EAST LANSING, MICH. – Women’s cross country was awarded an at-large bid to compete at the NCAA Championships in Charlottesville, Va. on Nov. 18 while senior Andrew Nolan was selected as an individual, as was announced in the selection on Saturday, Nov. 11.
“We’re excited to recover and compete next weekend,” Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Lisa Breznau said. “The team has been steady and have made progress since last year with three finishing All-Region, something they did not accomplish last year while Katie [Osika] and Grace [Molloy] have also been tremendous leaders for us. To have Andy [Nolan] make the meet is a substantial step forward for him. He’s making his path forward as a guy about to do big things in his career.”
The Big Ten Women’s Cross Country champions weren’t able to lock up an automatic bid at regionals Sunday, but were a clear choice for an at-large bid to compete at the NCAA Championship race for a 23rd consecutive season. The men just missed out on a selection to compete as a team at nationals, but will be well represented by Nolan, a All-Great Lakes Region and First Team All-Big Ten Finisher in 2023.
“It’s bittersweet for our men to be that close,” said Breznau. “We’re still really proud of how we raced and our season. We got a lot better in so many ways, not just physically but as a team. Coach Simoneau and Coach Pickard have really done a great job with them.”
At the NCAA Great Lakes Regional in Madison, Wis. on Friday, Nov. 10, the women landed on the podium in third while the men were fifth. Seven total Spartans earned all-region honors for the second time in the last three years and the 13th time in the last 15 seasons. On the women’s side, Katie Osika (3rd place), Makenna Veen (4th), Lauren Freeland (10th) and Emily Bardwell (22nd) raced to the award. Nolan led the men in 11th while grad Josh Smith (21st) and senior Owen Huard (23rd) also collected All-Region.
The deserving Spartans will bolt out of the starting boxes at the historic Panorama Farms cross country course in Charlottesville, Va. on Saturday, Nov. 18 alongside the nation’s fastest runners and teams. The women will fight to crack the top-10 for the first time in three years and aim for their first national title since the program’s first in 2014. Nolan will race to potentially add All-American to his already decorated…