2012 NCAA Regional Formchart – Great Lakes Region

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by John Kellogg
November 7, 2012

Editor’s Note: LetsRun.com’s coaching/stat guru John Kellogg has done what basically no one else in the world would have the expertise/patience to do – predict what is going to happen at Friday’s NCAA D1 cross-country regionals. The top two teams in each region and top four individuals not on a team that qualifies will make it to NCAAs. Then 13 at large teams will be added in and two at large individuals.

Message board poster “devils advocate” has run the numbers for the qualifiers on the men’s side who appear below and here.

We imagine even the great John Kellogg is bound to have missed someone in these predictions, so if you have corrections, please email them to us.

Mr. Kellogg seemingly comes out of hibernation every few months to make predictions in the running world. He did Regional previews in 2011 and 2008 and in the spring of 2011, he said it wouldn’t surprise him if someone ran faster than 2:03:59 in Boston and then Geoffrey Mutai ran 2:03:02 and after the race everyone (except us) was saying the unthinkable had happened.

Mr. Kellogg has scoured the season’s results – with the most weight given to recent (conference meet) performances – to take a guess at who should be the top 25 individuals and few teams in each of the nine regions. A lot of runners were considered for the top 25 and he’ll undoubtedly get quite a few wrong – someone just outside his top 25 has just as good a chance as someone who just made it – and there are always a couple of huge surprises. Team scores are generally based on the strengths of the top teams relative to each other (discounting many of the runners outside the top 25 or so from non-contending teams) and will probably end up being higher than he’s listed them due to displacement from those individuals. In short, this is a pretty good general idea of who should be in the hunt, but it’s still bound to get a bunch of it completely wrong. So basically this is all for S&Gs. We hope you enjoy them. For more on the logic behind the picks, please see last year’s instructions.

John Kellogg

John Kellogg (r) enjoys the 2008 Heps XC meet with his former prized pupil, the 28:06 performer Wejo (dressed as the BK man)

Give Us Your Own Predictions in the LetsRun.com NCAA Fan Polls.

Great Lakes

Zimmer Championship Course, Madison, Wisconsin

Men

Individuals

Big Ten champion Zachary Mayhew of Indiana was 6th across the line at the gigantic Wisconsin meet in addition to his conference win and appears to have had the best season of any of the region’s runners so far. Mayhew is also the top returner from last year’s meet. Andrew Bayer, the NCAA 1,500m champ with great range, did not run at last year’s Regional but was Indiana’s top finisher in 39th at Nationals and has had a national-caliber season so far, most recently coming in 4th at Big Ten. EMU’s Terefe Ejigu has only crossed a finish line first one time this fall, at his conference meet (Mid-American), but was 3rd at both Notre Dame and at Pre-Nationals, losing to a few of the strong favorites for top 10 finishes at NCAAs. Wisconsin won at NCAAs last year with 4 All-Americans after being by far the most dominant team all season. They were without a couple of key players through mid-season this fall, considering possible redshirt seasons, but decided to go at full strength for the conference meet and beyond. With Mohammed Ahmed and Reed Connor suiting up and running pretty much as expected, the Badgers whizzed past Michigan to take the Big Ten trophy with a 33-65 score and they are once again looking like one of the top 5 teams in the land after finishing an unindicative 17th at their own meet a few weeks ago. They will be visible near the front again here. Maverick Darling has led the Badgers thus far and ran to 2nd at Big Ten. Dan Lowry, the former Brown All-American who was 28th at NCAAs last year, has led Michigan this year with 11th at Wisconsin and 5th at Big Ten. Close behind Lowry in 14th at Wisco was Notre Dame’s 1,500m All-American Jeremy Rae, who followed with 3rd place at Big East. Lurking just off that pace are Matt McClintock (Purdue) and Donny Roys (Ohio State), who were 8th and 12th in the powerful Big Ten conference.

Zachary Mayhew (Indiana)
Terefe Ejigu (Eastern Michigan)*
Maverick Darling (Wisconsin)
Mohammed Ahmed (Wisconsin)
Dan Lowry (Michigan)
Andrew Bayer (Indiana)
Jeremy Rae (Notre Dame)
Reed Connor (Wisconsin)
Rob Finnerty (Wisconsin)
Matt McClintock (Purdue)*

Donny Roys (Ohio State)*
Martin Grady (Notre Dame)
Morsi Rayyan (Michigan)
Mark Beams (Michigan)
Alex Brill (Wisconsin)
Tony Smoragiewicz (Michigan)
Zach Ornelas (Michigan)
Caleb Rhynard (Michigan State)
J.P. Malette (Notre Dame)
John Mascari (Indiana State)*

