Baumgarten Paces U-M's Fifth-Place Finish at B1G Championships

Baumgarten Paces U-M's Fifth-Place Finish at B1G Championships

Provided by U of M

What You Need to Know

» Michigan placed fifth at the Big Ten Championships this afternoon, the sixth straight top-five conference finish for the Maize and Blue.

» The Wolverines placed each of their top four athletes in the top 30 overall, with one first team all-conference performer in Aaron Baumgarten (sixth).

» Baumgarten has now been the top-finishing Wolverine in all four races he has run this fall.

Site: Minneapolis, Minn. (Les Bolstad Golf Course)

Meet: Big Ten Championships (8,000 meters)

U-M Team Finish: 5th Place (123 points) of 12 Teams

Top U-M Individual: Aaron Baumgarten, 6th place (24:49.0)

Next U-M Event: Friday, Nov. 11 -- at NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Madison, Wis.), Noon CST

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- The 14th-ranked University of Michigan men's cross country team earned its sixth consecutive top-five conference finish on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 30), racing at the University of Minnesota's Les Bolstad Golf Course.

For head coach Kevin Sullivan, today's fifth-place finish was not indicative of what this Wolverine lineup is capable of.

"Going in we felt there were five teams who had a chance to win, and unfortunately we came in on the back end of those five teams," said Sullivan. "It's a team effort, including myself. We will take a look at how each guy individually performed; there are guys who definitely could have performed better, but we also had a couple of guys who I felt ran really strong. We'll have to sit down and re-analyze to see what happened to see if it was a function of training or a function of something else."

For the fourth time this season, senior/junior Aaron Baumgarten led the way for the Wolverines.

Showing great patience and poise, he worked his way up through the field from about the halfway point, picking off competitor after competitor until he muscled his way to a sixth-place finish. It gives U-M three straight seasons with at least one first team All-Big Ten finisher, a feat the Wolverines have accomplished in four of the last five years overall.

Still, Baumgarten felt today was an opportunity left on the table. He iss ready to get himself and his teammates back to the drawing board to resuscitate the Wolverines' postseason.

"I executed my race plan how I wanted," said Baumgarten. "I moved up the field and was in the front pack with 4- or 500 (meters) to go. Today just wasn't my day; I didn't have the kick I wanted to, and I'm not necessarily happy with the place, but I did everything right, and it's just another learning experience."

Baumgarten's disappointment in his top-six showing exemplifies the attitude that will make him better in the long run, according to Sullivan.

"Sixth place is a really good finish in this conference, and he's disappointed in that because he wanted to be higher," said the third-year Wolverine head coach. "That is the quality that makes him a great athlete; he's not satisfied unless he's winning races. He had a really consistent performance, and that's what we need - we've had that all year which is why it's frustrating not to have today when we really needed it."

Senior co-captain Connor Mora and senior/junior Billy Bund also recorded top-25 finishes for the Wolverines, placing 19th and 22nd, respectively. For Bund, it marks his postseason debut.

Other Wolverines to make their first postseason appearance this afternoon included graduate student Connor Herr (29th), sophomore/freshman Jordy Hewitt (57th), junior/sophomore Kyle Kroon (68th) and graduate student Ned Willig (73rd).

Senior/junior co-captain Micah Beller was 49th for the Maize and Blue as the fifth scorer, and his classmate Austin Benoit finished 10 places behind him.

Michigan will look to continue its postseason with a run at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional crown. The team will run two Fridays from now (Nov. 11) at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course in Madison, Wisconsin.

Team Finishes

1. Wisconsin (63 points)

2. Michigan State (66)

3. Indiana (92)

4. Minnesota (119)

5. U-M (123)

6. Illinois (126)

7. Purdue (168)

8. Ohio State (228)

9. Penn State (250)

10. Nebraska (275)

11. Rutgers (333)

12. Iowa (341)

Top 10 Individual Finishers

1. Morgan McDonald, Wisconsin (24:35.7)

2. Sherod Hardt, Michigan State (24:43.9)

3. Jason Crist, Indiana (24:44.6)

4. Matthew Schwartzer, Indiana (24:45.9)

5. Malachy Schrobligen, Wisconsin (24:48.2)

6. AARON BAUMGARTEN, U-M (24:49.0)

7. Evan Stifel, Ohio State (24:51.8)

8. Ben Veatch, Indiana (24:52.7)

9. Charlie Lawrence, Minnesota (24:54.9)

10. Dylan Lafond, Illinois (24:56.0)

Other U-M Finishers

19. Connor Mora (25:10.6)

22. Billy Bund (25:14.5)

29. Connor Herr (25:19.8)

49. Micah Beller (25:39.9)

57. Jordy Hewitt (25:51.9)

59. Austin Benoit (25:55.5)

68. Kyle Kroon (26:04.9)

73. Ned Willig (26:12.4)

Communications Contact: Chad Shepard