The 2013 Big Ten women's cross country season came to a close with six teams and two individual participants competing in the NCAA Championships, including two squads finishing in the top 10. Michigan finished fourth with 215 points and was led by Big Ten Athlete of the Year Erin Finn (20:40.3) and Shannon Osika (20:56.6). Finn was the first Big Ten finisher at the championships, placing 30th individually. Michigan State finished sixth, Minnesota took 20th and finished 21st. Penn State and Indiana finished 25th and 26th, respectively. Finn, Ohio State's Katie Borchers and Wisconsin's Emma-Lisa Murphy all earned All-America honors.
Big Ten Cross Country Championships Roundup: Michigan State won its fifth Big Ten Women's Cross Country Championship, placing three runners in the top 10 at the Boilermaker Cross Country Course. The win represented the Spartans' first title since 2011. Michigan State was paced by Leah O'Connor, who placed second individually with a 6K time of 20:56.9. Michigan's Erin Finn claimed individual medalist honors, crossing the finishing line in a time of 20:48.3 and guiding her team to a second-place finish. For the full Big Ten Championships recap and a list of All-Big Ten honorees, click here.
All-Region Honorees: Twenty-six Big Ten women's cross country runners were named All-Region honorees after placing in the top 25 individually at their respective regional championships. Michigan, Michigan State and Minnesota all had five runners named to the All-Region team, followed by four from Penn State, two from Ohio State and Wisconsin, and one each from Illinois, Indiana and Northwestern. For the complete list of Big Ten All-Region honorees, click here.
Big Ten Postseason Awards: The Big Ten Conference announced the individual award winners for the 2013 women's cross country season on Nov. 6. Michigan's Erin Finn was named the Big Ten Athlete of the Year, while also claiming Freshman of the Year honors, after finishing first at the Big Ten Women's Cross Country Championships. Michigan State head coach Walt Drenth was a unanimous selection as the Big Ten Coach of the Year after leading the Spartans to their second title in the past three years. For the full release on the individual Big Ten award winners, click here.
Head of the Class: Following the conclusion of the fall season, the Big Ten recognized a total of 869 fall sports student-athletes who have been named to the Academic All-Conference team, which included 140 men's cross country runners. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. At least 20 student-athletes maintained unblemished cumulative GPAs, including women's cross country runners Jocelyn Todd of Iowa, Alexis Wiersma of Michigan State, Minori Minagawa and Rebecca Rings of Ohio State, Kathleen Rodden of Penn State and Dana Steffen and Taylor Zimprich of Wisconsin. For the complete Academic All-Big Ten release, click here.