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MSU captures NCAA women's cross-country title

The Detroit News

Michigan State women's cross country team captured the NCAA National Championship Saturday in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The Spartans garnered 85 points with an average time of 20:23.5. MSU outdistanced second place Iowa State (147) and third place New Mexico (188). MSU's point total was the lowest since Washington's 79 in 2008.

Sophomore Rachele Schulist was the Spartans' top finisher, coming in fourth in 19:54.3 on the 6-kilometer course.

"You can't beat this. These are the best girls in the world," said Schulist, who attended Zeeland West High. "They're just amazing. I just love our team. We work together and take care of each other and that's what makes us. There's so much love. I love it."

Junior Lindsay Clark was 11th (20:16.0); senior Leah O'Connor, 17th (20:20.8); 17th; senior Julia Otwell, 21th (20:29.5); senior Sara Kroll, 61st (20:56.7); sophomore Alexis Wiersma, 69th (21:01.0) and junior Katie Landwehr, 119th (21:21.8)

Schulist, Clark, O'Connor and Otwell were each named to the NCAA All-American team.

"What a great group of people. It's just so much fun to watch," said Walt Drenth, MSU director of Cross Country and Track & Field. "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."