Cross Country Set to Open Season at Jeff Drenth Memorial

Cross Country Set to Open Season at Jeff Drenth Memorial

Jeff Drenth Memorial
Date: Friday, Sept. 2
Time: Women’s 5K – 11:00 a.m.; Men’s 5K – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Shepherd, Mich.
SHEPHERD, MICH. – Cross Country will open the season Friday at the Jeff Drenth Memorial 5K in Shepherd, Mich., with the women lining up first at 11 a.m. and the men kicking their season off at 11:30 a.m..

“We’re excited to get started with our season,” Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Lisa Breznau said. “Both of our teams are incredibly motivated, focused, and gritty. I look forward to seeing Friday unfold.”

The teams will look to get back to their winning ways at the event as the Spartans have had at least one wining at the event every year since 2016, before last season when both teams placed third.

The Jeff Drenth Memorial is named after the late Jeff Drenth, brother to MSU’s former Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Walt Drenth. Jeff, who passed away while training in 1986, is a member of the Central Michigan University Marcy Weston Athletics Hall of Fame. 

The defending conference champion women’s side returns each of the 12 finishers that helped the Spartans to their third Big Ten Championship title in four years. The group, which hopes to build off its 20th place finish at the NCAA Championships, is led by grad senior and 2022 All-American finisher Katie Osika who finished on the podium at both the B1G Championship and NCAA Great Lakes Regional. 

On the men’s side, nine of the 11 B1G Championship finishers that saw the Spartans finish fourth. Both graduate seniors Aden Smith and CarLee Stimpfel return off the back of all-Great Lakes Region honors that saw them compete at the 2022 NCAA Championships as individuals.

Both experienced lineups are also bolstered by newcomers to the program in East Lansing. On both the men’s and women’s side a handful of athletes are coming off red shirts and look to make a big impact. For the men, true freshman Moses Osterink and Portland transfer Quinn Cullen look to break on to the scene. For the women, Arkansas transfer Taylor Ewert provides experience while true freshmen Allison Cornell, Natalie Kessler, Taylor Pangburn, Mia Rogan and Sydnee Sinn are all names to look out for.

The Jeff Drenth Memorial is the first of six regular season meets on the Spartans schedule, with the Big Ten Championships being hosted by Wisconsin on October 27. The aspire…

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