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Nationally Ranked Teams
|#14 Michigan||#6 Michigan|
|#18 Wisconsin||#9 Penn State|
|#19 Indiana||#27 Michigan State|
|#29 Michigan State||(RV) Minnesota|
|Pos.||Penn State Women||Score/Time|
|Pos.||Penn State Men||Score/Time|
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - Paced by All-Big Ten performers Tessa Barrett, Jillian Hunsberger and Elizabeth Chikotas, the Penn State women's cross country team finished second at the Big Ten Championships with a score of 70 Sunday afternoon at the Les Bolstad Golf Course. The Penn State men's team finished ninth with a total score of 250.
Penn State entered the meet as the defending champions on the women's side.
"When we ran here at the Griak about a month ago, (Penn State) Michigan and Michigan State all finished within about 10-15 points of each other in a big time race," said head coach John Gondak.
"I told the women that day 'it's going to be a three team battle at the Big Ten meet between Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State and whoever has the A+ day that day is going to come out the winner'," Gondak Continued.
"Michigan's women ran fantastic today. (Michigan) is a really good team, our women are a really good team, Michigan State's women are a really good team. When you have a score of 63 to 70 to 80 with three teams duking it out like that it was an outstanding performance and outstanding competition. You have to tip your cap to Michigan for being the better team today. On the men's side, I'm very proud of them today. We're a really young team, Colin (Abert) and Timothy (McGowan) have been our leaders all year and they continued to improve and continue to get better as does our team. For the vast majority of our team today was their first time being at a Big Ten Championship and this is something that takes some time and some experience to understand how to compete at this level. The Big Ten has always been one of the most competitive conferences in the country for Cross Country and I thought our men ran about as well as they could and I think you'll see a different team when track comes around."
The Nittany Lions battled throughout the 6-kilometer course trailing Michigan and Michigan State at the halfway point. Strong performances from Penn State's No. 4 and No. 5 runners Greta Lindsley and Kathryn Munks helped Penn State place all five runners inside the Top 30, including three runners in the Top 10.
Tessa Barrett was the top finisher on the day for Penn State crossing the line in third-place (21:04.8). Following Barrett was Jillian Hunsberger (21:09.3) in seventh-place and Elizabeth Chikotas (21:23.8) in 10th-place. Barrett (First-Team), Hunsberger (First-Team) and Chikotas (Second-Team) combined to bring home three All-Big Ten honors.
Also competing for the women's team were Victoria Crawford (22:47.7) in 67th-place, Julie Kocjancic (22:55.1) in 69th-place, Rachel Banks (23:18.9) in 86th-place and Hannah Catalano (23:41.3) in 96th-place.
The second-place finish by Penn State secured the first Top-Two finish in back-to-back years at the Big Ten Cross Country Championships in Program history.
On the men's side, Penn State traversed through a treacherous course to claim a ninth-place finish with a score of 250 on the day.
Tim McGowan (25:17.7) and Colin Abert (25:19.2) finished side by side in 25th and 28-place, respectively, to lead the way for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State returns to University Park Oct. 11 as they host the Mid-Atlantic Regional at the Penn State Blue & White Course.
For more on Nittany Lion cross country, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.