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Sarah Foster guides Ohio States with her 35th-place finish

COLUMBUS, Ohio Although the Buckeyes feature one of the youngest squads in a strong Big Ten conference, they still improved on their performance at the Big Ten Championships from a year ago, placing 10th out of 11 teams.

“We achieved what we came to do at Big Ten’s,” distance coach Chris Neal said. “We improved on our place from last year and Sarah Foster got herself in the mix with some of the top girls in the conference. This puts us in a good place for getting ready for regionals in two weeks and gives us a good stepping stone for the future of the program.”

Ohio State featured two freshmen, four sophomores and one junior Sunday and look poised to climb the Big Ten standings even more next season under the tutelage of Neal, the team’s new distance coach.

No. 7 Minnesota claimed their second-consecutive Big Ten crown with 63 team points at the University of Michigan Golf Course Sunday in Ann Arbor, Mich.  

The first-place individual finisher was Michigan State senior Nicole Bush, who won the race in a time of 20 minutes and 15 seconds to lead the Spartans to a third-place finish in the Big Ten.

The Buckeyes were led by their workhorse, Foster, who finished 35th place overall in 21:57. Following Foster was junior Emily Thompson, who ended up 55th in 22:31.

Freshman Sarah Yerkey came in third for Ohio State in 23:25, and sophomore Ellen Birmingham and sophomore Brittany Wise followed her in 23:37 and 23:48, respectively.

Freshman Sarah Lowe crossed the line sixth for the Buckeyes in 24:04, and sophomore Ashley Chirco was right on her heels in 24:05.

Ohio State will be able to recuperate a little before they prepare to run at the NCAA Regional Championships Saturday, Nov. 15, in West Lafayette Ind.

Team Results
  1.    63  Minnesota (21:11.7  105:58.4)
  2.    67  Wisconsin (21:13.7  106:08.4)
  3.    83  Michigan State (21:13.6  106:07.8)
  4.   101  Illinois (21:25.5  107:07.2)
  5.   116  Michigan (21:36.4  108:01.6)
  6.   151  Iowa (21:41.7  108:28.5)
  7.   154  Penn State (21:45.3  108:46.3)
  8.   180  Indiana (21:53.3  109:26.5)
  9.   250  Purdue (22:32.9  112:44.2)
10.   300  Ohio State (23:04.1  115:20.3)
11.   333  Northwestern (23:21.3  116:46.4)

Ohio State Finishers
1     35   143 Sarah Foster        JR    21:57.4
2     55   147 Emily Thompson   JR    22:31.0
3     68   149 Sarah Yerkey      FR    23:25.3
4     70   142 Ellen Birmingham  SO   23:37.8
5     72   148 Brittany Wise       SO   23:48.8
6   (75)  146 Sarah Lowe        FR   24:04.2
7   (76)  141 Ashley Chirco     SO   24:05.8