Michigan State cross-country earns top-five finishes at NCAA Great Lakes Regional


MSU women’s cross country finish first at EMU Fall Classic/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Jake Lyskawa, Cross-country and Track & Field Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING — The Michigan State men’s and women’s cross-country teams earned top-five finishes at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional meet on Friday, Nov.11, with four Spartans taking home All-Region honors. 

The Spartan women took fourth place with 124 points, while the men finished fifth with 135 points. Notre Dame (34 points) and Ohio State (111 points) earned automatic bids to next week’s NCAA Championships on the women’s side by taking first and second place, respectively. 

Big Ten champion Wisconsin (36 points) and Notre Dame (64 points) clinched the automatic qualifying spots on the men’s side with their top-two finishes. The Spartan men and women hope their overall body of work this season will be enough to earn at-large bids into the NCAA Championships.

The Michigan State women put the country on notice over the past few weeks. The women’s team won the Big Ten for the third time in four years on Oct. 28. Senior Katie Osika earned a second-place finish in that meet, and continued her hot streak with another top-three performance at Regionals. 

Osika paced the Michigan State women on Friday, taking third with a time of 20:04. The Waterford, Michigan, native earned her first-career All-Region selection.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Hynes was the second Spartan to cross the line, taking 24th place in a time of 20:38. Hynes earned All-Region honors for the second-consecutive season, finishing in the same place she did a year ago. 

All-Big Ten member Makenna Veen finished two places behind Hynes in 26th place, one spot off from an All-Region placement. Veen, a junior, ran a time of 20:42. 

Senior Lauren Freeland and junior Emily Bardwell finished in 35th and 36th place, respectively. They finished four-tenths of a second from each other. 

Graduate transfer Grace Molloy took 38th place in her Regional debut, running a time of 21:01. Rounding out the top seven for MSU was sophomore Kate Stewart-Barnett, who took 41st place in a time of 21:05. 

All seven Michigan State women finished in the top 50. 

Michigan State was once again led by graduate transfer CarLee Stimpfel on the men’s side. Stimpfel finished with All-Region honors after taking 19th place with a time of 30:24 over the 10k distance. 

Stimpfel started quickly, placing third through the first three kilometers of the race. At the 5k mark, however, the Wisconsin and Notre Dame packs moved up to take control of the top 20. Still, Stimpfel hung on to lead the Spartans in his first Great Lakes Regional meet. 

Finishing just two seconds behind Stimpfel was senior Aden Smith, who took 20th place to earn All-Region honors. Smith’s time of 30:26 was a personal best. 

The Michigan State men ran together for large portions of the race. Through five kilometers, junior Andrew Nolan, freshman Riley Hough, Smith and graduate student Fraser Wilson placed 33rd, 34th, 35th and 36th, respectively. 

Hough ended up taking 27th place in his Regionals debut. The All-Big Ten runner finished in a time of 30:36. Wilson, a 2021 All-Region honoree, was the next MSU finisher. He ran a time of 30:50 to take 35th place overall. 

Nolan finished two seconds behind Wilson in 36th place. His time of 30:52 was good for a personal best. 

Rounding out Michigan State’s top seven were graduate students Abdifetah Ahmed and John Petruno. Ahmed finished in 50th place, while Petruno took 76th. 

The Michigan State men and women will find out if they earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships during the selection show on Saturday, Nov. 12. The show will air live at 5 p.m. ET on the NCAA’s website. 

The NCAA Championships will be held in Stillwater, Okla. next Saturday, Nov. 19.