Third-Place Forys Earns NCAA Trip, U-M Places Seventh at NCAA Regional

Nov. 13, 2010

Site: Rochester, Mich. (Katke-Cousins Golf Course)
Meet: NCAA Great Lakes Regional (10,000 meters)
U-M Finish: 7th of 31 Teams (226 points)
Top U-M Individual: Craig Forys, 3rd (30:29.14)
Next U-M Event: Monday, Nov. 22 -- at NCAA Championships (Terre Haute, Ind.), 12:45 p.m.

ROCHESTER, Mich. -- Senior/junior Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck HS) claimed third place to individually qualify for the NCAA Championships as the University of Michigan men's cross country team took seventh place (226 points) at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Saturday (Nov. 13) at the Katke-Cousins Golf Course.

Competing in his first 10,000-meter race of the season, Forys made his way up through the pack to earn the fifth top-10 finish of his career, clocking a personal-best 30:29.14 -- a 41-second improvement on his previous best time. A slow opening pace resulted in a congested pack up front through the early portion of the race until Dayton's Chris Lemon took off around the 3,000-meter mark, creating significant separation from the rest of the field. Forys and junior Bobby Aprill (Dexter, Mich./Dexter HS) remained among the leaders in the first chase pack, with Aprill running around the fifth position and Forys near the 10th spot.

The chase pack finally caught up with Lemon to provide a 10-man race for the top spot over the last 1,000 meters. Forys emerged in second place down the final straightaway, where he was nipped just before the finish line by Wisconsin's Reed Connor to settle for third place.

Aprill also secured All-Great Lakes Region accolades with a 21st-place effort, registering a personal-best time of 30:49.56 -- almost a two-minute improvement over his previous 10,000-meter best. Sophomore Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge HS), sophomore Dallas Bowden (Hastings, New Zealand/Nelson College) and freshman Morsi Rayyan (Dewitt, Mich./St. Johns HS) rounded out Michigan's scorers, finishing 63rd, 67th and 72nd, respectively.

The NCAA Championships will be held Monday, Nov. 22, in Terre Haute, Ind. The 10,000-meter men's race will start at 12:45 p.m. at the Lavern Gibson Championship Course.

Top 10 Teams

 1. Wisconsin         32
 2. Indiana           76
 3. Notre Dame       117
 4. Ohio State       131
 5. Michigan State   148
 6. Butler           219
 7. MICHIGAN         226
 8. Purdue           229
 9. Cincinnati       277
10. Marquette        281

Top 10 Individuals

 1. Eric Finan, Cincinnati         30:25.34
 2. Reed Connor, Wisconsin         30:28.70
 3. CRAIG FORYS, U-M               30:29.14
 4. Dan Jackson, Notre Dame        30:31.11
 5. Chris Lemon, Dayton            30:31.51
 6. Maverick Darling, Wisconsin    30:31.61
 7. Elliot Krause, Wisconsin       30:31.79
 8. Mohammed Ahmed, Wisconsin      30:31.85
 9. Landon Peacock, Wisconsin      30:32.02
10. Andrew Poore, Indiana          30:32.32

Other Michigan Finishers

 21. Bobby Aprill, U-M    30:49.56
 63. Zach Ornelas, U-M    31:58.17
 67. Dallas Bowden, U-M   31:58.83
 72. Morsi Rayyan, U-M    32:05.12
133. Derek Henning, U-M   33:15.38
153. Sean Bone, U-M       33:36.55


Michigan Head Coach Alex Gibby
On Michigan's all-region runners ... "Coming into the meet, we thought we had two kids -- Bobby [Aprill] and Craig [Forys] -- who had outstanding shots as individuals based on what they did at Big Tens. Unfortunately, over 10,000 meters in November and with only four slots available for individuals, it is a little bit of a crap shoot. You could get a different result on a different day. So, I prepared myself for the fact that it'd probably take a miracle to get two guys on the same day. I give a lot of credit to Craig. He was on the ropes at 8,000 meters and found a way to get himself back in it and almost ended up with the individual victory, which was a far cry from last year when he was sitting on the sideline hurt and watching the race. Bobby suffered a bit after he broke off from the group, but he ended up in 21st, which was his top all-region honor. As a team, we ended up in seventh, which in the long run isn't where we want to be, but in the short term is certainly a big step forward from where we were at the Big Ten meet."

U-M Senior/Junior Craig Forys
On his race ... "It's been a long time coming. Dealing with injuries is never fun, and it was a long process coming back. I got better and better this season and taking 10th at the Big Ten meet gave me a confidence boost. I was in position today to do it; I just put it together on the right day. I just kind of hung on and kept contact in the last 2,000 meters. The main group that I needed to be with was about 20 meters ahead of me, and I just needed to keep in contact with them. With about 700 or 800 to go, I made a really strong move, and I was able to catch them. As soon as I caught them, I just kept going, because there was no reason to slow the rhythm down; I was already moving forward."

On his preparation for the NCAA meet ... "Well, it will be a little different, because these guys will be winding down from the season. But we'll keep everything as normal as possible. I'm sure Gibby has a routine that he likes to put his athletes through. We'll cut back on mileage a bit but just try to stay sharp and recover, because today will take a little bit out of me. I'll feel this for a few days."

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423