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XC COUNTDOWN: #1 Michigan State Women

XC COUNTDOWN: #1 Michigan State Women


Head Coach:
Walt Drenth (11th Year)
 
Last Year:
1st Big 10
3rd Great Lakes Regional
6th NCAA 
 
Probable Top Five:
SR Leah O'Connor (4:15 1500m; 9:29 3k; 16:09 5k; 9:36 3k Steeple; 44th NCAA XC '13)
SR Sara Kroll (9:12 3k; 16:16 5k; 53rd NCAA XC '12; Big 10 XC Champ '12)
SO Rachele Schulist (9:06 3k; 16:01 5k; 50th NCAA XC '13)
SO Katie Landwehr (10:09 3k Steeple; 51st NCAA XC '13)
JR Lindsay Clark (9:18 3k; 16:09 5k; 71st NCAA XC '13)
 
Impact Freshman/Recruits:
Kennedy Beazley - Saline, MI (2:10 800m; 5:07 Mile)
Jessica Goethals - Rochester, MI (5:10 1600m; 10:54 3200m)
Kayla Kavulich - Salem, MI (4:56 1600m; 11:24 3200m)
Kelcy Welch - Carmel, IN (5:04 1600m; 10:42 3200m; 4x NXN, 14th 81st, 80th, 116th; 17th Footlocker Finals '13)
 
Analysis: 
The Great Lakes State has done its self proud in the sport of cross country. Our top two ranked teams in the country are from the state of Michigan. As if there was not enough natural rivalry going on, now they will be battling it out for the national championship!   There is so much high school talent from the state on both teams that it would be hard to say that Michigan is not the top producing state for female distance talent in the country at the moment.

Leah O'Connor had such a wonderful year on the track for the Spartans, winning the NCAA steeplechase championship with a time of 9:36. She was 44th in last year's race, but it is probably just a taste of what she might produce this fall. She has blossomed into a national talent over night. Fellow senior Sarah Kroll was the Big Ten Cross Country champion in 2012, and she looks to be a very nice backup to O'Connor. Great leadership is to come with these two doing the front running for the Spartans.

Fellow sophomores Rachel Schulist and Katie Landwehr were 50th and 51st at last year's meet. Schulist ran 16:01 for the 5k and  Landwehr surprised everyone with a 10:09 for the steeple last spring. That is an excellent top four. Junior Lindsey Clark looks to close out the scoring spots for Coach Walt Drenth's team as she was 71st in last year's edition and ran 16:09 for 5k on the track.

The best new incoming talent appears to be an Indiana girl, from Carmel, who ran 10:42 for 3200m in the spring and was 17th at the Footlocker National Cross Country Meet last fall.

The Lady Spartans have a chance to do something very special this year. However, there are several women's teams looking to crash their party. Terre Haute is a battle ground. Let's see if Michigan State will come out on top.

#1 Colorado Men
#2 Michigan Women
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