NCAA

Osika Leads Spartans at NCAA Championships, Earns All-American Honors

Osika Leads Spartans at NCAA Championships, Earns All-American Honors


CHARLOTTESVILLE,  VA. – Grad Katie Osika finished as an All-American, leading the Spartan women to a 16th place finish while senior Andrew Nolan completed his individual campaign 136th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships Saturday, Nov. 18.
 
“Today we did a good job of staying composed and moving through the field,” Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Lisa Breznau said. “Andy Nolan had a positive first NCAA experience. Finishing the race with a steady performance is a difficult thing to do the first time here, especially as an individual. I know the team wanted more, and there’s always room for improvement.”
 
The second team nod is the second for Osika in as many years, improving from her finish at last year’s championships from 35th to 30th, completing the historic Panorama Farms 6K course in 20:02.8, a career best. Nolan finished his first career National Championships race, completing the grueling 10 kilometers in 30:53.6.
 
Senior Makenna Veen improved upon her finish last season by 46 spots, claiming 70th. Grads Lauren Freeland and Grace Molloy followed in 108th and 149th respectively while senior Emily Bardwell rounded out the scoring in 166th.
 
With 410 points, the Spartans outperformed the other competing Big Ten teams as well as their own 20th place finish last year in Stillwater, Oklahoma. NC State claimed the title for a third year running (123 points), Northern Arizona finished second (124), and Oklahoma State third (156).  Florida’s Parker Valby took home the individual title in 18:55.2.
 
The all-American honor adds to a collection of prestigious honors for Osika’s fall, at the culmination of the season. The Waterford, Michigan native also racked up a First Team All-Big Ten, a bronze and first team honor at the Great Lakes Regional and a USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week selection after winning her first race of her career at the Spartan Invite.
 
It was a successful season overall for the Spartan women, showing improvement while also winning three team titles, including their second consecutive and fourth Big Ten Championship in five years. Breznau was unanimously selected the conference’s women’s coach of the year for the third time in four years for leading her squad to new program heights.
 
For Nolan and the men, the season showed the prospects of a bright future to come….

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