An unlikely pair finished strong for the Michigan women’s cross country team this weekend.

In the non-scoring Toledo Rocket Open on Friday, the 23rd-ranked Wolverines boasted the top two finishers in the 5,000-meter race at Ottawa Park Golf Course in Toledo.

With no wind and a firm, fast course, sophomores Mary Grace Pellegrini and Melany Mioduszewski notched personal-best times.

Pellegrini finished in first place with a time of 17:43 and Mioduszewski was next with 18:12.

“Mary Grace and Melany were up higher in the race than they’ve ever been before,” McGuire said. “I think it really excited them, and they both looked very comfortable out there.”

Along with Pellegrini and Mioduszewski, four true freshmen ran and gained valuable experience in the race, since most of the starters were out of the lineup in order to rest for the team’s Great Lakes Regional Championship next weekend.

“We had some young kids run today,” McGuire said. “Since it’s their first year out of high school, there is always a lot of training, and they usually don’t get to race much. But today, they were in the lineup and took advantage of the opportunity.”

Freshman Courtney Clancy finished eighth, while freshman Morgan Bailey rounded out the top ten.

With the Great Lakes Regional Championship and National Championship quickly approaching, McGuire is confident with the depth of his squad.

“This will keep Mary Grace and Melany in the mix for nationals,” McGuire said. “If one were called upon, they would do fine.”

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