Mason Ferlic could hardly have had a closer race in the 5,000-meter event Friday. The fifth-year senior finished less than a second behind the winner, placing third with a time of 13:37.56. 

His time qualifies as the second-best in program history and third in the NCAA this season — but he isn’t satisfied. 

“I came up a little bit short on the win,” Ferlic said. “I got caught on the rail and wasn’t able to get out. I’m coming out of a lot of confidence with where my fitness is at. I raced really well and I felt really strong, but I’m hoping to get another shot. I think making the (first-place) record is doable, so hopefully I can have an opportunity to do that.” 

Mid-distance and distance runners, like Ferlic, competed at the prestigious Mount SAC relays  with the chance to qualify for nationals. But, the Michigan men’s track and field team traveled to three separate events in total. 

Two groups went to California for Long Beach State’s Beach Invitational and the Mount SAC Relays in Norwalk, while the last group went to Siena Heights, Mich., for the Don Kleinow Invitational. Between Mount SAC and Long Beach, the Wolverines totaled 12 personal bests in five events. 

According to Michigan coach Jerry Clayton, the Wolverine pack accomplished everything they went out to do. 

Along with Ferlic, redshirt sophomore Micah Beller ran the 5,000-meter for the first time, and his classmate, Aaron Baumgarten, set a personal record. The two finished sixth and 10th, respectively. 

Other highlights from the Mount SAC relays included co-captain Ben Flanagan’s season debut in the 10,000-meter event, finishing eighth. The redshirt sophomore crossed the finish line at 29:37.01. 

Sophomore Brennan Munley placed third overall in the 800-meter with a time of 1:48.58. Like Ferlic, he placed among program history with the eighth-best time. Junior Connor Mora also had a memorable weekend, finishing the 3,000-meter with a season-best 8:50.61 and placing fourth.

“It was a good step for (Munley) this weekend,” Ferlic said. “I think he ran pretty well. For where’s at in his training, he was very focused. We train together all the time, and I think he ran a great effort.”

Racking up even more program records was freshman Taylor McLaughlin, who finished No. 8 all-time at Michigan in the 400-meter hurdles with a personal best of 51.14. 

In the field at the Don Kleinow Invitational, unattached freshman Andrew Liskowitz competed in the shot put and qualified for the U.S. Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships this summer. He threw 18.30 meters to win the event. 

Freshman Alasgar Mammedov also scored a big win for the Wolverines, clearing a 6-foot-6 foot bar in the high jump. Going forward, Clayton thinks the best attitude his athletes can have mirror Ferlic’s never-satisfied perspective. 

“They have to set long-term and short-term goals,” Clayton said. “There has to be daily, weekly and monthly goals. You obtain it, you adjust it, you move on. That’s the top athletes. They are satisfied, but they’re also not. I tell them they can enjoy it for 24 hours, and then you have to work again. Their goal is to always win.”



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