EAST LANSING – While Michigan State may have been the host of
yesterday’s Big Ten Championships, it was Michigan that made itself
at home.

Janna Hutz
Nate Brannen runs toward a second-place finish. (DAVID TUMAN/Daily)

Despite heavy rains and dipping temperatures at Forest Akers
Golf Course in East Lansing, Michiganfinished second overall behind
Wisconsin, which won its fifth straight Big Ten championship,
placing three runners in the top five. Junior Nate Brannen led the
Wolverines with a second-place finish, his best of the season.
Senior Tom Greenless and sophomore Nick Willis were the other
Wolverines in the top ten, finishing seventh and eighth,
respectively.

Brannen and Greenless earned first-team All-Big Ten for their
finishes, and Willis was named to the second team. Senior captain
Nick Stanko finished 16th, his best finish ever at the Big Ten
Championships. Rounding out the scoring was senior Alex L’Heureux,
who finished 26th in his first Big Ten Championship meet.

Michigan was only 17 points behind champion Wisconsin, who
finished 55 points ahead of the Wolverines at last year’s meet.

“Seventeen points isn’t too shabby to lose to the number-two
team in the country,” Michigan coach Warhurst said.

Brannen’s second-place finish shows the dramatic recovery that
he has made since an iron deficiency forced him to sit out early in
the year. In seventh place with 1,000 meters to go, Brannen dug in
and out kicked all but one of the runners in front of him.

“I hung in with the lead group towards the end, and then took
off,” said Brannen. “I think I got the best finish of anybody in
the Big Tens, I’m not going to get out-kicked. I’m starting to feel
really good. This is a positive sign going into the end of the
season, feeling good.”

Warhurst was more than happy with the way his team ran.

“Nate ran tremendous, he’s back,” said Warhurst. “And what can
you say about Tommy, he’s been great all year.”

Michigan fans took over the course, wearing their maize and blue
and shouting at the top of their lungs. Having the Big Ten
Championships in East Lansing gave many parents a chance to see
their sons run. Pat Greenless, Tom’s mother, waived her
maize-and-blue “M” flag and cheered on her son to his first All-Big
Ten selection.

“That was awesome, he missed it last year by one spot,” Pat
Greenless said. “I was very pleased, a little nervous before the
race. We follow him wherever we can go, and it was nice that is was
here.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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