TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Led by four individual runners in the top 25, the Michigan State women's cross country team claimed the program's first NCAA Cross Country Championship on Saturday afternoon.
Running in front of a crowd of MSU fans, the Spartans finished 62 points ahead of runner-up Iowa State with a team score of 85 points, the lowest total at the NCAA championships since 2008 (Washington, 79).
"What a great group of people. It's just so much fun to watch," said Spartans coach Walt Drenth. "They really did what they've done all year. They stayed patient and they ran well late.They stepped up for each other. It was a great team effort."
The depth of the Spartans was once again on display Saturday as Rachele Schulist led four MSU runners in the top-25 and finished fourth overall with a 6K time of 19:54.30. Lindsay Clark was the next Spartan to cross the finish line in 11th place overall with a time of 20:16. Big Ten Women's Champion and Athlete of the Year Leah O'Connor clocked in with a time of 20:20.80 to finish 17th.
Julia Otwell (20:29.50) and Sara Kroll (20:56.70) followed in 21st and 61st, respectively. Alexis Wiersma (69th - 21:01.00) and Katie Landwehr (119th - 21:21.80) rounded out the rotation of MSU runners.
Schulist, Clark, O'Connor and Otwell were each named to the NCAA All-American team following Saturday's race.