Sept. 13, 2013
Site: West Lafayette, Ind. (Boilermaker Cross Country Course)
Meet: Purdue Invitational (8,000 Meters)
U-M Team Finish: 3rd Place of 4 Teams (69 points)
Top U-M Individual: James Yau, 5th (24:55.7)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Sept. 28 -- at Cowboy Jamboree (Stillwater, Okla.), 9:45 a.m. CDT
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The University of Michigan men's cross country team finished third with 69 points at the 8,000-meter Purdue Invitational on Friday (Sept. 13) behind a fifth-place finish from senior/junior James Yau (Troy, Mich./Troy). Boilermaker Cross Country Course will also be the site of the Big Ten Championships, which will be hosted by Purdue on Sunday, Nov. 3.
Ohio State took the team title with 28 points, while Purdue finished runner-up with 76 points, and Illinois rounded out the four-team field with 76 total points.
Yau completed the first 8K race of the season in a time of 24:55.7, finishing as Michigan's top runner for the second straight meet. Junior/sophomore Nick Posada (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) also finished in the top 10, crossing the finish line seventh place in 25:04.7.
In his debut at 8,000 meters, sophomore/freshman George Kelly (Lincroft, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) finished just outside the top 10, in 12th place, in a time of 25:18.5. Senior Nathan Karr (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) (25:44.5) and junior/sophomore Jeff Sattler (Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center) (25:46.2) rounded out Michigan's top five finishing, 22nd and 23rd, respectively.
Sophomore/freshman Jarred Bratley (Andover, Mich./Andover) made his collegiate debut at Purdue, clocking a time of 26:08.9 to finish 29th. Sophomore Alex Moran (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) completed the seven-man lineup for the Wolverines, stopping the clock at 26:26.7, to secure the 35th spot.
Purdue's Matt McClintock won the individual title in 24:41.8.
The Wolverines will take a week off from competition before traveling to Stillwater, Okla., for the Cowboy Jamboree on Saturday, Sept. 28, at 9:45 a.m. CDT.
1. Ohio State 28 2. Purdue 49 3. MICHIGAN 69 4. Illinois 76
Top 10 Finishers
1. Matt McClintock, Purdue 24:41.8 2. Jordan Redd, Ohio State 24:50.9 3. Brian Hannaford, Ohio State 24:53.8 4. Nicholas Pupino, Ohio State 24:55.2 5. JAMES YAU, U-M 24:55.7 6. Caleb Kerr, Purdue 25:01.8 7. Nicholas Posada, U-M 25:04.7 8. Curtis Hanle, Ohio State 25:10.6 9. Brendan McDonnell, Illinois 25:12.0 10. Steven Stoot, Purdue 25:15.2
Other Michigan Finishers
12. George Kelly, U-M 25:18.5 22. Nathan Karr, U-M 25:44.5 23. Jeff Sattler, U-M 25:46.2 29. Jarred Bratley, U-M 26:08.9 35. Alex Moran, U-M 26:26.7
U-M Head Coach Alex Gibby
On the Big Ten course … "I feel it's a course that plays to our strengths more so than the last couple of courses we've run on. The last two years, Michigan State and Illinois have lacked defining features and those are two courses that have certainly allowed milers to stay involved in races a little longer. With the way Purdue is set up, I think it offers variety and there are a couple sections that we will repeat three times that will make it difficult for someone who isn't prepared appropriately to be successful. I think that fits very well for the strengths of our group."
On his expectations for the team today … "The race plan was simple -- we haven't taken a break in any sort of manner with training -- we didn't even take a normal easier day going into this meet. We had a relatively young crew and/or a group that has yet to demonstrate appropriate cross country accolades, so I wanted to see them run hard from the gun. I wanted to see them commit early and continue to make decision throughout, and I thought they did that really well. I think the only weak aspect of our racing right now is our finishing -- we put ourselves in good position, we just didn't pull the trigger in the last 200-400 meters on some of our opponents. I was pleased with our racing across the board, but I think we need to get a little more tactically efficient."
On James Yau's progression throughout his career … "Every year he has added something mentally or physically to his game. He is training as hard as anyone in our program right now. He is demonstrating a maturity that I've been impressed by and has he gets more and more comfortable attacking from the gun at 8,000 meters, he'll be able to use the background work he's worked hard over the years to establish. He's a guy that I think from now until the end of the year could see considerable advancement and probably even surprise himself."
U-M Junior/Sophomore James Yau
On getting a preview of Purdue's course … "Purdue's course is relatively flat; there are some rolling hills in the back. Today was a great opportunity for some of our younger guys and myself to get a feel for what the course might be like. It seems like it's a pretty flat course and it will be a fast race at Big Tens. I think it plays to our strengths -- we were talking to coach Gibby and saying that at the flat parts of the course, you can really get into a rhythm and the rolling parts in the back of the course are a make or break point. We think that we can really play to our strengths because it's a three lap course so once you're hitting those hills the second and third time, that's where our strength program really helps. As long as we stay focused and stay in the moment, we believe that this course can play to our strengths when Big Tens come around."
On executing the race plan today … "I think coach Gibby's plan for us today was to go out and get more experience. A lot of the guys today were milers, like George Kelly, and for Jarred Bratley this was his debut today. For Nick Posada and myself, it was a good chance to gain a little more experience and get a preview of the Big Ten course. Today's race was to build upon experience and practice what we learn in practice and stay focused throughout the race. Individually, I can tell I'm a different runner from last year. I felt in the moment and I felt strong. I was able to run a complete 8K as opposed to fading away at the end, so it was a really good stepping stone for me. I also thought Nick Posada ran great -- he ran with me the whole way and with his support and me supporting him, we were able to push each other through the finish. And the same with a lot of the younger guys; they were able to push each other. I think practicing running together as a team really helps us develop as athletes and will help us move forward."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423