A youth movement that has hit the Michigan cross country team
this year. Freshmen Mike Woods and Victor Gras earned the hype they
received at the beginning of this season. But lost in the shuffle
of these fresh-faced freshmen lies another newcomer — one who
has nothing to lose while participating in his last season of
varsity sports.

Graduate student and Princeton transfer Jonathon Kieliszak is
coming off the best race of his cross country career, finishing
just a second over the 25-minute mark and grabbing a top-five
finish at the Spartan Invitational over the weekend. Coach Ron
Warhurst wasn’t surprised by Kieliszak’s weekend

“He has really adapted well to our training
methods,” Warhurst said. “He worked very hard this
summer and it’s paying dividends now.”

Kieliszak mirrors his coach’s thoughts: “I was
extremely religious about my training, making it my number one
priority, and I think that helped a lot.”

But cross country wasn’t always Kieliszak’s top
priority. In fact, he admits that it was a secondary concern at

“Throughout my time at Princeton, I was focused on track
and never gave cross country the attention it deserved,”
Kieliszak admits. “This year, considering I only have a
season of cross country eligibility left, I have been able to focus
solely on cross country and that mindset has definitely helped

Kieliszak was raised in a track family; his sister, Jessica, was
a four-year letterwinner in track at Holy Cross College.

“My sister was three years ahead of me in school, so
watching her compete in track caused my interest in the sport to
grow,” Kieliszak said.

This early interest, instilled in him at a young age, continued
into the Ivy League and his running career there.

While at Princeton, Kieliszak majored in electrical engineering
and picked up seven varsity letters in the process (four in track,
three in cross country).

Coming to Michigan for graduate school opened the door for
Kieliszak to run one last year of cross country.

Kieliszak isn’t the only graduate student on this team.
Matt Mulvaney, a Miami graduate, has also helped bring experience
to this relatively young Wolverine squad.

With the compliments coming from Warhurst, one would think that
he would have only positive things to say about his newly found

But the Michigan coach does have one criticism of Kieliszak:

“(Kieliszak) should have come here instead of Princeton
right away.”

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