U of M Men - Yau Wins Olympic Development Steeplechase at Penn Relays

U of M Men - Yau Wins Olympic Development Steeplechase at Penn Relays

Provided by U of M

April 25, 2014

Site: Philadelphia, Pa. (Franklin Field)

Event: Penn Relays (Day 1)

U-M Team Result: No team scoring

Next U-M Event: Friday, April 25 -- Penn Relays (Philadelphia, Pa.), 9 a.m. [ Live Results ]

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- The University of Michigan men's track and field team had strong showings in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and 10,000-meter run, as four distance runners opened competition for the Wolverines on the first day of the Penn Relays on Thursday (April 24) at Franklin Field.

Senior/junior James Yau (Troy, Mich./Troy) nearly led wire to wire in the Olympic Development 3,000-meter steeplechase, winning the race in a time of 9:06.23. In his third career steeple race, he fought his way to the front of the 15-man field within the first half lap. He paced a small lead pack that included Duke's Christian Britto and Kyle Price of the Garden State Track Club. Yau remained in the front as the trio increased its gap from the chase pack, until Yau relinquished the lead to Britto at the 6:45 mark. Yau remained close and jumped back to the front for good 30 seconds later and hung on for the win, crossing the finish line .44 seconds ahead of Britto (9:06.67).

Sophomore/freshman George Kelly (Lincroft, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) finished 13th overall in the college 3,000-meter steeplechase championship after placing third in the second heat at 9:10.08. In his heat, Kelly established himself in second place early and remained in the top three through the first two water jumps. He stumbled slightly over the third water jump, falling back to seventh place, but quickly moved back fought back to the front, joining Eastern Michigan's Daryl Smith, who pushed the pace around the seven-minute mark to take a clear lead. Kelly was in third place after the fifth water jump and hung on to that spot with a strong kick down the final straightaway.

In the college 10,000-meter run championship, junior/sophomore August Pappas (Chelsea, Mich./Chelsea) went out conservatively and made moves in the final third of the race, eventually running a 54-second personal record of 29:40.25 to finish third. Sophomore/freshman Nick Renberg (Saline, Mich./Saline) joined Pappas in the 10K, placing 10th at 30:04.95 in his first collegiate race at 10,000 meters.

Renberg and Pappas sat in the 10th-15th range through the first five minutes of the race until the field started to string out. At that point, Renberg moved up in the field and toggled between sixth and ninth place through the 20-minute mark, while Pappas remained in the 10-15 range. About 22:30 into the race, the top four runners pushed the pace and created a gap, while simultaneously Renberg and Pappas also advanced into the front of the first chase pack in fifth and sixth place, respectively. From there, Pappas began to slowly gain ground, while Renberg fell slightly off pace and dropped into 10th place. By the bell lap, Pappas had moved into fourth and then used his long strides and hard kick to secure third place. Renberg remained in 10th place as he crossed the finish line.

Two 400-meter hurdlers, senior/junior Michael Parker Jr. (Jackson, Mich./Michigan Center) and fifth-year senior Troy Sneller (Hamilton, Mich./Hamilton), will represent Michigan on the second day of the Penn Relays tomorrow (Friday, April 25) at 9 a.m.


August Pappas - 10,000m (29:40.25)

Contact: Whitney Dixon