Oct. 1, 2013
• Wolverine Spotlight: Ben Flanagan
• The Team Behind the Team: Academic Success Program
Friday, Oct. 4 -- at Notre Dame Blue and Gold Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 5 p.m.
For the second straight week, the 29th-ranked University of Michigan men's cross country team will take a road trip, this time going to South Bend, Ind., for the 58th annual Notre Dame Blue and Gold Invitational on Friday (Oct. 4). The men's 8,000-meter blue race will begin at 5 p.m. at the Notre Dame Golf Course.
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Race Day Information: Meet Information | Course Map
Wolverines in Action: Scotty Albaugh, Jarred Bratley, Nathan Karr, George Kelly, Alex Moran, Nick Posada, Jeff Sattler.
• Michigan will participate in the Notre Dame Blue and Gold Invitational for the second straight season, as the Wolverines finished 19th a year ago with 500 points. The Wolverines also competed in the Notre Dame Invite each season from 2005-08, with the best finish coming in 2006 (third). U-M placed second in 2002 and '03 and won a share of the team title in 1999.
• Sophomore Alex Moran (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) and junior/sophomore Jeff Sattler (Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center) were members of the Wolverines' squad at the 2012 Blue and Gold Invitational and will return for the Maize and Blue this season.
• The 29th-ranked Wolverines will be joined by seven other ranked programs at Notre Dame, including No. 7 Tulsa, No. 9 Princeton, No. 21 New Mexico, No. 22 Notre Dame, No. 24 Virginia, No. 26 Florida State and No. 30 Columbia. Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio State and Purdue will also join U-M from the Big Ten Conference.
• Michigan is ranked No. 29 in this week's USTFCCCA Coaches' Poll, falling one spot from a week ago. The Wolverines have been ranked in the nation's top 30 each week since the third regular-season poll of the 2011 season.
• Junior Mason Ferlic (St. Paul, Minn./Mounds Park Academy) was Michigan's top finisher for the first time in his career on Saturday (Sept. 28) at the Cowboy Jamboree, placing eighth in 24:49.77. Defending individual national champion Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech won the Jamboree title, while the next five finishers were members of the nation's top two ranked programs -- Oklahoma State and Northern Arizona.
• Four Wolverines made their collegiate debuts at the Cowboy Jamboree, including freshmen Ben Flanagan (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada/St. Mary's HS), Cory Glines (Canton, Ohio/St. Thomas Aquinas) and Connor Mora (Cedar Springs, Mich./Cedar Springs HS), as well as sophomore/freshman Nick Renberg (Saline, Mich./Saline). Flanagan was U-M's fifth scorer, while Glines, Renberg and Mora were the Wolverines' 6-7-8 finishers.
• Sophomore Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D./Rapid City Central) will not be competing at the Blue and Gold Invite, as he continues to transition back to distance running after competing for Team USA at the World Junior Triathlon Championships on Sept. 14 in London. He finished 42nd in his third appearance at the junior world event. Smoragiewicz was a member of U-M's squad at the Big Ten and NCAA Championships a year ago.
• Senior/junior James Yau (Troy, Mich./Troy) led Michigan in each of the first two meets this season. He earned his first collegiate victory at the 5K Michigan Open (Aug. 30) and took fifth at the 8K Purdue Invitational (Sept. 13) in a preview of the Big Ten Championships course against Purdue, Illinois and Ohio State.
• The 2013 roster features 14 returners from a year ago, including six that were members of the 2012 Big Ten runner-up team.
• Mark Beams and Morsi Rayyan are the two returning captains from the 2012 squad.
• Last season, Michigan constructed its most successful season since 2008, finishing runner-up at the Big Ten Championships and NCAA Great Lakes Regional. The Wolverines also qualified for the NCAA Championships as a team for the second consecutive year, placing 23rd. Mark Beams and Morsi Rayyan garnered All-Great Lakes Region and All-Big Ten second team accolades.
THE GIBBY FILES
• Head coach Alex Gibby is in his fourth year at the helm of the men's cross country program. In 2012, Gibby guided Michigan to its best season in four years, highlighted by runner-up finishes at the Big Ten Championships and NCAA Great Lakes Regional. He also helped Michigan qualify for the NCAA Championships as a team for the second straight year. Gibby has wasted no time taking the program to the next level as the Wolverines have improved their conference and regional finishes each year under his guidance. The 2012 season marked the first time since 2008 that the top five finishers at the regional meet all earned All-Great Lakes Region honors. At the 2012 Big Ten Championships, Gibby also produced three All-Big Ten performers for the first time since the 2008 season.
Annual Results During the Gibby Era
Saturday, Oct. 19 -- at Wisconsin adidas Invitational (Madison, Wis.), 12:40 p.m. CDT
Sunday, Nov. 3-- at Big Ten Championships (West Lafayette, Ind.), 10:45 a.m.
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423