Oct. 19, 2013
Site: Madison, Wis. (Zimmer Championship Course)
Meet: Wisconsin adidas Invitational (8,000 Meters)
U-M Team Finish: 9th Place of 35 Teams (324 points)
Top U-M Individual: Mason Ferlic, 12th (23:35)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Nov. 3 -- at Big Ten Championships (West Lafayette, Ind.), 10:45 a.m.
MADISON, Wis. -- The University of Michigan men's cross country ran to a ninth-place finish with 324 points at the fifth annual Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Saturday (Oct. 19) at the Zimmer Championship Course. Junior captain Mason Ferlic (St. Paul, Minn./Mounds Park Academy) paced U-M's nine-man squad to the finish line within a 55-second split, while the Maize and Blue's five scorers finished within an 48-second span.
No. 3 Northern Arizona won the team title with 121 points, while Arkansas' Kemoy Campbell claimed the individual crown in 23:12.
Ferlic established himself early in the 35-team field, which featured 19 of the nation's top teams and 288 runners. He finished just two seconds outside of the top 10, placing 12th in a time of 23:35.
U-M's senior captains Mark Beams (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg) and Morsi Rayyan (Dewitt, Mich./St. Johns) were Michigan's second and third scorers, finishing 38th and 76th, respectively, in times of 23:55 and 24:13.
Michigan's fourth through ninth runners followed within a 10-second split, as freshman Cory Glines (Canton, Ohio/St. Thomas Aquinas) and senior/junior James Yau (Troy, Mich./Troy) secured the Wolverines' final two scoring positions. Glines clocked a time of 24:20 to place 95th, while Yau stopped the clock at 24:23 to finish 105th.
Junior/sophomore August Pappas (Chelsea, Mich./Chelsea) (24:24) and sophomore/freshman Nick Renberg (Saline, Mich./Saline) (24:25) were separated by just one second, finishing 108th and 112th, respectively.
Rounding out Michigan's nine-man squad were freshmen Connor Mora (Cedar Springs, Mich./Cedar Springs HS) (24:27) and Ben Flanagan (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada/St. Mary's HS) (24:30), who secured the 118th and 127th spots, respectively.
Four Wolverines represented Michigan in the open race, led by junior/sophomore Nick Posada's (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) ninth-place effort in a time of 24:42.
The Wolverines will begin the championship portion of their season on Sunday, Nov. 3, at the Big Ten Championships, which will be hosted by Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. The men's 8K race is slated to begin at 10:45 a.m.
MEN'S 8K CHAMPIONSHIP RACE
Top 10 Team Finishes
1. Northern Arizona 121 2. BYU 174 3. Portland 216 4. Wisconsin 217 5. New Mexico 252 6. Columbia 261 7. Arkansas 266 8. Syracuse 307 9. MICHIGAN 324 10. Eastern Kentucky 334
Top 10 Finishers
1. Kemoy Campbell, Arkansas 23:12 2. Maksim Korolev, Harvard 23:14 3. Andrew Colley, North Carolina St. 23:16 4. Aaron Nelson, Washington 23:26 5. Soufiane Bouchikhi, Eastern Kentucky 23:27 6. Futsum Zienasellassie, Northern Arizona 23:29 7. Luke Caldwell, New Mexico 23:30 8. Jason Witt, BYU 23:32 9. Shane Quinn, Providence 23:32 10. James Leakos, Harvard 23:33
12. Mason Ferlic, U-M 23:35 38. Mark Beams, U-M 23:55 76. Morsi Rayyan, U-M 24:13 95. Cory Glines, U-M 24:20 105. James Yau, U-M 24:23 108. August Pappas, U-M 24:24 112. Nick Renberg, U-M 24:25 118. Connor Mora, U-M 24:27 127. Ben Flanagan, U-M 24:30
MEN'S 8K OPEN B RACE
Top 10 Finishers
1. Nick Happe, Unattached 24:21 2. Joel Hubbard, Syracuse 24:31 3. Dylan Shawhan, BYU 24:32 4. Joe Kush, Syracuse 24:33 5. Tim Ball, Notre Dame 24:34 6. Andrew Bennison, Syracuse 24:34 7. Michael Jacobs, North Carolina 24:41 8. Nicholas Plumb, BYU 24:41 9. Nick Posada, U-M 24:42 10. Edward Kemboi, Iowa State 24:43
Other Michigan Finishers
23. Nathan Karr, U-M 25:14 29. Scotty Albaugh, U-M 25:21 32. George Kelly, U-M 25:30
N O T E S
• Mason Ferlic has been Michigan's top finisher in each of the two races that the varsity squad has competed in this season.
