Michigan’s Mason Ferlic finishes third in 5,000-meters

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By Nathaniel Clark, Daily Sports Writer
Published April 20, 2014

Even though it wasn’t perfect, California was kind to the Michigan men’s track and field team.

Several Wolverines had strong performances at the Mt. SAC relays, perhaps none more impressive than that of Mason Ferlic in his 2014 outdoor debut. The redshirt sophomore took third place in the Olympic Development Elite 5,000-meter run out of 33 competitors in 13:55.12.

His teammate, redshirt junior Morsi Rayyan, also performed well in the 5,000 meters, placing 12th with a time of 14:00.77.

Two other runners made big splashes in their first collegiate outdoor races. Redshirt freshman Tony Smoragiewicz came in 26th in the Open B 5,000 meters out of 35 runners in a time of 14:49.69. Fellow redshirt freshman Nick Renberg took 20th in the 10,000 meters at 30:15.97.

Meanwhile, in the 110-meter hurdles, senior Herman Washington came in ninth out of 53, finishing with a time of 14.22 seconds while fellow senior Erick Gavin came in 45th in 15.09.

“Herman was banged up after the Virginia meet (on April 5), but he really came back strong,” said Michigan assistant coach Steve Rajewsky. “He really is the definition of a Michigan man.”

The underclassmen also made strides, most notably in the 100-meter dash. Redshirt freshman Chris Maye took 55th place out of 71 runners with a time of 10.79, while redshirt sophomore Codie Nolan finished in 10.81 seconds — a personal best — for 59th place.

“Chris and Codie are definitely more confident coming out of their races,” Rajewsky said. “For Codie, it was probably the best all-around race he has had all year.”

Participating in Michigan’s final hurdle event were fifth-year senior Troy Sneller and redshirt junior Michael Parker Jr. in the 400-meter hurdles. Sneller placed 41st out of 60 runners in 54.33 while Parker finished 47th with 54.91. Parker missed all of last season due to injury.

“Even though (Parker) may not agree with me, I thought just the fact that he is racing and competing is a huge accomplishment,” Rajewsky said.

The 3,000-meter steeplechase produced two personal bests for the Wolverines. Redshirt junior James Yau and redshirt freshman George Kelly took 10th and 11th with times of 9:05.31 and 9:06.75, respectively.

“We had some ups and downs,” Rajewsky said. “But I was very proud of the way that we competed.”

Even though the Mt. SAC relays were unscored, they were no less important to Michigan. With the Big Ten Championships coming up, more races provide more experience for larger fields.