U-M Places Seventh in Field of 20 Ranked Teams at Wisconsin
Dan Lowry

Oct. 12, 2012

Site: Madison, Wis. (Zimmer Championship Course)
Meet: Wisconsin adidas Invitational (8,000 Meters)
U-M Finish: 7th of 45 Teams (338 points)
Top U-M Individual: Dan Lowry, 11th (23:37)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Oct. 19 -- at EMU Fall Classic (Dexter, Mich.), 5 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. -- The 24th-ranked University of Michigan men's cross country team finished seventh at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Friday (Oct. 12) at Wisconsin's Zimmer Championship Course. U-M tallied 338 total points to finish ahead of seven teams with a higher national ranking. The Wolverines topped all other Big Ten teams in action, including top-ranked Wisconsin and No. 16 Minnesota.

All seven of Michigan's harriers ran personal-best 8,000-meter times, leading the Wolverines to their best team finish at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational in the last four consecutive years they have competed there.

Senior Dan Lowry (Philadelphia, Pa./ La Salle College) was the top finisher for the Maize and Blue, finishing just one second outside the top 10 in 11th place, clocking a time of 23:37.

Michigan's next two finishers were separated by just six seconds -- junior Mark Beams (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg) placed 54th in a time of 24:01, while senior Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge) took 68th in 24:07.

Junior Morsi Rayyan (Dewitt, Mich./St. Johns) stopped the watch at 24:14 to place 92nd and senior/junior Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College) finished 127th in 24:24 to round out U-M's five scorers.

Freshman Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D./Rapid City Central) and sophomore/freshman Nick Posada (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) were also members of Michigan's top seven. Smoragiewicz ran 24:45 to finish 201st, while Posada took 276th in a time of 25:32.

Zimmer Championship Course will also serve as the site of the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Nov. 9.

The Wolverines will wrap up the regular season next Friday (Oct. 19) with the EMU Fall Classic at 5 p.m at Hudson Mills Metropark in Dexter, Mich. The postseason will kick off at the Big Ten Championships on Sunday, Oct. 28, at Michigan State.

Team Standings (Top 10)

 1. Standord                     135
 2. Iona                         145
 3. Oklahoma                     166
 4. Texas                        267
 5. Arkansas                     308
 5. Columbia                     308
 7. MICHIGAN                     338
 8. New Mexico                   350
 9. Eastern Kentucky             379
10. UCLA                         381

Top 10 Finishers

  1. Lawi Lalang, Arizona                23:03
  2. Stephen Sambu, Arizona              23:07
  3. Matt Gillespie, Iona                23:25
  4. Henry Lelei, Texas A&M              23:26
  5. Maverick Darling, Wisconsin         23:28
  6. Zachary Mayhew, Indiana             23:31
  7. Patrick Casey, Oklahoma             23:34
  8. Mitch Goose, Iona                   23:35
  9. Eric Fernandez, Arkansas            23:36
 10. Ben Toroitich, Eastern Kentucky     23:36

Michigan Finishers

 11. Dan Lowry, U-M                      23:37
 54. Mark Beams, U-M                     24:01
 68. Zach Ornelas, U-M                   24:07
 92. Morsi Rayyan, U-M                   24:14
127. Brendon Blacklaws, U-M              24:24
201. Tony Smoragiewicz, U-M              24:45
276. Nick Posada, U-M 25:32


Michigan Head Coach Alex Gibby
On his overall thoughts on finishing seventh ... "I was pretty pleased with the race. Tactically we were able to do some things in terms of grouping up that we weren't at Virginia. However, it was a very big field and we got out very slow if you look at our intermediate splits versus where we ended up. We, probably as much as any team in the field, were coming from behind and running through the field to get to where we ended up. So there are certainly tactical things we can sharpen up going in to our championship portion of the season."

On individual performances today ... "Dan Lowry recovered well from a slow start and finished just out of the top 10. Mark Beams continued his outstanding season. Zach Ornelas took a big step forward from UVA. Morsi (Rayyan) is traditionally a late-season runner. This was a much better result for him than last year, but he has a lot of improvement left in him, which is pretty encouraging. And Brendon Blacklaws was a little under the weather, so when we get Brendon lined up I think we're much better off. We've got a lot of things that we need to sharpen in the next two weeks, before we start maximizing our performances."

On if today's performance was something he expected from the team ... "Where we are right now is a direct product of what we got done last year in terms of development with certain personnel, between both cross country and outdoor track. Combined with the fact that they came back from the summer very well prepared, this has been building for a while. We're certainly capable of putting together a much sharper effort, but this was a good effort and it's one we've seen coming for the last six to eight weeks."

Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423