Yau Paces U-M for Second Straight Race at Spartan Invite
Matt Popielarz

Sept. 14, 2012

Site: East Lansing, Mich. (Forest Akers Golf Course)
Meet: Spartan Invitational (8,000 Meters)
U-M Team Finish: Non-scoring
Top U-M Individual: James Yau, 22nd (25:27)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Sept. 22 -- at Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational (Earlysville, Va.), 10 a.m.

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The 20th-ranked University of Michigan men's cross country team ran its season debut at 8,000 meters at the Spartan Invitational on Friday (Sept. 14) at Michigan State's Forest Akers Golf Course. Junior/sophomore James Yau (Troy, Mich./Troy) paced the Wolverines for the second straight meet, placing 22nd overall in a time of 25:27.

Junior Matt Popielarz (Saginaw, Mich./Heritage) ran the fastest 8K time of his career, stopping the clock at 25:39 to place 33rd.

Sophomore/freshman Jeff Sattler (Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center) and senior/junior Dallas North (Hastings, New Zealand/Nelson College) crossed the line just four seconds apart, taking the 41st and 44th spots, respectively. Sattler finished in 25:44, while North completed the course in 25:48.

Junior Nathan Karr (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) was the next U-M harrier across the line in a time of 26:24, good enough for 89th place. Sophomore/freshman Trevor Denton (Henderson, Mich./Chesaning) (26:40) and sophomore/freshman Justin Krauss (Perry, Mich./Perry) rounded out Michigan's competitors, placing 108th and 124th, respectively, in a field of 317 runners.

The Wolverines will be back in action next weekend at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 22. The race is set for a 10 a.m. start.

Top 10 Finishers

  1. Terefe Ejigu, Eastern Michigan              24:28
  2. Jed Christiansen, Playmakers Elite          24:38
  3. Nathan Martin, Spring Arbor                 24:42
  4. Timothy Nelson, Wisconsin-Stout             24:49
  5. Donald Roys, Ohio State                     25:00
  6. Daryl Smith, Eastern Michigan               25:01
  7. Nick Pupino, Ohio State                     25:02
  8. Jake Isaacson, Grand Valley State           25:04
  9. Kyle Stacks, Central Michigan               25:07
 10. Ben Carruthers, Michigan State              25:10

Michigan Finishers

 22. James Yau, U-M                              25:27
 33. Matt Popielarz, U-M                         25:39
 41. Jeff Sattler, U-M                           25:44
 44. Dallas North, U-M                           25:48
 89. Nathan Karr, U-M                            26:24
108. Trevor Denton, U-M                          26:40
124. Justin Krauss, U-M                          26:54

U-M Head Coach Alex Gibby

On his thoughts on today's race … "With the group that we have here, they're either track related kids or they tend to be younger. For several of them, it's their first time in a Michigan uniform. We actually sent them out pretty controlled. They had strict guidance for the first two miles, so relative to the rest of the field, they were 30-40 seconds back from the lead pack at two miles. And then I thought they moved forward really well. James Yau ended up finishing among Ohio State and Michigan State's varsities. We're sitting out about 12-13 guys right now, getting ready for the University of Virginia next week. James probably isn't our 14th guy, he's probably higher after a race like today, but one, this speaks of our depth, and two, of the job he did today. Matt Popielarz also just got to the cusp of Michigan State's varsity and within Ohio State's varsity group so I was really pleased with his efforts. What we try to do with that initial structured two miles, was put them in a position where they were attacking through the line. With their first time at 8,000 meters, we didn’t want them to develop passive or defensive habits. It is September 14 and what we're trying to do is develop a process for being good later in the season."

On what he expects from the group running next weekend at Virginia … "I'd like to see the work we've done, not only over the last three to four months, but over the last couple of years reflected in their efforts. I'd like to see the mental discipline and the execution start to merge. I don't think we're going to be particularly sharp, but I think we're very fit, particularly in an aerobic sense. We're also facing some very good teams. It's the first weekend where NCAA at-large points start accumulating, so teams like Oklahoma and Arkansas certainly will be after it. They could be in a sharper state than us, but if we run well, we should be successful against programs like that."

U-M Junior/Sophomore James Yau

On the positive things he saw in the team's first 8K of the season … "The one thing we've noticed the past few weeks is that as we've been training, we've been able to work much more as a group and that's something we didn't see last year. The fact that we're able to start working together now is something that's going to be good for how we perform in the future. As far as running our first 8K today, it felt pretty good. We've been training really hard and this is the event that we've been training for. Just being able to get out and run the distance felt really good today. I ran the 8K last year a few times so the distance wasn't anything new. It's just good to actually run the distance."

Contact:Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423