Toeing the Line #7: U-M Set for NCAA Great Lakes Regional

Nov. 9, 2010

Saturday, Nov. 13 -- at NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Rochester, Mich.), 1:15 p.m.

The University of Michigan men's cross country team will resume competition at the 2010 NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Saturday (Nov. 13) in Rochester, Mich. Hosted by Oakland University, the 10,000-meter men's race is slated to begin at 1:15 p.m., at the OU Katke-Cousins Golf Course.

For more information about NCAA Great Lakes Regional, including a course video tour, please visit

Scouting the Field at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional
Thirty-one teams will compete at the 2010 NCAA Great Lakes Regional, including Big Ten rivals Michigan State, Indiana, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin. The top two teams and top four individuals who are not members of the top two teams (providing they finish in the top 25) will automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. On Sunday (Nov. 14), the NCAA will select 13 at-large teams and two at-large individuals from the NCAA's nine regions. Thirty-one teams and 38 individuals will qualify for the NCAA Division I Championships.

The Wolverines took 10th place at the 2009 NCAA Great Lakes Regional (259 points), scoring one runner in the top 30 at Indiana's Championship Cross Country Course. Peter Christmas led the Wolverines for the second time of the season, covering the 5.2-mile course in 31:54.16 en route to 29th place. Brendon Blacklaws and Brandon Fellows finished several steps back in 31st and 33rd place, respectively, clocking times of 31:56.75 and 32:00.80.

The Wolverines claimed the eighth spot at the Big Ten Championships on Sunday (Oct. 31) at Wisconsin's Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course. Junior Bobby Aprill and senior/junior Craig Forys placed seventh and 10th, respectively. Aprill paced the Wolverines for the second time this season, earning All-Big Ten first team accolades for his personal-best 23:50.9, while Forys claimed All-Big Ten second team honors in 23:57.6. It was the second time in three seasons that the Wolverines boasted a pair of top-10 Big Ten performers.


Bobby's World -- Junior Bobby Aprill paced the Wolverines to the finish line for the second time this season -- and fifth time in his career -- and earned All-Big Ten first team accolades with his seventh-place performance at the Big Ten Championships. Aprill clocked a personal-best time of 23:50.9, trimming 32 seconds from his previous 8,000-meter best, which came earlier this season at the NCAA Pre-Nationals on Oct. 16. Aprill also paced U-M at that event, taking 41st place with a time of 24:22.3.

May the Forys Be With You -- Despite a one-year layoff due to injury, senior/junior Craig Forys has picked up where he left off in his return to cross country competition, claiming 10th place at the Big Ten Championships en route to the second All-Big Ten second team distinction of his career. Forys crossed the line in 23:57.6, missing his personal best -- registered two seasons ago at the 2008 NCAA Pre-Nationals -- by just two seconds. Adding an 11th-place showing at the Cowboy Jamboree on Sept. 25, Forys owns 12 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. Three freshmen competed for the Wolverines at the Big Ten Championships on Oct. 31, including walk-ons Sean Bone (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion HS) and Morsi Rayyan (Dewitt, Mich./St. Johns HS), who placed 55th and 57th, respectively, to finish among Michigan's scoring top five. Bone clocked a significant personal best over the 8,000-meter course, crossing the line in 25:01.8 to trim 47 seconds from his previous best, while Rayyan posted a 25:06.5 showing.

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 last Tuesday (Nov. 2) by the United States Cross Country Coaches Association. U-M owns the No. 13 spot among the Great Lakes Region.

Saturday, Nov. 13 -- at NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Rochester, Mich.), 1:15 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 22 -- at NCAA Championships (Terra Haute, Ind.), 12:45 p.m.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423