Michigan Places 20th at NCAA Championships
Craig Forys

Nov. 21, 2011

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Site: Terre Haute, Ind. (Gibson Championship Course)
Meet: NCAA Championships
U-M Finish: 20th of 31 Teams (511 points)
Top U-M Individual: Craig Forys, 75th Place (30:37.3)
Next U-M Event: Season Complete

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- In its first NCAA Championships team appearance since 2008, the 17th-ranked University of Michigan men's cross country team wrapped up the 2011 campaign with a 20th-place showing (511 points) at the NCAA Championships, held Monday (Nov. 21) at the Gibson Championship Course. Wisconsin won the national championship with 97 points.

Michigan's 20th-place finish represents its highest finish since 2003 (ninth). Fifth-year senior Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) led the U-M contingent, finishing in 75th place (30:37.3), his highest finish in four career national championships appearances.

In addition to Forys, two runners also recorded top-150 finishes. Junior/sophomore Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College) finished 107th, with a season-best time of 30:50.5 (breaking his old 10,000-meter best of 31:55.1), while senior Bobby Aprill (Dexter, Mich./Dexter) was 134th (31:02.6).

Junior Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge) finished 161st (31:19.3), sophomore Morsi Rayyan (DeWitt, Mich./St. Johns) was 179th (31:19.3), sophomore Mark Beams (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg) was 204th (31:50.8), and freshman Mason Ferlic (St. Paul, Minn./Mounds Park Academy) was 252nd (33:12.3).

Michigan has completed its 2011 campaign, the second under head coach Alex Gibby. U-M earned a trio of third-place finishes this season -- Illinois Orange & Blue Preview, Big Ten Championships (tie) and NCAA Great Lakes Regional -- while winning the Florida Mountain Dew Invitational.

Team Standings

 1. Wisconsin                 97
 2. Oklahoma State           139
 3. Colorado                 144
 4. BYU                      203
 5. Stanford                 207
 6. Oklahoma                 213
 7. Indiana                  257
 8. Portland                 259
 9. Iona                     265
10. North Carolina State     282
20. MICHIGAN                 511

Top 10 Individuals

 1. Lawi Lalang, Arizona                 28:44.1
 2. Chris Derrick, Stanford              28:57.5
 3. Leonard Korir, Iona                  29:02.5
 4. Cameron Levins, Southern Utah        29:04.8
 5. Mohammed Ahmed, Wisconsin            29:06.7
 6. Luke Puskedra, Oregon                29:09.3
 7. Diego Estrada, Northern Arizona      29:24.7
 8. Richard Medina, Colorado             29:27.8
 9. Henry Lelei, Texas A&M               29:21.1
10. Colby Lowe, Oklahoma State           29:31.4

Michigan Finishes

 75. Craig Forys, U-M                    30:37.3
107. Brendon Blacklaws, U-M              30:50.5
134. Bobby Aprill, U-M                   31:02.6
161. Zach Ornelas, U-M                   31:19.3
179. Morsi Rayyan, U-M                   31:30.9
204. Mark Beams, U-M                     31:50.8
252. Mason Ferlic, U-M                   33:12.3


U-M Senior Craig Forys
On the team's performance ... "As a team, we definitely gritted our teeth and fought for our 20th place-finish today. If any one of us had given up, we would have been caught by several teams. That being said, we did not perform up to our capability, and it's going to leave a sour taste for all of us. Personally, I am a bit disappointed in my race but what brings a smile to my face is that Michigan cross country is making positive moves towards national relevancy. This was a nice forward step for our program, and I see all the right vital signs for continued improvement."