Last Leg

Women’s Cross Country Finishes Undefeated Season as NCAA Champions

The women of Michigan State cross country ended a perfect season today in Terre Haute, Indiana as NCAA Champions.

This is the first national championship win in program history, finishing with 85 total team points, 62 points less than runner-up Iowa State.

The win is not only monumental for the program, but also for MSU. It is the first team national championship since 2007 when hockey won the title. It is only the second national championship win for a women’s team in school history. Read More…

Cross Country on the Last Leg of the Season

Michigan State’s cross country team is down to the last leg of the season, literally (and no pun intended). The No. 1 ranked women and No. 17 ranked men ran last week in the Great Lakes Regional meet to qualify for the NCAA Cross Country National Championship this Saturday in Terre Haute, Indiana.

While this is the race that it all comes down to, according to head coach Walt Drenth the teams have already met the outcomes they put forth in the beginning of the year. Read More…

Cross Country Runs a Straight Path to Nationals

Michigan State cross country carved a clear path to nationals this Friday at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championship at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The women placed first and men second in their races to receive automatic bids to the NCAA National Cross Country Championship in Terre Haute, Indiana next week.

The No.1 ranked women ran to a first-place finish in the 6K race with 28 total points. This is the team’s sixth regional title. Read More…

Athlete of the Week – Leah O’Connor

Two weeks ago at the Cross Country Big Ten Championship, Michigan State was not only able to claim the team title but also the individual champion, Leah O’Connor, as their own.

O’Connor has a history of success both on the cross country course and the track, and last week was named the Big Ten Cross Country Athlete of the Year. She is also currently the 2014 national champion in steeplechase. Read More…

A Team Win in More Ways than One

The women’s cross country team can now mark the Big Ten Championship off their list as champions for the second year in a row. Not only that, but conference weekend is done and the Spartan women still claim the No. 1 spot in the nation.

The team not only claimed the overall champion, Leah O’Connor, as their own, but was also the only team to put all five scorers in the top 11. This put the Spartans at a score of 26, the third-lowest in Big Ten history and half of what second-place University of Wisconsin received at 55 points. Read More…

Cross Country Runs to Top of Big Ten Championship

Redshirt senior Leah O’Connor led Michigan State women’s cross country to its second straight and fourth Big Ten title in five years this weekend in Iowa City, Iowa. The Big Ten Championship was the first leg of the postseason competition for MSU.

The women came in first place with 26 total points and the team put four runners in the top ten, more than any other team. The score is the third-lowest in Big Ten history. Read More…

Athlete of the Week – DeMarcus Leak

For this week’s Athlete of the Week, host of The Pact, Anthony Serafino, sits down with DeMarcus Leak, a sophomore on the Michigan State track and field team.

A native of Bangor, Michigan, Leak earned a season-best in the high jump at the SPIRE Invitational last season with a jump of 7.09 meters. Read More…

A Home-Grown Team: MSU Cross Country

To an outsider, a team’s success is most often seen in the numbers. A No. 1 national ranking, four invitational team wins and consistently placing multiple runners in the top-15 can weigh heavy in the books, but for the Michigan State University women’s cross country team, success in numbers is not the only reason to feel triumphant.

The state of Michigan is finding itself at the center of collegiate cross country, and is home to two nationally ranked top-five teams. MSU and the University of Michigan have danced around each other in the polls since the beginning of the year. Read More…

Cross Country Makes Statement at Wisconsin Adidas Invitational

The Michigan State cross country team traveled to the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational this weekend to face 26 nationally ranked teams. Pegged as one of the most premier races during the regular season, the invite was the biggest test the Spartans have had this year.

The MSU women entered the race with the highest ranking – a No. 2 coaches ranking and No. 1 by FloTrack – and left with an even better reason for why they are at the top and deserve to stay there. Read More…

Track and Field Loses Sprints and Hurdles Coach

The Michigan State track and field team lost a valuable member of their staff recently. Sprints and hurdles coach Randy Gillon returned to the University of Illinois, his alma mater, as assistant head coach of track and field.

