YPSILANTI – It was a beautiful fall day at Eagle Crest Golf Course in Ypsilanti, where the No. 3 Michigan women’s cross country team closed out its regular season on Friday. The sun was warm, the breeze was cool and the Wolverine runners were red hot, dominating the field at the Eastern Michigan University Classic. Led by a handful of veterans and two freshmen, the Maize and Blue ran with confidence. From start to finish, Michigan runners led the pack, claiming the top six-spots.
Family members and students showed up in impressive numbers to cheer on their respective schools. The Wolverines faced off against runners from Eastern Michigan, Michigan State, Oakland and Windsor at the non-scoring event. It was Michigan’s final tune-up before the Big Ten Championships and its lone meet in the Ann Arbor area for the season.
One senior in particular shone bright for the Wolverines. Chelsea Loomis, in what may have been her last race wearing a Michigan uniform, led the way with a first-place finish and a time of 17:51.4.
“That was probably her best race of the year,” Michigan coach Mike McGuire said.
With her showing on Friday, Loomis recorded her career-best time in a 5K race, shaving 12 seconds off her previous best.
“It felt really good because I have never won a college race,” Loomis said.
Loomis may get a chance to run at the Big Ten Championships next week, but she treated her performance on Friday as if it were her last.
“(Before the race, I thought) This is my last race, I’m going to go out there and win this,” Loomis said. “I’ve been here for five years. I’ve had great seasons. Let’s just go out with a bang.”
Fellow seniors Theresa Feldkamp and Chelsea Homan had strong outings as well, finishing third and 17th. Other top-10 finishers for the Wolverines included freshman Heather Sirko, redshirt sophomore Kalli Williams, sophomore Lisa Canty and freshman Kelly Sampson.
“They did a good job of executing the race plan with a combination of youthful exuberance – in somebody like Heather – and a lot of experience out there with (Loomis), and Feldkamp,” McGuire said.
The Wolverines are aiming high heading into the Big Ten Championships. They have placed first or tied for first in each of their four scoring events this season. Michigan will look to capture an impressive fourth consecutive conference title.
“We’ve got a couple of key workouts left,” McGuire said. “It’s just a matter of focusing and knowing that we’re going to be in for a good battle. We’re excited, and I think we’re ready to go.”
The Wolverines will head to Minneapolis next weekend where Minnesota will host the conference championship on Sunday.