As the No. 2 Michigan women’s cross country team looks ahead to the Big Ten Championships next week, Friday’s EMU Classic gave some of the team’s younger and more inexperienced members an opportunity to showcase their development and continued improvement.

The Wolverines did not disappoint in the 5,000-meter contest, as dry course conditions propelled six of the seven Wolverines to finish the race in under 18 minutes. All seven finished within the top 25 runners.

More so, several of the Wolverines met personal goals in Friday’s race, according to Michigan coach Mark McGuire.

Leading the way for the Wolverines was redshirt sophomore Corrine Florie, who placed sixth overall. Florie missed the cut for this year’s postseason roster and came into Friday’s race with something to prove. She clocked in with a personal record of 17:41.6, about 26 seconds faster than her 5,000-meter time at the beginning of the year.

“You can’t let the pressure get to you,” Florie said. “You still have to come out and perform, and it’s the time and the results that matter.”

Trailing just a few seconds behind Florie was redshirt junior Gina McNamara, whose 17:48.7 time was a new personal best on the course, placing her eighth to narrowly beat out fifth-year senior Laura Addison (17:48.9).

Other notable performances came in the form of new top 5,000-meter times for redshirt freshmen Ellie Leonard and Holly Petrusson, who finished 11th and 14th, respectively. Sandwiched between them was senior Olivia Bracket, who came in 12th.

Rounding out the Wolverines in uniform was redshirt freshman Sydney Badger with a time of 18:26.6 and a 22nd-place finish.

Following the race, McGuire reiterated the significance of Friday’s meet for the development of his program.

“We’re going to have some people step into some new roles,” McGuire said. “This type of meet serves as a benchmark for people that will move on and could very possibly be going to the Big Ten meet next year.”

According to McGuire, for many of the race’s participants, the EMU Classic will be the last race they run this fall before track and field begins in the winter. As a result, the runners treated the race like it was the postseason. Regarding individuals in Friday’s race, McGuire had a resoundingly positive outlook for the team’s future and the young talent it currently possesses.

“We will have athletes that ran today run in the Big Ten meet next year, I can tell you that for a fact,” McGuire said.

 

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