U of M - Ferlic Eugene Bound after Steeplechase PR
Provided by U of M
Site: Jacksonville, Fla. (Hodges Stadium)
Event: NCAA East Preliminary Rounds (Day 2)
U-M Team Result: Non-Scoring
Next U-M Event: Saturday, May 30 -- at NCAA East Preliminary Rounds - Day 3 (Jacksonville, Fla.)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The University of Michigan men's track and field team secured another bid to the NCAA Outdoor Championships next month (June 10-13) with senior/junior co-captain Mason Ferlic finishing second overall in the 3,000-meter steeplechase while setting a new personal best (8:35.45) that stands as sixth fastest in program history, surpassing his own mark, during day two of the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds on Friday (May 29) at Hodges Stadium.
Fourth-seeded Ferlic earned a runner-up finish in the third and fastest heat with his new PR. Ferlic punched his ticket out west, where he is poised to become Michigan's first-ever three-time All-American in the steeple. Ferlic will also run in the 5,000m quarterfinals tomorrow (Saturday, May 30) at 8:45 p.m. He is seeded fifth.
Sophomores/freshmen Connor Mora and Austin Benoit also competed, though in separate heats. Mora was 15th overall, and fifth in the first heat, crossing at 8:46.16. He just missed the 12-man field advancing to Oregon by fewer than three seconds. Benoit crossed at 9:05.98 in the second heat, 36th overall among the 48 competitors.
In the discus, senior/junior Derek Sievers launched a throw of 173-6.75 ft. (52.90m) on his first attempt to finish 31st, matching his seed to enter the weekend. Competing in the first flight of three, his second throw also surpassed the 52-meter mark, the sign of a good weekend for the Byron City, Michigan, native. A foul on his final attempt left his first throw as his best mark.
After matching his personal best in the 100m dash first round yesterday (Thursday, May 28), sophomore/freshman Khoury Crenshaw ran 10.69 in today's quarterfinals. Crenshaw entered the weekend as the 44th seed, among the last to make the cut, and impressed by advancing through Thursday's first round. As a redshirt freshman, the weekend provides valuable experience for Crenshaw, who is tied for ninth on U-M's all-time 100m dash performance list with Thursday's time.
The Maize and Blue wraps up its three-day weekend in Florida on Saturday, beginning at 5 p.m. with Sievers and senior/junior co-captain Cody Riffle, who will both throw in flight three of four of the shot put.
Then the weekend will close out with the 5,000m run at 8:05 p.m., featuring fifth-seeded Ferlic and 16th-seeded Morsi Rayyan, who has already guaranteed himself a trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships with his gutsy 10th-place finish in the 10K race on Thursday night (May 28).
N O T E S
• Mason Ferlic finished in second place in his marquee event, the 3,000m steeplechase. Ferlic punched his ticket to Eugene, Oregon, with the 8:35.45 finish, which establishes a new personal best and improves his hold on the sixth-fastest time in program history.
• As the 13th-place finisher in 2013 and the fourth-place finisher in 2014, Mason Ferlic is poised to become Michigan's first-ever three-time All-American in the steeple. Prior to Ferlic, Michigan's last back-to-back All-American in the steeple was Craig Forys, who accomplished the feet with ninth- and second-place finishes in 2011-12, and before that it was John Mortimer in 1997-98, a former teammate of current distance coach Kevin Sullivan.
• With three steeplechasers in the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, Michigan was outnumbered only by the Georgetown Hoyas, who had four entries in the race.
• Morsi Rayyan advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, with a 10th-place finish in the 10,000m run on Thursday (May 28).
Mason Ferlic -- 3,000m steeplechase (8:35.45)
Q U O T E S
U-M Senior/Junior Co-Captain Mason Ferlic
On the opportunity he saw to set a new PR and the closing laps of the 3,000m steeplechase ... "It set up almost identically to last year in this race. We all kind of went out in a pack for the first half of the race; it was tightly bunched and the goal there is always to stay out of traffic and stay clean. After that, the big players go to the front and start to push, and I went out there to keep the pace honest. I didn't want to have the pace lagging and let guys stay around, so I pushed it and guys started to fall off. There was a quartet of us that went with it so at that point I just tried to stay clean for the next three or so laps. Coming into the last lap I just wanted to close hard by staying smooth and I think I did that, and my hurdles were pretty good. I felt strong down the home stretch. I just rolled it in, checked my surroundings and made sure I was out of trouble."
On his growing comfort in marquee national races like this one ... "Confident is probably a better word (than comfortable), but comfortable too, in the sense that the more experience you get, the more you can rely on that. Coming in as one of the top seeds, people know me and how I can run, so it gives me an opportunity to see how I can control the race. I have been at this preliminary round three times now, so I can rely on that, but you can't get comfortable. You still have to treat it like the high-caliber race it is."
On building the steeplechase stable in U-M's program, and training with fellow steeplers Connor Mora and Austin Benoit ... "Training with those guys has been a real treat this year. We really rely on each other. I may have better credentials, but I am still working with them every day as a peer group. We are in this together. I may lead the group with my experience, but to work with them and advance the event group at Michigan has been a real treat and a whole lot of fun. The season gets long. In high school, you don't have exposure to how long a season like this can be, so for them to come into this meet as (redshirt) freshmen and finish as strong as they did is excellent. It's very promising for the future, and I am confident that big things will come from those guys."
Communications Contact: Chad Shepard