ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Rockford high school alum and University of Michigan freshman Ericka VanderLende has already had an unbelievable career in cross country and track. VanderLende is the state record-holder in the 3,000, 3,200 and two-mile runs and was the top-ranked MIchigan high school girl at both the 1,600 and 3,200 meters.
Now, VanderLende has another accolade. On Monday, she was named the National Athlete of the Week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. VanderLende ran in her first career six-kilometer (3.73-mile) cross country race and clocked a 20:17.85 on the Ohio State University Golf Club course, winning by more than 15 seconds over a field with both Big Ten and National Champions.