Wolverines Secure Runner-up Finish at Regionals
Dan Lowry

Nov. 9, 2012

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Site: Madison, Wis. (Zimmer Championship Course)
Meet: NCAA Great Lakes Regional (10,000 Meters)
U-M Finish: 2nd of 30 Teams (73 points)
Top U-M Individual: Dan Lowry, 3rd (30:46)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Nov. 17 -- at NCAA Championships (Louisville, Ky.), 1:15 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. -- The 12th-ranked University of Michigan men's cross country team finished runner up
at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Friday (Nov. 9) at Wisconsin's Zimmer Championship Course. All five Wolverine scorers finished within the top 25 runners to tally 73 points. Each also earned a spot on the All-Great Lakes Region team.

Defending national champion Wisconsin won its 11th straight regional title with 43 points, while Indiana rounded out the top three with 107 points.

Senior Dan Lowry (Philadelphia, Pa./ La Salle College) led the Wolverines with a third-place finish in a time of 30:46.

After running together the majority of the race, junior Mark Beams (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg) and Senior/junior Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College)were Michigan's next two scorers, finishing 13th and 14th, respectively. Beams clocked a time of 31:24, while Blacklaws finished the 10,000-meter course in 31:27.

Junior Morsi Rayyan (Dewitt, Mich./St. Johns) placed 19th overall in a time of 31:38 and senior Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge) rounded out the top five, taking 24th in 31:46.

Junior/sophomores James Yau (Troy, Mich./Troy) and Nick Kern (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) were also members of U-M's regional squad, placing 58th and 116th, respectively, in times of 32:26 and 33:33. It marked the first championship race of the season for Kern.

The Wolverines will conclude their season at the NCAA Championships on Saturday, Nov. 17, at Louisville's E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park. The race is set for a 1:15 p.m. start.

Team Standings

 1. Wisconsin                 43
 2. MICHIGAN                  73
 3. Indiana                  107
 4. Michigan State           113
 5. Notre Dame               122
 6. Miami (Ohio)             214
 7. Purdue                   215
 8. Ohio State               269
 9. Butler                   287
10. Indiana State            316

Top 10 Finishers

 1. Mohammed Ahmed, Wisconsin             30:37
 2. Zachary Mayhew, Indiana               30:43
 3. DAN LOWRY, U-M                        30:46
 4. Andrew Bayer, Indiana                 30:46
 5. Maverick Darling, Wisconsin           30:47
 6. Reed Connor, Wisconsin                30:53
 7. John Mascari, Indiana State           30:56
 8. Matt McClintock, Purdue               30:57
 9. Martin Grady, Notre Dame              31:02
10. Michael Heller, Kent State            31:07

Other U-M Finishers

 13. Mark Beams, U-M                      31:24
 14. Brendon Blacklaws, U-M               31:27
 19. Morsi Rayyan, U-M                    31:38
 24. Zach Ornelas, U-M                    31:46
 58. James Yau, U-M                       32:26
116. Nick Kern, U-M                       33:33


• Michigan's second-place finish is its highest since 2008 when the Wolverines also finished second.

• Michigan has improved its finish in each of the last two years under head coach Alex Gibby's guidance, finishing seventh in 2010, third in 2011 and second in 2012.

• It marked the second straight All-Great Region honor for Brendon Blacklaws and first career regional award for Dan Lowry, Marks Beams, Morsi Rayyan and Zach Ornelas.

• The top six runners at the regional meet, matched the top six from the Big Ten Championships two weeks ago. At today's regional, Dan Lowry finished ahead of Indiana's Andrew Bayer and Wisconsin's Maverick Darling, who each topped him at the Big Ten meet.


Michigan Head Coach Alex Gibby
On the 10,000-meter distance benefiting the team ... "We looked really composed at 10,000 meters. I think the distance benefits us -- we have a lot more time to solve our problems and it gives us a little more patience in setting up the race. With the exception of Brendon Blacklaws, four of our top five guys are 10,000-meter runners, so that certainly works to our benefit. I was pleased -- we were a little off tactically in a sense that we couldn't get Morsi (Rayyan) connected with Mark (Beams) and Brendon, who ran really well together. If we do that, that's probably as good as we could have done today."

On what he's looking for over the next week ... "The first thing we want to do is enjoy the moment for a few more hours, but get ourselves under control emotionally and start thinking about what we want to do from a mental prospective at the NCAAs and recover from this physically. If we're in control of those things, we've got a good group, especially when we add freshman Tony Smoragiewicz back into the mix. Our goal at the NCAAs is to run our best race, to be patient in our execution and of course when the time comes, we have to flip the switch. If we do that, we're going to take advantage of teams that have arrived at this part of the season maybe a little bit sloppy physically and a little tired mentally. We certainly have to take advantage of those groups."

On being excited with the performance, but not content ... "I'm not excited yet because if we follow through with what we've done all season at the NCAA Championships and earn the spot that these guys are capable of achieving, then of course I'll be excited for them. But right now, it's all business. Our season is three races within 19 or 20 days during the championship season and it's not good enough to go two-thirds of the way. If we want to be one of the top programs in the country, we need to perform each and every time out in a greater and greater level."

Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423