Freshman Taylor Manett (Rockford) of the University of Michigan women’s cross country team was selected to represent Team USA at the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country Challenge in Edinburgh, Scotland’s Holyrood Park Saturday, Jan. 5. She will be one of six members of Team USA competing in the Junior Women’s 4K race. Manett was selected by the USA Track & Field Cross country council based on her performances throughout her freshman season at Michigan. To be considered for nomination to the junior squad, athletes must be between the ages of 16-20 and must be a USA Track & Field member in good standing. “It’s a great opportunity for Taylor to represent the U.S. in international competition,” said head coach Mike McGuire. “USA Track & Field selected her off of her body of work she did representing the University of Michigan in cross country in the fall. It’s a just reward for the outstanding season she had as a Wolverine.” Manett was a consistent member of the Wolverines’ travel squad, competing for the Maize and Blue in all three championship races. In her career debut at the Big Ten Championships, Manett was Michigan’s fifth scorer, finishing 18th overall to help the Wolverines capture the Big Ten title. She was also a member of U-M’s second straight Great Lakes Region championship team and helped the Maize and Blue place fifth at the NCAA Championships. The Bupa Great Edinburgh Challenge is an international team challenge that includes senior and junior teams from Great Britain & N. Ireland, the USA and Europe competing in four separate races with the aim of taking the overall team challenge title. The winning team is determined by the best aggregate finishing positions over the four races. • • •
Every weekend has led to new Personal Records for the Lady Rams cross country team this season and this past weekend was no different at the Coaching Legends Invitational. “Each girl in our top seven not only posted their season best but each one ran their lifetime personal best,” stated Coach Watson. “When the girls are running their best ever we are all pretty happy.” The new best times led the Rams to a third place finish losing to #2 ranked Saline and #3 Birmingham Seaholm while defeating #5 ranked Brighton. The Lady Rams were ranked #7 heading into the Coaching Legends Invitational. Juniors Morgan Harney and Lauren Brasure led the way for the Lady Rams with times of 18:41 and 18:44 respectively. Coming into this season these two girls had best times of 19:29 and 19:39. “They have really put in a lot of miles between last year and this year and this is the proof that hard work pays off,” stated Coach Watson. Freshman Morgan Benoit crossed the line next in 19:09 followed by sophomores Natalie Napolillo, Kerianne Schoff, Maegan Roach and Paige Parker. Their times were 19:24, 19:27, 19:42 and 20:02 respectively. “These sophomores are all a minimal of 10 seconds faster than last year at the end of the season. It will be fun to see how much faster we can get from now until early November,” said Coach Watson. Senior Colleen Conroy, sophomore Maja Hill and Senior Jordan Vickery also posted seasonal best times on the day with performances of 20:14, 20:20 and 20:54.