MSU - Cross Country Starts Off Strong at CMU Jeff Drenth Memorial

MSU - Cross Country Starts Off Strong at CMU Jeff Drenth Memorial

Provided by MSU

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The Michigan State men's and women's cross country squads got their 2014 season started at the 29th Annual Jeff Drenth Memorial on Friday morning. The race was held at Pleasant Hills Golf Course just off the campus of Central Michigan University. A total of three women and five men placed in the top-10 for the Spartans in the team's first race of the year. There was no team scoring for the event.

"For a lot of our runners, today was their debut race wearing a Michigan State uniform and that's always exciting," said MSU assistant coach Lisa Senakiewich. "It was good to see a lot of the freshmen in action and we liked what we saw out of a lot of our athletes."

Aubrey Wilberding led the way for the Michigan State women, finishing in second place overall finish with a time of 18:51.20. Wilberding was followed by Emily Pap (19:16.30) and Jaclyn Magness (19:38.60) in seventh and ninth place, respectively. Allison McGinn (20:38.70) came in 11th, Maggie Fischer (20:42.60) finished 12th, and Emily Gibbings (21:30.00) placed 13th to round out the Spartan women's runners.

"We had a number of PR's in the women's race, which was really good to see," added Senakiewich. "Aubrey and Emily really got in the mix early and helped out some of our younger freshmen runners and that was our message to everybody before the race. We told them to look out for and help their teammates. I think they did that very well and that helped us set the tone for the season a little bit."

On the men's side, junior Nick Moon posted a personal-best time of 15:06.70 to finish first overall. Drake Veitenheimer was right behind him in second place with a time of 15:09.50, followed by Andrew Cusmano (15:11.40) and Ryan Beyea (15:11.60) in third and fourth, respectively. Alex Whitmer (15:29.70) placed seventh, Ryan Konen (15:59.10) qualified for 12th, and Eric Buday (16:15.90) finished 16th.

"We came away really excited about our performance in the men's race," said Senakiewich. "Each of our runners came out wanting to win the competition. Nick Moon ended up leading the way for us and showed some good potential to help us during the upcoming season. He's put in the work over the summer and really come a long way along with everyone else."

Next up on the schedule for Michigan State is the University of Oregon's Bill Dellinger Invitational on Friday, Sept. 5. The event will take place in Eugene, Oregon, and will get underway at 8:45 p.m. ET.