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 "Emily MacLeod and Michigan State Win the 2010 NCAA..." 
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Post "Emily MacLeod and Michigan State Win the 2010 NCAA..."
Emily MacLeod and Michigan State Win the 2010 NCAA Great Lakes Reigonal Cross-Country Championships
by: Ed Bagley

Copyright © 2010 Ed Bagley

For the Michigan State women's cross-country team, the time to win is now. And believe you me, the Spartans have made that decision really clear recently.

Fresh off winning the Big Ten Conference title, Michigan State's women showed the same great talent and resilience in once again running to victory with the individual and team titles at the 2010 NCAA Great Lakes Regional championship meet.

Senior Emily MacLeod again led the Spartans by winning the 6-kilometer race in 20:18.76, successfully defending her individual title that she first won in last year's race.

MacLeod was followed in by junior Carlie Green (a sensational 6th-place finish in 20:41.98), junior Rebekah Smeltzer (an outstanding 11th-place finish in 20:53.17), sophomore Kristen Smith (30th in 21:32.19) and freshman Julia Otwell (32nd in 21:38.27). Their overall average time was 21:00.88, a hair from under 21 flat.

The Spartans were the only team to place 3 runners in the top 15 - MacLeod (1st), Green (6th) and Smeltzer (11th).

Michigan State's winning score of 80 was 16 points better than arch-rival Michigan's 96, as the Wolverines had to settle for 2nd place once again (they finished as runner-up to Michigan State in the Big Ten Conference championships).

The next 8 teams in were Toledo (3rd with 130), Ohio State (4th with 139), Indiana (5th with 167), Notre Dame (6th with 207), Miami-Ohio (7th with 220), Central Michigan (8th with 232), Dayton (9th with 248), and Wisconsin (10th with 266).

The Great Lakes Regional at Oakland (MI) University featured 33 teams and 231 runners on the 3.72-mile course.

Spartan sophomore Katie Haines was 74th and freshman Sara Kroll was 88th.

MacLeod ran a strong and smart race. "I was just really trying to stay relaxed and calm," said MacLeod, "I knew the Toledo girl was going to go out fast. I just stayed back, stuck to my strategy and everything worked out."

"Emily came out today not really wanting to lead after knowing the strategy of several of the other runners," said Walt Drenth, Michigan State's Director of Cross-Country.

"She kept her poise throughout the whole race. Prior to the race we talked about minimizing both her mental and physical efforts in preparation of the NCAA Championships," continued Drenth.

"After staying back for some of the race, (she) caught up with the leaders with about 400 meters to go, and then took off to win the race. When you come into a race as the defending champion, you really have a lot of people looking to take a run at you. She handled the expectations well and it showed the type of person she is, as well as the type of team Michigan State is. It is about the team, not the individual."

By winning, Michigan State automatically qualified for the 2010 NCAA championship meet. By winning the individual title, Emily MacLeod became the first Spartan ever to win back-to-back championships. Her win was also the 3rd straight by Michigan State as Nicole Bush won the individual title in 2008, running 20:48.5.

Michigan State also won back-to-back Great Lakes titles in 2006 and 2007. Last year the Spartan women finished 5th in the team competition.

Emily MacLeod was subsequently named 2010 Great Lakes Region Female Athlete of the Year for the second straight year, and Director Walt Drenth was named Great Lakes Women's Coach of the Year.

The Wisconsin men again dominated this year's Great Lakes Regional meet, putting together a dream 2-6-7-8-9 finish to win with 32 points to runner-up Indiana's 76 points.

This time the Badgers were led by sophomore Reed Conner (2nd in 30:28.70), sophomore Maverick Darling (6th in 30:31.61), junior Elliot Krause (7th in 30:31.79), sophomore Mohammed Ahmed (8th in 30:31.85), and senior Landon Peacock (9th in 30:32.02). Their average winning time was 30:31.20 over the 10-kilometer (6.2 mile) course.

Do you think that Wisconsin has a chance of repeating again next year? Are you serious, mate? They appear to have a lock on the men's competition for some years to come.

Wisconsin's 6th finisher, junior Phil Thomas, was 23rd in 30:51.93. If you think that was not fast enough, consider this thought: his time would have had him finishing 3rd in scoring on 28 of the 31 teams in the competition.

The message: do not mess with the men Badgers when they are running, or cornered with no way out - you will likely be watching their backsides throughout the race.

Cincinnati's Eric Finan won the individual title in 30:25.34, a 4:53.8 average per mile.

Michigan State's men were 5th with senior Patrick Grosskopf finishing 13th in 30:39.06. He earned all-region honors for the second consecutive year, and qualified for the NCAA finals as an individual.

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:
The author invites you to visit:

Copyright © 2001-Present
[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 11:06 am
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