2010 Big Ten Men's Cross Country Championships Preview
Oct. 28, 2010
With each of the last 11 Big Ten Men's Cross Country Championships under its belt, Wisconsin welcomes the nine other conference teams to Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course for the 2010 Championships on Sunday. The eight-kilometer race is set to begin at 11:45 a.m. CT.
The Badgers, ranked sixth in the country, enter the 2010 Championships with six runners who competed in last season's event, including four who placed in the top 10. Defending Big Ten Coach of the Year Mick Byrne's squad, led by senior Landon Peacock and junior Elliot Krause, will be competing for its 44th Big Ten title.
Seventh-ranked Indiana returns seven runners from its 2009 Championships team, led by sixth-place finisher Zach Mayhew. The Hoosiers have earned wins at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational and the Indiana Intercollegiate Championships this season and are in search of their first Big Ten title since 1980.
No. 24 Penn State also looks to challenge Wisconsin's streak, boasting eight runners who competed in last year's Championships. The Nittany Lions, led by junior Vince McNally and a talented corps of underclassmen, have earned four top-five finishes this season.
Ohio State heads to Wisconsin with two top-10 finishes to its name this season, highlighted by a win at the Appalachian State Mountaineer Open. Six runners on the Buckeyes' 2010 roster competed in last year's event, helping Ohio State earn a second-place finish.
While it will be without the services of 2009 Big Ten individual champion Hassan Mead at the 2010 Championships, Minnesota returns a group of veterans looking to take the conference crown. Led by senior Ben Blankenship, the Golden Gophers boast a top-15 finish at Pre-Nationals and a fifth-place finish at the Roy Griak Invitational this season.
Michigan and 2009 second-team All-Big Ten honoree Brendon Blacklaws head to Wisconsin looking to earn their first Big Ten title since they won back-to-back championships in 1997 and 1998. The Wolverines' roster includes six runners who competed in last year's event.
Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State and Purdue each boast a 2010 Big Ten Runner of the Week on their roster entering the Championships. Illinois' Colin Mickow, Iowa's Jeff Thode, Michigan State's Aaron Simoneau and Purdue's Charles White all lead their respective teams into this weekend's race.