MSU - MSU Women Win Bill Dellinger Invite, Men Finish Second

MSU - MSU Women Win Bill Dellinger Invite, Men Finish Second

Provided by MSU

EUGENE, Ore. - The Michigan State men's and women's cross country teams returned to action on Friday evening at the Bill Dellinger Invitational, which was hosted by the University of Oregon. The Spartan women's squad took home first place in the five-team portion of the 6K event with the top three individual finishers, while the MSU men placed second behind 2nd-ranked Oregon in the 8K race.

"I definitely came away really pleased with the way we competed out there on both sides," said MSU Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Walt Drenth. "Oregon's got a great team, so I think tonight really showed how strong our team can be. It's a long season, but I'm really excited about the direction we're headed after performing like we did."

Michigan State was led by the duo of Rachele Schulist (19:38) and Leah O'Connor (19:53) on the women's side, who finished first and second respectively to lead the field of 46 runners. Lindsay Clark (20:11) was right behind them in third place overall, followed by Sara Kroll (20:23) in sixth and Alexis Wiersma (20:29) in eighth to round out the scoring for the Spartans. Sara Stassen (20:40), Katie Landwehr (20:50), Julia Otwell (20:55), Emma Drenth (21:30), Melandie Brender (21:30), and Alexa Rumsey (21:46) also competed for Michigan State. The University of Portland women's team finished in second place, followed by Oregon, Oregon State, and Portland State.

"The girls battled some tough conditions with the temperature being in the high 90's, but they overcame that and put a great race together," added Drenth. "Tonight was another great example of the hard work and effort they have put in to be very successful against great competition."

The Spartans were led by returning 2013 All-American Caleb Rhynard in the men's race, who finished third overall with a time of 24:28. Ben Carruthers clocked in at 24:39 to finish seventh, while Nick Soter (24:59) came in 12th and Andrew Cusmano (25:12) placed 13th. Ben Miller was the final scorer for MSU in 14th with a time of 25:18. Michigan State's other runners included Sherod Hardt (25:29), Nick Moon (25:30), Garret Zuk (25:35), Max Benoit (25:35), Chris Collier (25:59), Drake Veitenheimer (26:27), and Alex Wilson (26:43).

"Oregon will be one of the top teams in the country at the end of the year once again and I thought our guys showed great character and toughness on the course," stated Drenth. "They rallied late and finished very well and it's really good to see how much progress they have made as a team."

The Spartans will return home to compete in the 2014 Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational on Friday, Sept. 12. The event will be hosted by East Lansing's Forest Akers Golf Course and is scheduled to begin with the women's 6K college race at 12:00 p.m. ET, followed by the men's 8K race at approximately 12:30 p.m. ET.