty decent by the second mile, so I kind of took off to get a nice strong finish."

On what she learned from last year's seniors and is applying this year ... "That group of seniors was very patient, which is really helpful doing races. They are very knowledgeable about staying calm and not fretting about anything during a race. I miss having them out here, but Becca Addison was out here cheering, which was nice."

On her role as more of a leader on and off the course ... "I'm pretty excited about it. There are a lot of other girls too, who are stepping it up. I think we'll have a lot of good leaders, so I'm excited about that."

On graduating talented seniors and gaining a talented freshman class ... "Everyone is really stepping it up and improving a lot from last year. The freshmen are awesome and did really good during camp. They're super strong so they'll be helpful as well."

Contact: Whitney Dixon