Feb. 2, 2013
SAINT LOUIS, Mo. -- Freshmen Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D./Rapid City Central) and Alex Moran (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) of the University of Michigan men's cross country team competed in the 2013 USA Cross Country Championships Junior 8K race on Saturday (Feb. 2).
Smoragiewicz finished 13th in a time of 25:09.9, while Moran completed the 8,000-meter course in 26:15.1 to place 38th.
The event served as the U.S. national team selection event for the men's and women's senior and junior teams. The top six finishers in each race earned a spot on Team USA for the IAAF Junior World Cross Country Championships, which will be held on March 24, 2013, in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Oklahoma State's Craig Nowak won the event in a time of 24:47.0.
The first chase pack, which consisted of nearly 30 runners, developed early, and Smoragiewicz remained in the front of that pack. Moran remained in the middle of that pack until roughly the 4K mark before falling off the pace.
By the 6K mark, the chase pack has decreased to about 15 runners, and Smoragiewicz continued to pace that group. Following a 21:50 7K split for the chase pack, the group began to thin out as the eventual top six finishers pulled away with about 800 meters to go. Smoragiewicz could not hold the pace and finished 13th overall, while Moran finished 38th in the field of 50 junior men's runners.
Smoragiewicz and Moran will now return to Ann Arbor to rejoin the Wolverines for the remainder of the indoor track and field season.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Alex Gibby
On Tony Smoragiewicz's performance today ... "Tony (Smoragiewicz) ran well in a tactical race that was relatively slow through the first 7K. He stripped the lead a little after 6K, trying to change things up and just couldn't separate and ended up being run down in the last 800 meters. He ran well, but you roll the dice in a field like this where the competition is fairly even, and he came out on the short side."
On Smoragiewicz and Moran benefiting from this experience ... "They got another shot at 8K, which is still a new event for them. The more times you get to see different types of races, the better. These kids have never seen a tactical cross country race. In high school, everyone goes from the gun, and that's it. So every chance you get to see something like this, you'll do it better the next time. Tony is obviously disappointed, and he can take pride in the fact that he competed well, but there is a learning curve to the sport."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423