U of M Men - U-M Rides Four Top-10 Finishes to Spiked Shoe Invite Title

U of M Men - U-M Rides Four Top-10 Finishes to Spiked Shoe Invite Title

Provided by U of M

What You Need to Know

» U-M placed four athletes in the field's top 10, including a pair in the top three, to secure its first team title of the 2015 season.

» Michigan now has three wins in its last four regular-season scored meets under head coach Kevin Sullivan.

» Today's race represented the first look at Big Ten-level competition for U-M, as it topped the hosting Penn State Nittany Lions, defeating the No. 3-ranked Syracuse Orange in the process.

» U-M sophomores/freshmen Kyle Kroon and Chase Barnett each made his debut in a U-M singlet this evening.

Site: Blue-White Golf Course (State College, Pennsylvania)

Meet: Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational

U-M Team Finish: 1st Place of 6 Teams (35 points)

Top U-M Individual: Aaron Baumgarten, 2nd (25:30)

Next U-M Event: Friday, Sept. 18 -- at Spartan Invitational (East Lansing, Mich.)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The 12th-ranked University of Michigan cross country team earned a team victory at Penn State's Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational on Friday (Sept. 11) on the strength of all seven scorers earning top-20 finishes, including a pair of Wolverines in the top three, at the Blue-White Golf Course. The win gives U-M its first victory of the season, besting No. 3-ranked Syracuse along with Big Ten foe Penn State.

Junior/sophomore Aaron Baumgarten clocked 25:30, finishing 10 seconds behind the winner, Syracuse's Colin Bennie, to earn a runner-up showing, the best of his Wolverine career. Baumgarten ran at a tempo pace through the first three to four miles of the 5.2-mile track, and he turned up the gas for the final mile or so.

"Over that last mile, that is when guys are really starting to hurt," said Baumgarten, "I really worked the hills over that stretch, and guys came back to me really quickly. I passed a lot of people going over the long, grinding hills."

He crossed just five seconds prior to junior Connor Mora, whose third-place finish is also a career best. Mora had been among those towards the front of the pack but started to fall back when Baumgarten passed him with about 1,000 meters to go, and Baumgarten said that motivated both Wolverines to a strong finish.

"As I passed Connor, we kind of had a moment out there," said Baumgarten, "and he got right back into the race with me. We just rolled past everyone for a two-three finish."

Mora's 4:55 per-mile clip was just one second slower than Baumgarten's, and the duo made up two of the three runners in the field at a pace of 4:55 per mile or better. In fact, of the 11 athletes who established paces better than five minutes per mile, four were Wolverines.

Also earning top-10 finishes for the Maize and Blue were junior co-captain Ben Flanagan (eighth) and senior Tony Smoragiewicz (ninth), crossing the finish line at 25:47 and 25:52, respectively.

In his first action this season, junior/sophomore Micah Beller was the team's fifth finisher, crossing at 26:02 for 13th overall. He finished one place ahead of senior/junior Jarred Bratley, whose time was just two seconds slower than Beller's.

In his Wolverine debut, sophomore/freshman Kyle Kroon made up the final scorer for the Wolverines. He finished 18th overall, crossing at 26:10 to help U-M to its 35-point total, and the victory.

Fifth-year senior Nick Posada (19th, 26:18), sophomore/freshman Chase Barnett (24th, 26:30), junior/sophomore Austin Benoit (28th, 26:47) and senior Alex Moran (30th, 26:51) also competed in uniform for the Maize and Blue. For Barnett, today's race was his first meet in uniform at U-M.

Head coach Kevin Sullivan elected not to run two of his top athletes, including back-to-back All-American fifth-year senior co-captain Mason Ferlic, but noted that Syracuse also held out a pair of its most important runners as well.

"It was a nice win for us," said Sullivan, who called the first scored meet of the season "a very positive starting point."

"We know that Syracuse held out a couple of their big guns, but we also had a couple of our own guys on the sidelines, so I think it really bodes well for what we are trying to do later in the season."

Sullivan was also complimentary of the two Wolverines who debuted in uniform this weekend, sophomores/freshmen Chase Barnett and Kyle Kroon.

"Kyle and Chase both managed the race very well. For Chase, this was only the second 8K he has ever run," Sullivan explained, "but it was good to get him repetitions and a feel for this event."

"Kyle did a nice job for us. We are looking for him to continue to move his way through the lineup."

Because the distance of 5.2 miles was greater than a standard 8,000-meter track, the times for U-M runners will not be compared to that of an 8K with regard to personal bests.

The race featured 68 athletes from six different schools, including the No. 3 team in the USTFCCCA Preseason Coaches' Poll, the Syracuse Orange.

U-M returns to the Great Lakes State next weekend for a clash with Big Ten rival Michigan State University. The Wolverines will make the short drive to East Lansing for the Spartan Invitational next Friday (Sept. 18) for the 8,000-meter race, which is scheduled to begin at 12:20 p.m.

Team Standings


2. Syracuse 42

3. Penn State 63

4. Lock Haven 100

5. PSU Alumni 155

6. Grove City 161

Top 10 Individual Finishers

1. Colin Bennie, Penn State 25:20


3. CONNOR MORA, U-M 25:35

4. Dan Lennon, Syracuse 25:37

5. Dylan Mountain, Lock Haven 25:40

6. Joel Hubbard, Syracuse 25:42

7. Ean DiSilvio, Penn State 25:46

8. BEN FLANAGAN, U-M 25:47


10. Conner Quinn, Penn State 25:54

Other U-M Finishers

13. Micah Beller 26:02

14. Jarred Bratley 26:04

18. Kyle Kroon 26:10

19. Nick Posada 26:18

24. Chase Barnett 26:30

28. Austin Benoit 26:47

30. Alex Moran 26:51

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Communications Contact: Chad Shepard