Walt Drenth Named Big Ten Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year

Michigan State University
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EAST LANSING, Mich. – Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Walt Drenth has been unanimously named Big Ten Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year by the Big Ten Conference, as voted on by the league's coaches.

Drenth coached the Spartan women's cross country team to its seventh Big Ten Championship in program history on Sunday in Columbus. This is the fifth Big Ten title in the past 10 seasons and Drenth's fifth Big Ten cross country coaching title of his career.

The then No. 9-ranked Spartans tallied 56 points in the women's 6k race, surpassing both No. 7 Wisconsin and No. 8 Michigan. The Badgers placed second with 62 points, while the Wolverines came in third with 88 points.

Five Spartans placed in the top-16 to lead the Spartans to its first title since 2014.

Senior Annie Fuller (third - 20:16.1) earned first-team All-Big Ten honors, while senior Jeralyn Poe (eighth – 20:29.6) and junior India Johnson (14th – 20:40.1) earned second-team accolades.

Michigan State moved up to No. 1 in the Great Lakes Region for the first time since week five of the 2016 season and moved up three spots to No. 6 in the USTFCCCA National Coaches' Poll. The No. 6 ranking is the highest ranking since 2016 when the team was also ranked sixth.

Junior Morgan Beadlescomb also earned first-team All-Big Ten honors on the men's side after a third place finish with a time of 24:01.8. Seniors Matthew Thomas and Jeralyn Poe were named Michigan State's Sportsmanship Award Honorees by the conference.

UP NEXT: Michigan State men's and women's cross country heads to Madison, Wisconsin on Friday, Nov. 15 for the NCAA Great Lakes Regional at the Zimmer Championship Course. Both teams will be searching for an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships on Saturday, Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Indiana.