U of M - Flanagan Takes 10K Crown in Lincoln
Provided by U of M
What You Need to Know
» Co-captain Ben Flanagan won his first career Big Ten title, finishing in 29:35.32 in the 10,000-meter run.
» With Gina Sereno winning the women's 10K, it marks the first time Michigan has swept the men's and women's races since 1989, when Michigan legends John Scherer and Mindy (Rowand) Schmidt accomplished the feat.
» Program record-holder Steven Bastien began his first decathlon at the Big Ten meet and totaled a day-one PR of 4,061 points.
» Michigan's first scoring of the weekend came in the hammer (four points), and U-M added 11 points in the 10K.
» Due to the high wind gusts, the pole vault competition was moved to 4 p.m. CDT on Saturday (May 14).
• Complete Results PDF | Championships Central
Site: Lincoln, Neb. (Ed Weir Stadium)
Event: Big Ten Outdoor Championships (Day 1)
U-M Team Result: 2nd Place of 13 Teams (15 points) after Day 1
Next U-M Event: Saturday, May 14 -- at Big Ten Outdoor Championships - Day 2 (Lincoln, Neb.), 9:30 a.m. CDT
LINCOLN, Neb. -- The University of Michigan men's track and field team opened competition at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships by scoring in both events, highlighted by junior co-captain Ben Flanagan's first career Big Ten title -- which came in the 10K race -- on Friday (May 13) at Ed Weir Stadium. Battling winds that gusted as high as 25 miles per hour in the afternoon before dying down slightly for the evening races, the Wolverines -- who sit in second -- fought through difficult conditions to score 15 points on the first day of events, with plenty more scoring to come in the next two days.
The 10K race was moved back an hour in an effort to minimize the potential effect of wind, and though conditions were much better than during the afternoon events, the wind and cold were still factors. That did not stop Flanagan from working with fifth-year seniors August Pappas, Nick Posada and Jonny Phillips to earn his first conference crown in the 10K race.
With no one taking charge early, Pappas took the pace out, coming through under 2:30 for the first 800, and Phillips took the lead not long after, pacing the next two laps as U-M went 1-2-6 through the first 1,600 at 4:59 and about 6:05 through 2K, with Flanagan settling in behind Purdue's Matt McClintock.
The field came in at 18:10 through 6K and McClintock made a hard move not long after, shortly after the 20:00 mark. Flanagan was among the group to go with him, thinning out the chase pack. With 2K remaining, the lead pack was whittled down to five, with Flanagan running second behind the Boilermaker senior.
It was a two-man race during the final lap, and with about 150 meters to go, Flanagan made one strong, final push to break McClintock and claim the Wolverines' first event title of the weekend. He crossed the line in 29:35.32, with a crowd of teammates and coaches waiting to congratulate him.
Posada scored with an eighth-place finish in 30:05.02, with Phillips close behind (30:06.43) in ninth and Pappas (30:19.90) in 10th. For Phillips, it is just four seconds off his PR.
"I honestly can't believe it," Flanagan said afterwards. "I wanted this, but having it happen is such a different feeling than I expected. I feel awesome right now, it's incredible."
He was also quick to thank his teammates, each of whom competed in his last Big Ten race this evening.
"I owe so much to them. Those guys went out and took charge in less than ideal conditions. I heard the support from everyone here cheering me on, too, and it means everything to me."
Flanagan finished in what was essentially a head-to-head battle with McClintock, and the importance of that was not lost on him.
"I have so much respect for Matt McClintock," said Flanagan, "I knew if I was going to be in this I'd be racing him and I'd have to bring my A game, so I tried to relax as long as possible. When I started to fall off, I told myself that if I didn't stay with it I'd regret it forever, and that's what really brought me home."
Assistant coach Kevin Sullivan felt Flanagan executed the race masterfully.
"We had a game plan going in, and we thought there would be a hard move with around 5K to go," said Sullivan, "so the plan was just to stay as relaxed as possible until the move comes and then just commit to the move, no matter how you're feeling."
"Whoever had the most on the last lap was going to be the guy to come out on top. It was just a fantastic race for Flanagan, and seeing the improvements he's made in the past year, I think it was only a matter of time before he had a shot of winning a Big Ten championship."
Sullivan also appreciated the efforts from his fifth-year seniors, who each contributed to the 11 points U-M brought in from the event, especially Posada coming in to score.
"Every time (Posada) needed to make a move he made a move," said Sullivan, "he did a great job to put himself in position to score, and he hung on really well at the end to grab a point."
Bastien began his championship meet with a win in the 100-meter dash, timing 10.62(+3.5 W) to pick up 947 points to start the day. He added 871 points with a 7.24-meter (23-9 ft.) long jump to place fifth in that event, and he threw 11.99 meters (39-4 ft.) for 606 additional points in the shot put.
In the high jump, Bastien cleared 1.97 meters (6-5.5- ft.) with ease but could not get over the bar at 2.00 meters (6-6.75 ft.), and he closed his day with a strong effort in the 400, running a PR of 49 seconds flat, bringing another 861 points to his total. Bastien closed the day with 4,061 points, improving on his previous best day-one score of 3,916 points, set last month.
Sophomore/freshman Joe Ellis and fifth-year senior Brad Bolton picked up the first points of the weekend for U-M, as both scored in the hammer throw. Ellis placed sixth with his first-round mark of 63.75 meters (209-2 ft.), while Bolton's second attempt of the final was his best, measuring 62.10 meters (203-9 ft.).
Events continue in Lincoln on Saturday (May 14). The decathlon 110-meter hurdles will begin day-two action at 9:30 a.m. CDT, followed by the decathlon discus. Non-multi event athletes begin competing at 12:45 p.m. with the discus throw, and events on the track begin at 2:50 p.m. with 1,500-meter trials. The final event of the evening will be the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 6:30 p.m.
Communications Contact: Chad Shepard