“He was a great addition to our program, and did a great job while he was here,” head coach Walt Drenth said. “We’re going to miss him, but this is an opportunity for both parties to grow.” Read More…

Athlete of the Week: Rachele Schulist

This week’s Athlete of the Week is Rachele Schulist, a redshirt sophomore and top cross country runner for Michigan State. Schulist is currently leading the No. 2 ranked Spartan women, who brought home a first place team finish this past weekend at Minnesota’s Roy Griak Invitational.

Schulist has already received the title of USTFCCCA Women’s NCAA Division I National Athlete of the Week and Big Ten Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week this season. Read More…

Cross Country Competes at Roy Griak Invitational

For NCAA Cross Country, this weekend marked a rise in the stakes as points start to matter. The Michigan State cross country team accomplished exactly what they wanted this weekend at Minnesota’s Roy Griak Invitational.

The No. 3 ranked Spartan women grabbed a first place team finish in an impressive fashion. The team recorded 66 points in the 6K race. The men’s team finished fourth among a competitive field with 153 total points in the 8K race.

Read More…

MSU Cross Country Prepares for Big Weekeend

The Michigan State cross country team travels to Minneapolis this Saturday, Sept. 27 for the 29th annual Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota.

As a whole, MSU cross country is in a unique position, with the women out to defend themselves and the men looking to prove that rankings do not mean everything. Read More…

Cross Country Competes at Spartan Invite

Cross country is not a sport where each play can be planned out. The coach gets one shot to discuss the race plan, and from there it is all up to the athletes who rely on each other more than anything.

After a fast and intense race last week in Oregon, the Michigan State cross country team went in with a much different plan for the Spartan Invite on Friday, Sept. 12.

Read More…

Women Win Oregon’s Bill Dillinger Invite, Men Finish Second

The Michigan State cross country team started their season like they never had before, in Eugene, Ore.

Battling not only a nationally ranked team but also 90-degree temperatures, the Spartans found themselves up for the challenge.

The women took home first place in the five-team portion of the 6K event with top three individual finishers, while the men placed second behind Oregon in the 8K race.

Read More…

Cross Country Has Good Showing Oregon Bill Dillinger Meet

The Spartans competed at the ninth annual , Friday, Sept. 5 against a small batch of teams including: University of Oregon, University of Portland, Portland State and American University.

In the women’s 5K race, the Spartans came out on top, sweeping the top five with Rachele Schulist in first at 19:38 at a 5:16 mile pace, Leah O’Connor in second at 19:53 and 5:20 pace and Lindsay Clark in third at 20:11 and a 5:25 pace.

Read More…

Last Leg – #10 – 9/5/14

Football may be the sport on everyone’s mind this week, but the MSU cross country team has plenty of reasons to garner some hype.

For her first Last Leg podcast of the season, host Alexa McCarthy talks about team goals, beginning of season jitters and runners to look out for.

McCarthy also talks about this week’s meet in Eugene, Ore. and its significance in the Spartan’s schedule.

Read More…

Cross Country to Run against Oregon Same Weekend as Football

The No. 8 Michigan State Spartans’ Sept. 6 football matchup against the No. 3 Oregon Ducks has received plenty of hype over the past summer, but another MSU team will also be making the trip out to the University of Oregon.

On Friday Sept. 5, the Spartan runners will find themselves on Pre’s Trail (named after famed Oregon runner Steve Prefontaine) for the Bill Dellinger Invitational, running against some of the top runners on the west coast.

Read More…

Tori Franklin Wins Gold Abroad

Tori Franklin may have just won a gold medal Saturday evening at the 2014 North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Under-23 Championship in Kamloops, British Columbia, but she is already getting back to work.

Franklin competed for the United States in the triple jump and posted a mark of 13.42 meters to finish first overall in the event and earned an invitation to represent the USA in her event at the Pan American Olympic Festival in Mexico City, Mexico.

Read More…

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