Toeing the Line #2: Wolverines Saddle Up for Cowboy Jamboree

Sept. 21, 2010

Saturday, Sept. 25 -- at Cowboy Jamboree (Stillwater, Okla.), 9:45 a.m. CDT

After a three-week hiatus, the University of Michigan men's cross country team will resume competition at the annual Cowboy Jamboree on Saturday (Sept. 25) at Oklahoma State 's OSU Cross Country Course in Stillwater, Okla. The 8,000-meter men's race is slated for a 9:45 a.m. CDT start.

U-M will send eight runners to the race -- junior Bobby Aprill, freshman Sean Bone, sophomore Dallas Bowden, senior/junior Craig Forys, junior/sophomore Derek Henning, freshman Nathan Karr, freshman Nick Kern, sophomore Zach Ornelas. All but Henning will be making their season debut.

For more information about 74th annual Cowboy Jamboree, including course map, please visit

Top Returning Times
8,000-Meter Run 10,000-Meter Run
Craig Forys 23:55.2 Craig Forys 31:07.73
Bobby Aprill 24:30 Bobby Aprill 31:32
Brendon Blacklaws 24:53.4 Brendon Blacklaws 31:56.75
Zach Ornelas 25:11.6 Zach Ornelas 32:50.05
Dan Tyler 25:56.7
Geoff Burns 26:08.9

The Wolverines kicked off their 2010 campaign at the annual Michigan Open on Sept. 3 with all five U-M competitors placing among the race's top-five finishers. Junior/sophomore Derek Henning (Alanson, Mich./Petoskey HS) led the field to the finish line, earning his first collegiate win with a time of 16:00. Junior/sophomore Geoff Burns (Traverse City, Mich./West HS) and sophomore Dallas Bowden (Hastings, New Zealand/Nelson College) crossed the finish line together -- separated by just 0.29 seconds -- in second and third position, respectively, while junior Nick Thomas (West Bloomfield, Mich./Brother Rice HS) clocked 16:19 to place fourth in his U-M cross country debut. Sophomore Dan Tyler (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven HS) rounded out the Wolverines' competitors in fifth place at 16:25.

Familiar Faces -- While the 2010 Wolverine lineup includes no seniors and just three juniors, U-M returns eight letterwinners from last season's squad, including two All-Big Ten selections in senior/junior Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck HS) and sophomore Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College). Other returning Wolverine letterwinners include Big Ten meet participants junior Bobby Aprill (Dexter, Mich./Dexter HS), sophomore Dallas Bowden (Hastings, New Zealand/Nelson College), junior/sophomore Geoff Burns (Traverse City, Mich./West HS), junior/sophomore Derek Henning (Alanson, Mich./Petoskey HS), sophomore Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge HS) and sophomore Dan Tyler (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven HS).

Introducing the Newcomers -- The Wolverines add 14 new faces to the 2009 men's cross country roster -- 13 freshmen as well as an addition from the track and field team. Among the newcomers are a trio of local freshmen -- Nathan Karr (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS), Adam Kern (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) and Nick Kern (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) -- who all posted back-to-back top-30 finishes to guide Pioneer High School to the 2008 state title and 2009 state runner-up honors. On the track, freshman James Yau (Troy, Mich./Troy HS) is a two-time high school All-American, placing in the distance medley relay and 4xMile at the Nike Indoor Nationals, while junior Nick Thomas (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Brother Rice HS) joins the harriers from the Wolverine track team; Thomas was a Nike Outdoor All-American in 800m during his high school tenure.

Calling the Shots -- Head coach Alex Gibby was announced as the eighth head coach in Michigan men's cross country program history on July 29, 2010, and enters his first season with the Maize and Blue. As head coach of the William and Mary men's cross country and track and field programs (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. Last fall, 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 -- the second-best showing in Tribe program history -- and three individual All-Americans. He is also a seven-time CAA Coach of the Year recipient.

Michigan cross country/track is now on Twitter. 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 remain just outside of the top 30 in the latest NCAA Division I cross country poll, released Tuesday (Sept. 21) by the United States Cross Country Coaches Association. U-M owns the eighth spot among the Great Lakes Region.

Saturday, Oct. 2 -- at Wisconsin adidas Invitational (Madison, Wis.), 11 a.m. CDT
Saturday, Oct. 16 -- at NCAA Pre Nationals (Terre Haute, Ind.), 11 a.m.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423