The Wolverine

December 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 57 of 67

58 THE WOLVERINE DECEMBER 2018 BY ANDREW HUSSEY M ichigan's Olympic sports have had a strong fall season with many teams making it to their re- spective NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines are poised for deep post- season runs in many sports, while wrestling and men's and women's swimming and diving opened their seasons with victories. One of Michigan's best squads this fall has been women's cross coun- try. With the NCAA Championships coming up Nov. 17, the Wolverines have a chance at winning a title. Here's a look at that team and others: WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY The Wolverines are the best team in the Midwest. After back-to-back first- place weekends at the Big Ten Cham- pionships and NCAA Great Lakes Re- gional, Michigan is on the brink of NCAA Championships success in its 17th straight year at the national meet. "It's definitely something we're very proud of," Michigan head coach Mike McGuire said of continuing the streak. "We've worked hard for it. It's just a fit- ting reward for this year's crew to con- tinue the streak. "There's a tradition that our kids em- brace and look to build on." In consecutive weekends, the Wolver- ines dominated the field. In five of six meets so far this season, Michigan has finished in first place. "Coming off the strong Big Tens, we had good training and I thought we did a better job of finding each other, packing up early," McGuire said of the regional performance. "A little more ag- gressive early than we were in the Big Ten. "It was a combination of a lot of good things falling into place." Freshman Anne Forsyth led the Wol- verines with a third-place finish at the regionals. She also was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year this season. "Tremendous competitive fire," Mc- Guire said of Forsyth. "Very mature. I'd say she's an 18-year-old kind of going on 22 or 23. Those are nice things to have." A major reason for Michigan's suc- cess is their depth. The Wolverines have both strong, top-tier athletes along with a long list of great runners. "It's huge," McGuire said. "Going into the Big Ten meet, we felt like we had the nine best athletes in the meet. When you go in strength in numbers, I think it helps you find the five that are going to be the five that score on that day." MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY Best Performance — Nov. 9 at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional: While the Wolverines placed third and didn't automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships, Michigan's strong per- formance at the regional helped it earn an at-large bid for the national meet, held Nov. 17 in Madison, Wis. This was the second straight season U-M made it to NCAA Championships and the sev- enth time in the last eight seasons. MVP — Sophomore Jack Aho: His time of 31:20.1 at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional placed him 10th in the field and helped propel Michigan to its No. 3 finish. Aho was the Wolverines' No. 1 finisher at the Pre-National Invitational, the No. 2 finisher at the Wisconsin Nut- tycombe Invitational and the No. 3 fin- isher at the Big Ten Championships. FIELD HOCKEY Best Performance — 3-2 win over St. Joseph's in the first round NCAA Tournament Nov. 11: Before falling to No. 1 North Carolina in the quarterfi- nals, Michigan defeated St. Joseph's 3-2 in the first round of the NCAA Tourna- ment. The Wolverines scored twice in the first half to race out to a quick start. U-M advanced to NCAA Tournament this season for the 15th time in pro- gram history. This was the fourth straight season the Wolverines made the national championships. With its 15 NCAA Tour- nament appearances, Michigan ranks fourth among Big Ten schools in the category. All of U-M's appearances have come since 1999. Only Maryland (20) and Penn State (16) boast more NCAA bids over the same stretch. After the Wolverines began the season with a 1-3 record, Michigan won 14 of its last 17 games before the NCAA Tourna- ment. In that stretch, U-M had some success against ranked foes. The Wolver-   OLYMPIC SPORTS UPDATE NCAA-Bound Cross Country Squads Lead The Way For U-M Fall Sports The U-M women's cross country team won five of its six meets heading into the NCAA Championships, including the Big Ten and Great Lakes Regional races. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN PHOTOGRAPHY

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - December 2018