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 "Emily MacLeod and Michigan State Win the 2010 Big Ten..." 
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Post "Emily MacLeod and Michigan State Win the 2010 Big Ten..."
Emily MacLeod and Michigan State Win the 2010 Big Ten Cross-Country Championships
by: Ed Bagley

To say that Emily MacLeod knows her role on the Michigan State University women's cross-country team would be to vastly underestimate not only her ability, but her leadership and desire.

MacLeod, the only senior runner for the Spartans, did what a real winner and leader would in the 2010 Big Ten cross-country championship meet -- she won the 6-kilometer race and led her teammates to the conference title.

MacLeod's 19:54 time over the 3.72-mile course was her career best by 21 seconds, and the second best time ever recorded in the Big Ten Conference championship meet.

MacLeod had great support from her teammates. Junior Carlie Green finished 7th in 20:25, sophomore Katie Haines was 17th in 20:51, sophomore Kristen Smith was 22nd in 20:58, and freshman Julia Otwell was 27th in 21:03 to complete Michigan State's scoring.

Taken together, the Spartans 74 points were 14 points better than arch-rival Michigan's 88, forcing the Wolverines to settle for 2nd (low total score of a 7-member team's first 5 finishers wins in cross-country).

Even Michigan State's last two runners beat Michigan's last two runners. Spartan junior Rebekah Smeltzer finished 30th in 21:07 and freshman Sara Kroll 42nd in 21:24. Michigan's last two runners finished 43d and 59th. Smeltzer was only 2 places behind Michigan's 5th scoring runner.

The conference team title was Michigan State's 3rd overall and its first since 2001. Both Emily MacLeod and Carlie Green made the All-Big Ten First Team with their 1st and 7th-place finishes.

Last year Michigan State was 5th in the meet as MacLeod was 6th in 20:41 and Green was 15th in 21:14. MacLeod's winning time this year was 47 seconds faster, and Green's 7th place time was 49 seconds faster, showing great improvement and much more success.

The Spartan cross-country program, under the tutelage of Director Walt Drenth and Assistant Coaches Kim McGreevy and Lisa Senakiewich, has been steadily improving, as witnessed by the Big Ten conference meet results.

Among the men, the Spartan team finished 5th with sophomore Ben Miller 16th in 24:09 and senior Patrick Grosskopf 23rd in 24:19 over the 8-kilometer (4.96-mile course).

The Wisconsin men won the Big Ten championship hands down with an astounding 1-4-5-6-12 finish for 28 points. Runner-up Indiana was second with 75 points, and the rest were a lot worse.

Senior Landon Peacock won for the Badgers in 23:41, Mohammed Ahmed was 4th in 23:43, Elliot Krause 5th in 23:43, Maverick Darling 6th in 23:51, and Reed Conner 12th in 24:02. Their average time was 23:48.

Peacock was 2nd with 30 meters to go but outkicked Indiana's Andrew Bayer to win by a fraction of a second (both were officially timed in 23:41). Both Landon Peacock and Maverick Darling were Michigan high school runners recruited by Wisconsin.

Wisconsin's men own the Big Ten meet. This year's title was their 12th straight, tying the record for the 4th-longest championship streak in conference history among all sports. It was also the Wisconsin cross-county program's 44th team title, including 29 of the last 34 championship races.

Wisconsin's men roster has only 17 runners.

Michigan State's women roster has 40 runners - 19 of them are freshmen and 10 are sophomores. Here is a note of caution for Michigan State's Big Ten women competitors: you had better be looking in your rearview mirror because the women Spartans are serious and on the move.

Copyright © 2010 Ed Bagley

About The Author
Ed Bagley's Articles is Writer, Author and Editor Ed Bagley's personal web site with hundreds of original articles on 46 different subjects, including complete weekly coverage of the NCAA college football scene plus Ed Bagley's Top 25 Poll as an alternative to the AP and Coaches Polls. Check it out:
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[Note: Due to a size limitation, the title, above, had to be abbreviated. Apologies to the author and - Admin]
This article was posted by permission.

Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:04 am
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