The Michigan women’s cross country team began its Big Ten title
defense Saturday at Buhr Park in a 5K open hosted by Eastern
Michigan. A large crowd braved the first brisk morning of the year
to watch the Wolverines claim three of the top five spots in the
meet.

The Wolverine runners managed to stay together in the middle of
the pack for most of the race, before a late push would earn
Michigan three top-five finishers. As the runners entered the final
1,000 meters, sophomore Arianne Field (19:23) and senior Anna Jones
(19:33) pushed toward the front of the pack, finishing second and
fourth respectively. Freshman Erin Webster (19:26), who was running
unattached, split Field and Jones by taking third place.

“Erin Webster ran excellent on Saturday,” Jones said. “I think
she turned a lot of heads and surprised a lot of people.”

Sophomores Lesley Jurasek (19:54), Laura Brosius (19:58) and Amy
Baker (19:59) stuck together in the middle of the pack, securing
the 11 through 13 spots for Michigan. Rounding out the pack of
Wolverines, sophomore Jessica Wagner finished 19th and junior Erika
Flannery (21:47) crossed the line in 26th.

Redshirt freshmen Jackie Gaydos (19:49) and Rachel Ward (20:30),
along with Webster, also competed unattached for the
Wolverines.

The non-scored event was a warm-up for the Wolverines, who are
looking to build on last season’s No. 15 national ranking.

“(We are) definitely looking at the Big Ten Championship again,
and (to) go to Nationals again,” said Field.

The race could prove a good jumping off point for a team that
lost only one senior. The Wolverines were also without senior
captain Andrea Parker and last year’s Big Ten Freshman Of The Year,
Rebecca Walter, for the race. The pair sat out the race so some
younger runners could get a look in competition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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