XC COUNTDOWN: #2 Michigan Women
Mike McGuire (23rd Year)
Last year, we listed Erin Finn as an impact freshman. Slightly understated in the end, but at least we weren't wrong. Her 30th place at last year's national meet was outstanding, but no where near as impressive as her track season proved to be. Finn ran fearlessly on the track, taking on anyone and everyone in any race she was in and challenging them to come get her as she belied her freshman status with her courageous front running. It paid off with track PR's of 15:24 for 5k and 32:41 for 10k. She stamped herself as a candidate for the top spot in this year's national meet.
She has some great help behind her. Senior Brook Handler had an outstanding track season running 4:15 and 16:04 for 1500m and 5k and she was 64th in last year's championships. Junior Shannon Osika ran 4:17 for 1500m and 16:09 for 5k on the track and she will look to improve on her 56th spot from last year. That is likely the top three. But senior Alex Leptich might have something to say about that as she ran a fine time of 10:03 on the track in the steeplechase, and good steeplers often translate into good cross country runners. Junior Taylor Mannett was 57th in last year's national meet for the Wolverines, and her 34:53 10k on the track was solid, too. Improving on her 57th place from last year will really help.
Coach Mike McGuire recruited some dandies to bolster this group and perhaps one or two may challenge for scoring spots. Sydney Badger from way out in Las Vegas, Nevada, had a great high school career. She won everything in Nevada and put up an impressive time of 10:23 for 3200. Rachel Coleman from Northville, MI, was as good as Badger, running 10:24 for 3200m and 4:45 for 1600m. She will be fighting for a scoring spot for McGuire.