Ohio State Takes Fifth at the Big Ten Championships

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Nov. 3, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Fueled by Top-10 finishes from juniors Michelle Thomas and Katie Borchers, the Ohio State women’s cross country team placed fifth overall at the 2013 Big Ten Cross Country Championships Sunday morning in West Lafayette, Ind., the squad’s best finish at the conference meet in 29 years.

Thomas and Borchers finished fourth and sixth, respectively, in times of 21:04.1 and 21:07.2, earning First Team All-Big Ten honors in the process. The duo joins Maureen Cogan (1984) and Kathryn Monard (1986) as the only first-team selections in school history.

Also scoring for the Buckeyes on Sunday was junior Nicole Hilton (49th, 22:16.2), sophomore Sakiko Minagawa (22:18.7) and sophomore Helen Willman (59th, 22.29.9).

Ohio State closed the meet with a score of 157, edging No. 21 Indiana and No. 28 Wisconsin for fifth place by one point. The fifth-place team finish is the highest for the Buckeyes since a fourth-place finish in 1984, while its 157 cumulative point total is the best since 1986. 

“I'm very happy with the way our women performed today,” OSU distance coach Sara Vergote said after the race. “They stuck to the race plan, trusted their fitness and ran incredibly tough. Beating two nationally ranked teams was great for our confidence and helps us create momentum as we head into the regional championships.
“I am especially proud of Michelle and Katie not only for their performances but for the leadership roles that both have assumed with this team,” Vergote continued. “For two women who have never finished in the Top 20 in this meet to be First Team All-Big Ten shows both their hard work and poise. We are excited to get back to work and get ready to compete against the best teams in the region in two weeks.”

No. 6 Michigan State won the team title with 43 points, followed by No. 14 Michigan (55 points) and No. 15 Minnesota (68).  Michigan’s Erin Finn won the individual crown in a time of 20:48.3.

Ohio State Results
4. Michelle Thomas  21:04.1
6. Katie Borchers  21:07.2
49. Nicole Hilton  22:16.2
51. Sakiko Minagawa  22:18.7
59. Helen Willman  22:29.9

66. Minori Minagawa 22:39.1
72. Andrea McArdle 22:47.3
81. Jill Kanney  23:04.2
94. Mallory Kreider 23:24.7

Team Scores
1) No. 6 Michigan State – 43 points
2) No. 14 Michigan – 55
3) No. 15 Minnesota – 68
4) No. 29 Penn State – 143
5) Ohio State - 157
6) No. 21 Indiana – 158
7) No. 28 Wisconsin – 158
8) Purdue – 221
9) Illinois – 241
10) Northwestern – 264
11) Nebraska – 320
12) Iowa – 369

Up Next
Ohio State has two weeks off prior to a Nov. 15 trip to the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships in Madison, Wis.