Toeing the Line #5: Wolverines Prep for EMU Fall Classic

Oct. 19, 2010


Saturday, Oct. 23 -- at EMU Fall Classic (Dexter, Mich.), 10 a.m.

The University of Michigan men's cross country team will send seven runners to the annual EMU Fall Classic on Saturday (Oct.23) at Hudson Mills Metropark in Dexter, Mich. In their final tune-up prior to the postseason, the Wolverines will compete in the 10,000-meter race, which is slated for a 10 a.m. start.

The Wolverine lineup will feature junior/sophomore Geoff Burns, freshman Garrett Cullen, freshman Nathan Karr, freshman Adam Kern, freshman Nick Kern, freshman Matt Popielarz and junior Nick Thomas.

Among the teams slated to appear at the EMU Classic are Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Kent State, Toledo, Ferris State and Oakland. For more information, including directions to Hudson Mills Metropark, please visit

Running a combined team for the first time this season, the Wolverines took 23rd place (595 points) in the blue race at the NCAA Pre-Nationals (Oct. 16). Michigan's upperclassman duo of junior Bobby Aprill (Dexter, Mich./Dexter HS) and senior/junior Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck HS) headlined the U-M performance with 41st- and 58th-place finishes, respectively.

Bobby's World -- Junior Bobby Aprill paced the Wolverines to the finish line for the first time this season -- and fourth time in his career -- with a 41st-place finish and career-best time of 24:22.3 at the NCAA Pre-Nationals (Oct. 16). Aprill's effort shaved eight seconds from his previous best time, which he registered two seasons ago at the Notre Dame Invitational.

May the Forys Be With You -- Despite a one-year layoff due to injury, senior/junior Craig Forys picked up where he left off in his return to cross country competition, turning in a solid 11th-place finish to pace the Wolverines at the Cowboy Jamboree on Sept 25. It was the second time in his career that Forys crossed line as U-M's top finisher, adding to a seventh-place performance at the 2007 Big Ten Championships. The Wolverine junior owns 11 top-15 showings in his collegiate career, including four finishes among the top five.

Phenomenal Freshmen -- Eight newcomers have made their collegiate debuts for the Maize and Blue this season. Six freshmen competed for the Wolverines at last weekend's NCAA Pre-Nationals on Oct. 16, including Sean Bone (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion HS) and Adam Kerns (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS), who placed 178th and 179th, respectively, to finish among Michigan's scoring five. Both rookies posted career days as Bone registered a time of 25:48.2 to trim 29 from his previous personal best and Kern shaved 26 seconds from his best with a time of 25:49.1.

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 (Oct. 19) by the United States Cross Country Coaches Association. U-M owns the 11th spot among the Great Lakes Region.

Sunday, Oct. 31 -- at Big Ten Championships (Madison, Wis.), 11:45 a.m. CDT
Saturday, Nov. 13 -- at NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Rochester, Mich.), 1:15 p.m.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423