The outcome of Saturday’s men’s track indoor meet was on the shoulders of Michigan sophomores Seth Waits, Nate Brannen, DarNell Talbert and junior Nick Meter.

The meet against Indiana, Michigan State and Kent State went down to the last event: The 4×400-meter-relay. Before that event, the score between Indiana and Michigan was close; the Wolverines had to win the race in order to win the entire meet. Waits started his 400 strong, running neck-and-neck with an Indiana rival. Then the baton was passed to Meter, who had an unfortunate start and threw himself at Brannen to pass the baton. After Meter’s fall, Brannen knew he had to catch up, and he almost did, running about a foot behind the Indiana and Michigan State runners. Then Talbert took the baton, knowing it was up to him to win the race. There was raw fury in his eyes, and he possessed sheer determination.

But Talbert’s intensity was not enough, as Indiana edged out Michigan by one second. The loss gave Michigan a final score of 157, behind Indiana’s 172.

“DarNell worked real hard today and put in great effort,” Meter said.

Talbert also ran the 400-meter dash, finishing with a time of 49.3 seconds.

“I have to thank my teammates for my success. When I run, I ignore everyone else and can usually only hear my mom,” Talbert said. “But today, I could hear my teammates cheering me on and knew I had to keep going.”

Although Talbert’s determination did not lead the Wolverines to victory, it was still an important factor for Michigan.

“Relaxation and determination are important in running because being nervous is a waste of energy,” freshman Joe Schramski said.

Schramski’s event of the day was the 800-meter race, and he had to run it with one of Michigan’s top runners, Brannen.

Schramski was used as the rabbit of the race. His job was to start the race at full speed, giving Brannen that extra urge to keep up and win. But he didn’t expect to finish in second place.

“I knew I could run it with Nate, but I expected at least third place, not second,” Schramski said.

As a freshman, it was a little intimidating for Schramski to run with Brannen, and he didn’t want to let his team down.

“I knew what I had to do and just hung on the best I could,” Schramski said.

Brannen took first place in the 800, finishing at 1:48, just over the automatic qualifying time for the NCAA Championships. And Schramski placed nicely behind him with a time of 1:55.

Schramski wasn’t the only freshman who ran well for the Wolverines. Freshman Nick Willis won the mile with a time of 4:04, a provisional qualifying time for the NCAA Championships.

“I wasn’t even thinking about running,” Willis said.

“I was just counting the laps down like four, three, two, one.”

Michigan’s last indoor meet, the Red Simmons Invitational, is this Saturday.

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