Strong Friday Opens Mt. SAC Relays for U-M Men
Provided by U of M
What You Need to Know
» Co-captain Mason Ferlic, who was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor earlier this week, set a PR of nearly nine seconds in the 5,000-meter run, finishing strong in 13:37.56 for the No. 2 mark in U-M history behind Nick Willis (2003-05).
» Taylor McLaughlin's 400-meter hurdles victory came with a PR time 51.14 seconds, No. 8 all-time at Michigan.
» Brennan Munley finished as the second collegian (third overall) at 800 meters, breaking onto the all-time program performance list outdoors with the No. 8 time of 1:48.58.
» McLaughlin was not the only freshman with a competitive showing; U-M also had top performances at 800 meters (Brennan Munley, 3rd) and 1,500 meters (Jordy Hewitt, 2nd; Ben Hill, 4th).
Site: Siena Heights, Mich. (Falcon Stadium)
Event: Mount SAC Relays (Day 2 of 3)
U-M Team Result: No team scoring
Next U-M Event: Saturday, April 16 -- at Mount SAC Relays (Norwalk, Calif.), 10:30 a.m./1:20 p.m. PDT
NORWALK, Calif. -- The University of Michigan men's track and field team began competition at Cerritos College's Falcon Stadium during Thursday's (April 14) first day of competition at Mount SAC Relay, setting a number of PRs with top performances coming in the 800-meter run, 5,000-meter race and 400-meter hurdles.
Fifth-year senior co-captain Mason Ferlic's race was the highlight of the day, as he placed third in the 5,000-meter run in 13:37.56. That time was good for a PR of more than eight seconds, and improves his all-time performance rank from No. 6 to No. 2 in the Wolverine record book. The record is held by U-M Track and Field Hall of Famer Nick Willis (2003-05).
Ferlic ran in third position most of the race, led early by unattached Ridouane Harroufi, and the talented, pro-filled field made for an honest race with six athletes finishing in less than 13:40.
The leaders coming in at 5:28 through 2K. Team USA Minnesota's Abbabiya Simbassa made a move around the 10-minute mark with just a few laps remaining, and Adams State's Sydney Gidabuday pushed things open again a little more than one minute later to lead the front pack at 11:34 with two laps remaining.
Ferlic crossed the line shoulder to shoulder with Air Force's Patrick Corona at the bell lap and finished .32 seconds behind him, outkicking Simbassa and Colorado's Pierce Murphy after Murphy made a move with about 200 meters to go. Gidabuday took the title in 13:36.83. All four of the top collegians had what would have been nation-leading times, leaving Ferlic with the No. 3 mark in the NCAA this outdoor season.
Two other Wolverines competed in the first section as well; junior/sophomore Micah Beller ran in his first oudoor 5K, and junior/sophomore Aaron Baumgarten set a PR in the race, finishing sixth and 10th, respectively. Meanwhile, senior/junior Tony Smoragiewicz placed third in the open 5K with a PR of more than 27 seconds (14:02.70), while junior/sophomore Billy Bund set a PR of his own (14:19.27).
On Thursday (April 15) evening's competition-opening races, junior/sophomore co-captain Ben Flanagan made his 10,000-meter debut, timing 29:13.72 for eighth place in the first heat and eighth overall.
Fifth-year senior Nick Posada ran in the second heat and set a 20-second PR (29:37.01), while fifth-year senior Jonny Phillips competed in the open race, finishing fourth in 30:17.03.
A pair of freshmen led the 1,500-meter race, with Jordy Hewitt winning section one in a PR 3:47.60, placing second overall, and Ben Hill running 3:48.45 to take fourth overall, second in section two. Senior Alex Moran placed fifth overall with his own PR of more than 1.8 seconds (3:48.49), rounding out three Wolverines in the top five, while freshman Matthew Plowman placed 10th and also set a PR.
At 800 meters, sophomore Brennan Munley was the collegian runner-up, placing third overall in a personal-best 1:48.58. That time ranks Munley No. 8 in U-M history outdoors; he owns the No. 3 time indoors.
Junior/sophomore Connor Mora ran in the pro-loaded 3,000-meter steeplechase and finished in 8:50.61, a season-best of more than 10 seconds and good enough to finish as the fourth collegian.
McLaughlin shaved .76 seconds off his season best from last weekend at Auburn's Tiger Track Classic (51.90; April 9). This weekend, McLaughlin took his first victory in the event and ran the No. 8 time in U-M history. He overcame a rough start early on before taking the win.
"I wasn't feeling good after the first hurdle; I was pretty off my steps going into it," McLaughlin said. "Overall, the race was just me trying to get back into my normal race pattern which I was able to get into on the back stretch. I tried to turn a lot more speed and energy into the second turn, and I tried to bring it home as best as possible. Thankfully the time went down with the extra effort."
Junior/sophomore Khoury Crenshaw competed in his season-opening 100-meter dash, and both he and senior Chris Maye set personal bests, with Crenshaw timing 10.49 and Maye running 10.61.
Crenshaw was the top collegian in his heat and finished 13th among collegians (26th overall).
McLaughlin, who competed in a number of top-level meets throughout his highly successful prep career, is used to competitions of this size and scope but is enjoying the experience at Mt. SAC and competing there with the Wolverines.
"It's pretty nice out here," he said later, "There's a lot more diversity amongst the competitors and it's been cool to see the different competitors, like the Paralympic athletes. I'm glad to see that some of our guys can definitely compete with the heightened competition. It's been fun to watch everybody keep up the same level of competitiveness at big meets."
U-M will have athletes competing in Long Beach, California, at the Long Beach Invitational, which will begin at 9 a.m. PDT on Saturday (April 16), also sending nine or so athletes to Siena Heights University's Don Kleinow Invitational, set to begin at 10 a.m. EDT.
COLLEGIATE PERSONAL BESTS
Brennan Munley -- 1:48.58
Jordy Hewitt -- 3:47.60
Ben Hill -- 3:48.45
Alex Moran -- 3:48.49
Matthew Plowman -- 3:50.22
Mason Ferlic -- 13:37.56
Micah Beller -- 13:56.31
Aaron Baumgarten -- 14:00.64
Tony Smoragiewicz -- 14:02.70
Billy Bund -- 14:19.27
Nick Posada -- 29:37.01
Communications Contact: Chad Shepard