• Unranked Michigan finished ahead of 12 teams that were ranked in the most-recent USTFCCCA Top 30 poll.
• Today's race served as a preview of the regional course, as Wisconsin will also host the NCAA Great Lakes Regional for the second straight year on Nov. 15.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Alex Gibby
On how the team performed in the regular-season finale ... "Relative to Oklahoma State, we were a lot more aggressive and a lot more assertive in the early going. It was certainly a better race than Oklahoma State, but we still were a little bit sloppy in the last mile or mile and a half of the effort. We allowed some slippage in team spots. I thought it was a good race, but I think if we're going to contend for a Big Ten title in two weeks, we're going to have to be a lot more sharp on the back end if we're out that aggressively. It was certainly a step forward, and overall I was very pleased with the effort of the guys."
On how the race played out ... "Last year, with the exception of Dan Lowry, we were out pretty slow and had to really do a lot of work in the middle of the race to get ourselves in position. This year, we were really assertive through two miles, and even through 5K we were fourth in the race. We just weren't necessarily used to that sensation. We were out, we were established and in good working groups, and we just never really bit into the effort. We allowed a guy here or a guy there to slip by. Unfortunately, Morsi (Rayyan) had a little bit of an issue with some rib pain that limited him, but still in general we just never quite connected with the last eight to 10 minutes of running. When we do that, we're going to be pretty good and be pretty hard to beat. With the nature of the race, it's hard to connect. In the past, we've been a really strong pack, and we never really got that going; there were more singular efforts. Because of the depth of the field we couldn't see each other as much as we normally would, and that will be a much different dynamic at the Big Ten meet."
On the depth of the squad ... "We do have quite a bit of depth and several guys who can step up -- and we're going to need them to. Our depth is pleasing development in a sense that we've got nine or 10 guys who can solve our problems right now. But I think our depth right now is a little bit more of complacency than of guys attacking, and that's probably symptomatic of a young team. We're putting three freshmen out there who have come through a very hard series of training since Oklahoma State. They're more fit than they were three weeks ago, but they're a little bit extended physically. You never know quite what you're going to get at this point in the season -- it's too early to rest them, but at the same point freshmen tend to get a little disjointed when they're not feeling particularly well and they're competing at 8,000 meters. I was pleased with that group, but I think there is a lot more we can add with that group at the Big Ten meet that we didn't this week. Our depth is a reassurance, but we have to use it from a positive standpoint, and once we do that we're really going to click."
U-M Junior Mason Ferlic
On the today's race played out for him ... "The start was good -- I got out pretty aggressive. Wisconsin is notorious for a lot of people converging on this bottle neck in the first quarter mile. Last year, the entire Texas team went down, and people got trampled. So basically I wanted to get away from the crowd and go out a little harder to avoid the congestion. There are 35 teams and with nine people on a team, you can imagine how crowded it gets. I got into a good position, and Morsi (Rayyan) and (Mark) Beams were right behind me, which was good. We actually went through the mile a lot quicker than we expected -- it ended up being about 4:45. From previous years, that was pretty quick, and we knew it was going to be a quick race at that point. I tried to stay relaxed and got into a rhythm after the mile. I moved my way up into the secondary front pack with about 15 guys and settled in and tried to stay out of trouble for the first 5K. About 5K-7K, a hand full of people from our pack started to move. We started to roll, and I felt really strong and quick. I felt in control of my own race, and the plan was to finish hard. The last K didn't go quite as well as I wanted it to -- I'd say the finish was probably the weakest part of my race. I made a slight move with about a K to go, but didn't really commit all the way, and I ended up not kicking as hard as I wanted to and finished 12th. Overall, I'd way I was happy with the race. It was a huge step forward. I felt really fit and felt like I really got in there and competed."
On the depth of the team ... "I think it makes Coach Gibby's job harder when he has to decide the Big Ten squad, but it's great for racing and for training to have nine to 12 guys around the same level, all at the same level of intensity and commitment. It's really exciting and we really saw that in the race today. We were the second-deepest team if you score all nine runners, just outside of BYU. That's really cool that even though we got ninth as a team, if we would have scored nine, we would have come in second. It's really fun to have that pack behind you so close and have a small spread one through five and one through seven."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423