Aprill, Forys Place in Top 10, U-M Finishes Eighth at Big Tens

Oct. 31, 2010

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Site: Madison, Wis. (Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course)
Meet: Big Ten Championships (8,000 meters)
U-M Finish: 8th of 10 Teams (185 points)
Top U-M Individual: Bobby Aprill, 7th (23:50.9)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Nov. 13 -- at NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Rochester, Mich.), 1:15 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. -- Junior Bobby Aprill (Dexter, Mich./Dexter HS) and senior/junior Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck HS) placed seventh and 10th, respectively, to headline the University of Michigan men's cross country team's eighth-place performance (185 points) at the Big Ten Championships on Sunday (Oct. 31) at Wisconsin's Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course. The Badgers won the event for the 12th consecutive year.

Aprill paced the Wolverines for the second time this season, earning All-Big Ten first team accolades with his seventh-place performance and personal-best 23:50.9 -- a 32-second improvement on his previous 8,000-meter best. Forys joined Aprill on the platform, claiming 10th place en route to the second All-Big Ten second team distinction of his career. Forys crossed the line in 23:57.6, missing his personal best -- registered two seasons ago at the 2008 NCAA Pre-Nationals -- by just two seconds. It was the second time in three seasons that the Wolverines boasted a pair of top-10 Big Ten performers.

The Wolverines' three additional scorers finished in quick succession, including freshmen Sean Bone (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion HS) and Morsi Rayyan (Dewitt, Mich./St. Johns HS), who placed 55th and 57th, respectively, in their first appearance at the Big Ten meet. Bone clocked a significant personal best over the 8,000-meter course, crossing the line in 25:01.8 to trim 47 seconds from his previous best, while Rayyan posted a 25:06.5 showing. Sophomore Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge HS) rounded out Michigan's scoring contingent, placing 65th with a time of 25:16.5 -- a three-second improvement on his season best.

The Wolverines will take a two-week break before continuing postseason competition at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Saturday, Nov. 13, at the Katke-Cousins Golf Course in Rochester, Mich. The men's 10,000-meter race is slated for a 1:15 p.m. start.

Team Standings

 1. Wisconsin         28
 2. Indiana           75
 3. Minnesota        101
 4. Penn State       128
 5. Michigan State   141
 6. Illinois         150
 7. Ohio State       164
 8. MICHIGAN         185
 9. Iowa             205
10. Purdue           212

Top 10 Individuals

 1. Landon Peacock, Wisconsin      23:40.8
 2. Andrew Bayer, Indiana          23:41.3
 3. Ben Blankenship, Minnesota     23:41.4
 4. Mohammed Ahmed, Wisconsin      23:42.7
 5. Elliot Krause, Wisconsin       23:43.0
 6. Maverick Darling, Wisconsin    23:50.8
 7. BOBBY APRILL, U-M              23:50.9
 8. Kyle Dawson, Penn State        23:53.9
 9. Jeff Thode, Iowa               23:55.6
10. CRAIG FORYS, U-M               23:57.6

Other Michigan Finishers

55. Sean Bone, U-M          25:01.8
57. Morsi Rayyan, U-M       25:06.5
65. Zach Ornelas, U-M       25:16.5
71. Dallas Bowden, U-M      25:31.1
81. Mark Beams, U-M         26:21.0


Michigan Head Coach Alex Gibby
On the Wolverines' effort ... "I was really pleased with Craig [Forys] and Bobby [Aprill]. They were involved the whole way and in terms of where we are right now, they pretty much maximized what they had. There were a few things, tactically, they could have done differently, but they essentially maximized. I'm also very pleased with the two walk-on freshmen -- Sean Bone and Morsi Rayyan. They both did a very good job. They just need another year or two of seasoning before they're going to be where exactly we want them to be in terms of Big Ten and NCAA-level productivity. Coming of the Pre-Nationals -- we definitely didn't perform there -- this is a definitive step forward in a lot of ways. However, we still need better results, particularly out of our sophomore class. They need to perform better and take some of the pressure off of these freshmen if we're going to be successful."

U-M Senior Craig Forys
On the race and U-M frontrunners ... "The whole field went out pretty slow. We were five minutes through the mile, and I would think the whole field was within about five seconds of each other at that point. It kind of took off between a mile and a half and three miles. A large group formed in front, and Bobby [Aprill] was right in the middle of that group, which was probably about 30-people strong, and I was tailing off the end of it. The pace kept picking up, and people kept dropping off. I kept moving up and Bobby was right there with the leaders until they made a huge move with 1,000 meters to go. That's where he lost connect with the front guys and just hung on to finish where he ended up."

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423