Toeing the Line #1: Wolverines to Host Michigan Open to Start 2011
Alex Gibby

Aug. 30, 2011

Friday, Sept. 2 -- Michigan Open (Dexter, Mich.), 4:30 p.m.

The University of Michigan men's cross country team will kick off its 2011 season on Friday (Sept. 2), hosting the annual Michigan Open at Hudson Mills Metropark. The men's 5,000-meter race is slated for a 4:30 p.m. start.

Top Returning Times
8,000-Meter Run 10,000-Meter Run
Bobby Aprill 23:50.9 Craig Forys 30:29.14
Craig Forys 23:55.2 Bobby Aprill 30:49.56
Brendon Blacklaws 24:53.4 Brendon Blacklaws 31:56.75
Morsi Rayyan 24:55.4 Zach Ornelas 31:58.17
Sean Bone 25:01.8 Dallas Bowden 31:58.83
Zach Ornelas 25:11.6
Dallas Bowden 25:31.1
Mark Beams 25:48.6

Craig Forys, Senior
Senior Craig Foryspaced the Maize and Blue in a pair of events last season and was the only U-M runner to individually qualify for the 2010 NCAA Championships. He bosted his highest finish of the season at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, placing third with a personal-best 10,000 meter time of 30:29.14. He finished 10th at the 2010 Big Ten Championships to earn a spot on the All-Big Ten second team.

Familiar Faces -- The 2011 Wolverine lineup will feature a great deal of experience, boasting nine upperclassmen, including three seniors. U-M returns all its scorers from last season's squad, including two All-Big Ten selections in fifth-year senior Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck HS) and senior Bobby Aprill (Dexter, Mich./Dexter HS). Other returning Wolverine letterwinners include Big Ten meet participants Sean Bone (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion), sophomore Morsi Rayyan (Dewitt, Mich./St. Johns), junior Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge), sophomore Mark Beans (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg) and junior Dallas Bowden (Hastings, New Zealand/Nelson College).

Introducing the Newcomers -- After adding 14 new faces to the 2010 roster, the Wolverines welcome 13 freshmen to the 2011 men's cross country roster. Among the newcomers are a pair of notable additions in Mason Ferlic (St. Paul, Minn./Mounds Park Academy) and Scotty Albaugh (Waterford, Mich./Waterford Mott HS). Ferlic and Albaugh were both state cross country champions in their respective states in 2010.

Calling the Shots -- Head coach Alex Gibby enters the 2011 campaign in his second season at the helm of the men's cross country program. Under Gibby's direction, the Maize and Blue finished eighth at the 2010 Big Ten Championship and seventh at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional. In his first season, Gibby produced one NCAA Championships qualifier and guided two harriers to All-Big Ten honors. Prior to coming to Michigan, Gibby served as the head coach of the William and Mary men's cross country and track and field programs from 2003-10. Gibby paced the Tribe to four straight top-16 finishes at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, three NCAA Southeast Region titles and seven CAA cross country titles. In 2009, Gibby was honored as the Southeast Region Coach of the Year for the third time in his career (2005, '08, '09) after leading William and Mary to fifth place at the NCAA Championships.

Follow Michigan cross country/track on Twitter throughout the season. Sign up and follow the Wolverines (michigan_track) with up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond. Twitter is a free casual, online social network that is designed to connect businesses, organizations and individuals. Each Twitter post (or "tweet") can be received on a user's cell phone via text or on the web.

The Wolverines enter the 2011 campaign just outside the top 30, receiving 10 votes in the NCAA Division I cross country preseason poll, released Tuesday (Aug. 30) by the United States Cross Country Coaches Association. U-M also owns the fifth spot in the Great Lakes Region preseason poll.

Friday, Sept. 16 -- at at Illinois Orange and Blue Preview (Urbana, Ill.), 5:15 p.m. CDT
Saturday, Sept. 24 -- at Florida Mountain Dew Invitational (Gainesville, Fla.), 8 a.m.

Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 936-8746