Michigan State Spartans cross country

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Michigan State Spartans have for over a century fielded cross country running teams representing Michigan State University.

Men's teams[edit]

Cross Country, first run as an intramural competition in 1907 and as an intercollegiate competition in 1910, has historically been Michigan State’s most successful men’s sport; especially during a four-decade period spanning roughly 1930-1970 during which the Spartans won eight NCAA championships and numerous IC4A and Big Ten titles. Having outgrown the MIAA, then Michigan Agricultural College initially ran cross country as an independent.

Between WWI and WWII, Michigan State College competed in the Central Collegiate Conference, winning titles in 1926-1929, 1932, 1933, and 1935. Michigan State also experienced success in the IC4A, at New York’s Van Cortlandt Park, winning 15 team titles (1933–1937, 1949, 1953, 1956–1960, 1962, 1963, and 1968). Since entering the Big Ten in 1950, Michigan State has won 14 men’s team titles (1951–1953, 1955–1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1970 and 1971). Michigan State hosted the inaugural NCAA cross country championships in 1938 and every year thereafter through 1964 (there was no championship in 1943). The Spartans won NCAA championships in 1939, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1955, 1956, 1958, and 1959. The following coaches led Michigan State to major titles: CCC (Morton Mason, Lauren Brown), IC4A (Lauren Brown, Karl Schlademan, Fran Dittrich, Jim Gibbard), Big Ten (Karl Schlademan, Fran Dittrich, Jim Gibbard), and NCAA (Lauren Brown, Karl Schlademan, Fran Dittrich).[1][2][3]

Men's individual champions[edit]

Individual champions include: CCC (Lauren Brown 1927, 1929; Clark Chamberlain 1930, 1931; and Tom Ottey 1932, 1933); IC4A (Clark Chamberlain 1930; Tom Ottey 1933, 1934; Ed Bechtold 1935; Ken Waite 1936; Henry Kennedy 1955, 1956; and Crawford Kennedy 1957-1959); Big Ten (Henry Kennedy 1955, 1956; Crawford Kennedy 1959; and Gerald Young 1960). Athletes who ran cross country at Michigan State and also made Olympic rosters in various events include Tom Ottey (USA), Warren Druetzler (USA), Lyle Garbe (Canada), and David Lean (Australia).[1][2][3]

In addition to champions listed previously, the following MSU athletes achieved All-American status at the NCAA championship (those listed are unofficial prior to the award’s creation in 1948, but based on the same criteria):

Women's teams and individual champions[edit]

Women’s cross country competition commenced in 1974 as a club sport and gained varsity status in 1975. Michigan State won Big Ten championships in 1981 (coach John Goodrich), 2001 (coach Jim Stintzi), 2010 and 2011[4] (coach Walter Drenth)and finished in the top 15 at the NCAA championship eight times (1981, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008), making this decade tops in the history of the program. Michigan State won the NCAA Championship in 2015 at Terra Haute. Individual Big Ten champions include Misty Allison (1991), Michelle Carson (2002), Danette Doetzel (2004), Nicole Bush (2008), and Emily MacLeod (2010).[1][2][3][5]

In addition to champions listed previously, the following MSU athletes achieved All-American status at the NCAA championship:


  1. ^ a b c d e Erickson, C. (2007). 2007-2008 Michigan State Cross Country and Track and Field Media Guide. East Lansing: MSU Sports Information Office.
  2. ^ a b c d e NCAA Website (Retrieved 6 July 2010). .
  3. ^ a b c d e Frimodig, L., & Stabley, F. (1971). Spartan Saga: A History of Michigan State Athletics. East Lansing: Michigan State University.
  4. ^ "Women's Cross Country Claims Back-to-Back Big Ten Titles". MSU. October 30, 2011. Archived from the original on 13 June 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Women's Cross Country Wins 2010 Big Ten Championship". Retrieved 19 September 2016. 

External links[edit]