CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. – Women’s Cross Country finished seventh in a field of 23 of the nation’s top teams at the Virginia Invitational Saturday morning, Sept. 23, on the Panorama Farm course in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Today was tremendous,” Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Lisa Breznau said. “Our team followed the plan, stayed calm and coachable, fought for the lowest stick possible and beat some highly ranked teams.”
Last week’s U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Women’s Cross Country National Athlete of the week and Big Ten Athlete of the Week, grad-senior Katie Osika led the way for the Spartans, finishing the 5K course 12th overall with a personal-best 16:38.3. Makenna Veen finished 37th at 17:00.4 and fellow junior Kaitlyn Hynes placed 46th. Frehsman Meghan Beute showed promise, finishing 47th in just her second collegiate race while juniors Eleanor Kendell and Emily Bardwell followed closely behind in 79th and 80th while senior Judith Rector rounded out the MSU scoring in 83rd.
The USTFCCCA No. 15 ranked Spartans raced as a collective to score better than the likes of No. 5 Colorado, No. 10 North Carolina, No. 14 Providence and No. 20 Ohio State. The six teams outpacing Michigan State were, in order, USTFCCCA No. 2 Northern Arizona, No. 9 Stanford, No. 11 Virginia, No. 13 Washington, No. 12 Georgetown and No. 26 Iowa State.
Panorama Farm will be the site of the 2023 NCAA DI Cross Country Championships, with several of the teams and athletes that ran the course at the Virgnia Invitational Saturday expected to be back in Charlottesville for the culmination of the season on Nov. 18.
“From here, we’re focused on recovery and getting back to work,” Breznau said. “Our best racing will be in late October and November.”
The Spartans will compete at yet another competitive meet next time out on Friday, Sept. 29 at the Joe Piane Invitational hosted by No. 4 Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.