RECAP: MSU cross country finish third at Jeff Drenth Memorial


MSU cross country country runner Fatima Giron (17) during a 2021 meet/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Jake Lyskawa, Cross Country Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING — Both the Michigan State men’s and women’s cross country teams took third place in their opening meet of the season on Friday, Sep. 2. 

The Spartans traveled to Shepherd, Michigan, to compete in the 37th Annual Jeff Drenth Memorial 5k race, hosted by Central Michigan University. It served as an opportunity for program director Lisa Breznau and her staff to watch Michigan State’s newest runners compete. For some, it was their first-ever collegiate race. 

Central Michigan’s Anya Turner, a junior from Farmington Hills won the women’s race in a time of 18:05.7. which was nearly a minute improvement from her time in last year’s edition of the meet. MSU freshman Madison Foster was the first Spartan woman to cross the finish line, though she competed unattached. She finished in eighth place with a time of 18:39. 

Sophomore Olivia Millen posted a time of 18:54.9 to take 12th place. Junior Julia Bajt (19:02.7) finished right behind Millen in 13th, while graduate student Annika Linzmeier (19:06.6) was the fourth top-15 finisher for the Spartans. 

Eastern Michigan’s top male runner, Baldvin Magnusson, took the top spot in the men’s race. The reigning three-time Mid-American Conference champion ran a time of 14:57.4 to lead the pack. For Michigan State, junior Owen Huard took third with a time of 15:15.8. Unattached MSU freshmen Brady McArdle (15:36.8), Parker Lambers (15:39.1) and Matthew Zeleke (15:42.1) finished eighth, ninth and tenth, respectively, in each of their collegiate debuts. 

Overall, a combined nine Spartans made their collegiate cross country debut at the meet, with eight of them competing unattached. 

Central Michigan won the women’s race with 21 points, while Eastern Michigan won the men’s race with 29 points. 

Next up for the Spartans is a trip to Ann Arbor on Friday, Sep. 9, to compete in the Big Ten Preview. The meet will take place at the University of Michigan Golf Course, also the site of the 2022 Big Ten Cross Country Championships. The women’s 6k is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., while the men’s 6k is scheduled for 10:15 a.m.