Oct. 25, 2012
Park Ridge, Ill. -
All 11 conference men’s cross country teams descend upon the Michigan State University Forest Akers East Golf Course in East Lansing, Mich., for the 2012 Big Ten Championships this Sunday. The teams will compete in the 8,000-meter race at 11:45 a.m. ET.
Michigan enters the championships with the highest ranking of any Big Ten team, checking in at No. 11 nationally. The Wolverines boast seven runners from last year’s championship roster, led by Brendon Blacklaws and Mason Ferlic.
Defending NCAA and Big Ten Champion Wisconsin garners a No. 20 ranking heading into the conference meet. The Badgers have won a Big Ten-record 13 consecutive conference titles dating back to 1999 and seek their 46th overall crown. Wisconsin returns the top two finishers from last year’s meet, Big Ten Athlete of the Year Mohammed Ahmed, who set the 8,000-meter course record in 2011, and three-time All-Big Ten selection Maverick Darling.
Indiana also enters the conference meet as a top-25 team nationally, standing at No. 24 coming into the weekend. The Hoosiers are led by two senior All-Big Ten honorees from 2011 in Andy Bayer and Zach Mayhew, the 10th- and 11th-place finishers in last year’s event.
Minnesota returns six of its top seven finishers from last year’s championships, while Iowa boasts five runners from last year’s championship roster. Purdue freshman Matthew McClintock was a two-time Athlete of the Week selection this season, while Ohio State is led by Donny Roys, the Buckeyes’ top runner in the 2011 meet, who posted a 19th-place finish.
Michigan State enters the championships led by last season’s Big Ten Freshman of the Year, David Madrigal, while Nebraska welcomes back its top finisher from a season ago in Trevor Vidlak. Illinois returns its top harrier from last year’s meet in Jordan Hebert, while Penn State is led by Robby Creese, last year’s outdoor track and field Freshman of the Year.