Daryl Smith (Eastern Michigan)
Brendon Blacklaws (Michigan)
Tom Anderson (Butler)
Robby Nierman (Indiana)
Alex Hatz (Wisconsin)

Teams

The defending national champion Wisconsin Badgers still have a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to scale to retain their title – the Oklahoma State Cowboys – but at least they’re back in the discussion. At last year’s Regional, Wisco’s top 5 epitomized the concept of packing it up, running as a unit throughout and finishing near the front in a literal tie, occupying places 8 through 12. Michigan should have a nice pack in the top 25 as well but, alas, behind Wisco’s pack. Indiana defeated Michigan to get the 2nd auto last year (Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State all made NCAAs from this region), but the Hoosiers have been a little thinner this season, relying on their two extremely low sticks in Mayhew and Bayer. They were 3rd at Big Ten but only 14 points behind Michigan (they also lost to the Wolverines at Wisconsin). At Wisco, the Hoosiers were comfortably in front of Notre Dame.

Wisconsin*
Michigan*
Indiana*
Notre Dame*

*Projected qualifier

Women

Individuals

The Great Lakes Regional returns quite a few runners who came in the top 10 in last year’s edition. Leading the list of returners are Michigan’s Rebecca Addison (2nd last year), MSU’s Sara Kroll (4th), Michigan’s Jillian Smith (5th) and Ohio’s Julie Accurso (6th). All four have had fine results this season and figure to be at the head of the race again. Kroll topped the field at Big Ten, with Addison leading Michigan in 3rd place. Smith had perhaps the best result of the region’s runners during the invitational portion of the season with 10th at Pre-Nationals, then moved back slightly to finish as Michigan’s 3rd runner in 11th at Big Ten. Accurso had a strong 13th-place result at Pre-Nats before running away with the Mid-American Conference title by 20 seconds over three very good Toledo runners. The newcomer among the favorites to win the region is Butler’s Katie Clark, who was 14th in the region two years ago but did not compete last year. This season, Clark has been stellar, finishing directly behind Smith in 11th at Pre-Nats before scampering off with the Altantic 10 crown. Wisconsin has two that could get in the picture, Ashley Beutler and Gabi Anzalone, who were 6th and 7th at Big Ten. Anzalone had the best regular season result for Wisco, placing 28th in their own enormous invitational, while Beutler was 12th in the Regional last year. Michigan’s Taylor Pogue was 8th in the region as a freshman last year but finished outside of the squad’s top 7 (38th overall) at Big Ten, so is left off the list of contenders for the time being.

Sara Kroll (Michigan State)
Katie Clark (Butler)
Rebecca Addison (Michigan)
Leah O’Connor (Michigan State)
Gabi Anzalone (Wisconsin)
Julie Accurso (Ohio U.)
Ashley Beutler (Wisconsin)
Jillian Smith (Michigan)
Kaylin Belair (Toledo)
Amanda Eccleston (Michigan)

Meredith Wagner (Ohio State)
Shannon Osika (Michigan)
Kelly Curran (Notre Dame)
Rachel McFarlane (Michigan State)
Rebecca Tracy (Notre Dame)
Mara Olson (Butler)
Megan Wright (Toledo)
Hannah Knurr (Wisconsin)
Kirsty Legg (Butler)
Taylor Manert (Michigan)

Kelsey Duerksen (Indiana)
Michelle Thomas (Ohio State)
Molly Seidel (Notre Dame)
Julia Otwell (Michigan State)
Liz Weiler (Toledo)

Teams

Michigan and Michigan State were one-two in the region last year and didn’t square off this season until Big Ten, where MSU led after 3 runners were in, but in the end fell by 20 points to Michigan’s depth. Michigan was much stronger at 4 and 5 and had all 7 in before MSU’s 5th. Notre Dame, 3rd in the region last year, was 5th at Big East but the race for 3rd was fairly close, and all of the top five teams in that conference are ranked in the nation’s top 25. Toledo was a strong 3rd in this region last year and may be ahead of Notre Dame after scoring 3 runners, but Notre Dame’s 3-4-5 finished together at Big East while Toledo had a 31-second gap from 3 to 4 at Mid-American, which they can’t afford to have in a much stronger field like the Regional. Wisconsin is extremely tough through 3 but the support has fallen off sharply after that all season.

Michigan
Michigan State
Notre Dame
Toledo
Wisconsin

All Regions:
*Northeast Region
*Mid-Atlantic
*Southeast
*South
*South Central
*Great Lakes
*Midwest
*Mountain
*West


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