Cross country picks up two Big Ten weekly honors


The recognition train for MSU athletes continues to roll.

Following Big Ten honors handed to volleyball outside hitter Lauren Wicinski and soccer goalkeeper Zach Bennett, redshirt junior Leah O’Connor and redshirt sophomore Caleb Rhynard, both of the cross country team, have been distinguished as Big Ten Cross Country Athletes of the Week.

O’Connor and Rhynard both submitted winning performances this past weekend at the Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational, hosted by MSU.


Rhynard finished second overall in the men’s 8,000 meter race with a time of 24:10, his career-best.

O’Connor had the best time in the women’s 6,000 meter race with a time of 20:54. The top six spots on the leaderboard were all held by Spartans, and O’Connor beat the second-place runner up by 11 seconds.

It is the first Big Ten Cross Country Athlete of the Week honor for both athletes. O’Connor was named first-team all-conference after a fourth-place finish at the 2012 Big Ten Championships, and Rhynard received the 2012 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for MSU.

The cross country team will travel to the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 28 at the University of Minnesota Les Bolstad Golf Course in Minneapolis.

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