This weekend in the Penn Relays, Michigan’s distance medley relay team took first place, its 4 x 1500 team took fourth, and its 4 x 800 team placed sixth, leaving Michigan in sixth place overall.
“It was a great weekend – one of the best we’ve ever had at the Pn Relays,” Michigan coach Ron Warhurst said.
Freshman Andrew Ellerton, and sophomores Nate Brannen, Nick Willis, and DarNell Talbert composed the winning distance medley relay team.
Willis ran the first leg in 2:49.7, earning him the honor of “Outstanding Man in A Relay Event.” His fast time also gave second-leg runner Talbert a little bit of a head start.
Ellerton was in charge of the third leg and when he handed off the baton, Brannen was left two meters behind Arkansas’ Alistair Craig. Craig deliberately ran slow the first half of his leg, thinking that he could still win the race even without his fastest efforts. But after the first half mile, Craig’s plan backfired, and the other teams caught up.
“At that point, it was like a 14-man race.” Brannen said. “Then it came down to the last 600 meters and we just started flying in. I took the lead at 200 meters to go, and then he was back on me until the end.”
Warhurst admitted that he was worried when Brannen shot ahead of Craig with 200 meters to go.
“I thought, ‘Oh my god, he might have gone too soon,’ but finally Nate edged away from him (to take the win),” Warhurst said