Three Wolverines in Top 25 Land U-M Third at Great Lakes Regional

Three Wolverines in Top 25 Land U-M Third at Great Lakes Regional

Provided by U of M

Site: Ottawa Park Golf Course (Toledo, Ohio)
Meet: NCAA Great Lakes Regional (10,000 Meters)
U-M Finish: 3rd Place of 31 teams (104 points) 
Top U-M Individual: Craig Forys, 3rd (30:12.1)
Next U-M Event: Monday, Nov. 21 -- at NCAA Championships (Terre Haute, Ind.), 12:08 p.m.

TOLEDO, Ohio -- The 19th-ranked University of Michigan men's cross country team utilized three top-25 performances to take third at the 2011 NCAA Great Lakes Regional, hosted by the University of Toledo on Saturday (Nov. 12) at Ottawa Park Golf Course.

Fifth-year senior Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) started the race conservatively and made his move to the front of the pack slowly. By the 6,000-meter mark, he settled in with several other lead runners, including three teammates: senior Bobby Aprill (Dexter, Mich./Dexter HS), junior/sophomore Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College) and junior Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge HS).

At the 7,000-meter mark, Forys and three others pulled away from the large lead pack. Coming down the final straight away to the finish, Forys and Central Michigan's Tecumseh Adams were neck and neck, but Forys pushed across the line 0.7 seconds faster to secure the third spot in 30:12.1. Forys' third-place performance guarantees him an individual trip to nationals, regardless of Michigan's team outcome.

Aprill also necked out a close finish ahead of Notre Dame's Jordan Carlson by 0.8 seconds to place 14th in 30:37.1. Michigan's third and fourth scorers were separated by just 0.2 seconds. Blacklaws crossed the line 25th in 30:55.1, followed by Ornelas at 30:55.3.

Forys, Aprill and Blacklaws each earned All-Great Lakes Region for their top-25 performances.

Sophomore Morsi Rayyan (Dewitt, Mich./St. Johns) rounded out U-M scorers in the 36th spot with a time of 31:08.1.

All five Michigan scores recorded personal-best 10,000-meter times en route to the third-place finish.

Wisconsin claimed the team title with 50 points, while Indiana took second with 70 points. The Wolverines recorded 104 total points. Butler's Chris Fallon won the individual title in a time of 30:51.5.

The 31-team field for the NCAA Championships will be announced tomorrow (Sunday, Nov. 13). Wisconsin and Indiana secured automatic bids from the Great Lakes Region and another 13 teams from the nine regions around the country will be awarded at-large bids. The NCAA Championships will be held on Monday, Nov. 21. The 10,000-meter event is set for a 12:08 p.m. start at Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind.

Team Standings (Top 10)

 1. Wisconsin              50
2. Indiana 70
4. Notre Dame 119
5. Ohio State 126
6. Butler 171
7. Central Michigan 235
8. Marquette 254
9. Michigan State 311
10. Purdue 324

Top 10 Individuals

 1. Callum Hawkins, Butler            30:01.5
2. Eric Finan, Cincinnati 30:08.8
3. CRAIG FORYS, U-M 30:12.1
4. Tecumseh Adams, Central Michigan 30:12.8
5. Ben Hubers, Indiana 30:21.3
6. Zachary Mayhew, Indiana 30:21.3
7. Andrew Poore, Indiana 30:25.0
8. Ryan Collins, Wisconsin 30:28.4
9. Mohammed Ahmed, Wisconsin 30:28.4
9. Reed Connor, Wisconsin 30:28.4
9. Elliot Krause, Wisconsin 30:28.4

Other Michigan Individuals

14. Bobby Aprill, U-M                 30:37.1
25. Brendon Blacklaws, U-M 30:55.1
26. Zach Ornelas, U-M 30:55.3
36. Morsi Rayyan, U-M 31:08.1
46. Mark Beams, U-M 31:25.2
64. Mason Ferlic, U-M 31:43.6


• Michigan has not qualified for the NCAA Championships since 2008. Craig Forys is the only current Wolverine runner who as a member of that squad.

• Michigan's third-place finish is its highest since 2008 when the Wolverines took second to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.

• This marks the fourth All-Great Lakes Regional honor for Craig Forys, the third for Bobby Aprill and second for Brendon Blacklaws.


U-M Fifth-Year Senior Craig Forys
On the team and individual performances today ... "I think generally I usually work my way up throughout the race and hang back conservatively in the beginning, but this time around I kind of got after it a little earlier than I'm used to, but the pace was comfortable. I felt like I was ready for it and I was fit. I got right up in the mix with the front guys and I heard and saw a lot of Michigan blue around me so basically it was just confidence for us, being around one another, which doesn't happen very often. Usually we are kind of spread out, but we were pretty close to each other for a while. I started making a move with a group of four others around 7K and that's where I pulled away from some of the other Michigan guys. I kept moving up and we dropped one of the other guys to secure the top four. I was feeling good at the end so I just kicked down one more and that was that."

On the possibility of making it to the NCAA Championships ... "I'm feeling pretty confident about it from the results I've heard so far from around the country. We're obviously not a lock, but I think it's looking pretty good. We're confident enough that we're not going to lose sleep over it."