Michigan Kicks Off 2011, Claims First in Six Events at EMU Invite

Jan. 8, 2011

Photo Gallery  | Notes & Quotes

Site: Ypsilanti, Mich. (Bowen Fieldhouse)
Event: Eastern Michigan Invitational
Result: No Team Scoring
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Jan. 15 -- at Ohio State in "The Dual" (Columbus, Ohio), Noon

YPSILANTI, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's track and field team opened up the 2011 indoor season on Saturday (Jan. 8), winning six events at the Eastern Michigan Invitational held at the Bowen Fieldhouse.

Four of the six wins came from the field events. Redshirt freshman Bradley James (East Lansing, Mich./Haslett) eclipsed the seven-feet mark in the high jump (2.15 meters/7-0 1/2 feet), the first Michigan high jumper to reach that height since 2008 (John Kipf). Normally a sprinter, sophomore Erik Braun (Pinckney, Mich./Pinckney Community) tried his hand at the triple jump for the first time in his collegiate career and won with a mark of 13.84 meters/45-5 feet.

Sophomores Austin DeWildt (Wyoming, Mich./Catholic Central) and John Greenlee (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) shared top honors in the pole vault, clearing 4.70 meters/15-5 feet. Rounding out the field event winners was true freshman Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit), winning the shot put with a heave of 18.00 meters/59-0 3/4 feet.

On the track, a trio of Michigan sprinters held three of the top four spots in the 300-meter dash, with redshirt sophomore Nick Neuman (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) taking top honors (34.54). Joining Neuman were sophomore Aaron Taylor (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams) and junior Matthew Campbell (Rochester, Mich./Rochester), taking second and fourth place, respectively. The other winner of the day was the 4x400-meter relay team of freshman Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville), senior Carl Buchanon (South Bend, Ind./Clay), freshman Eric Oliver (Berkeley, Calif./Homewood-Flossmoor [Ill.]) and senior David St. Amant (Livonia, Mich./Churchill), finishing with a time of 3:18.29.

The greatest rivalry in college athletics will be renewed next weekend, as Michigan squares off against archrival Ohio State in "The Dual" next Saturday (Jan. 15) in Columbus, Ohio. The rivalry dates back to 1907, the year in which the two teams met outdoors for the first time. In January 2008, the two teams met again a dual meet competition for the first time since 1993, a span of 15 years. Since then, Michigan and Ohio State have met twice each season -- one indoor, one outdoor -- with each team hosting. The Buckeyes won both contests last season, but the Wolverines hold the all-time edge in both indoor (28-11) and outdoor (20-5).

Event Winners/U-M Finishers
Preliminary Time in parenthesis if faster than finals time

60-meter Dash
  1. Michael Ray Garvin, Codrington          6.68
  3. Justin Clarke, U-M                      6.88
  8. Nick McCampbell, U-M                    7.95 (7.04)
 15. Davis Craw, U-M                         7.44
60-meter Hurdles
  1. Vanier Joseph, EMU                      7.93
  3. Herman Washington, U-M                  8.30
  4. Erick Gavin, U-M                        8.33
  9. Joe Strizich, U-M                       8.68
 10. Michael Parker Jr., U-M                 8.71
 13. Kurt Reichenbach, U-M                   8.89
300-meter Run
  1. Nick Neuman, U-M                       34.54
  2. Aaron Taylor, U-M                      35.01
  4. Matthew Campbell, U-M                  35.21
600-meter Run
  1. Brycen Spratling, EMU                1:20.22
  5. Troy Sneller, U-M                    1:24.62
4x400-meter Relay
  1. Michigan 'A'                         3:18.29
   (Ali Arastu, Carl Buchanon,
    Eric Oliver, David St. Amant)
High Jump
  1. Bradley James, U-M                      2.15m (7-0 1/2)
  5. Joe Strizich, U-M                       1.90m (6-2 3/4)
Pole Vault
 T1. John Greenlee, U-M                      4.70m (15-5)
 T1. Austin DeWildt, U-M                     4.70m (15-5)
 T5. Kurt Reichenbach, U-M                   4.50m (14-9)
  7. Taylor Voice, U-M                       4.40m (14-5 1/4)
T10. Austin Stevens, U-M                     4.15m (13-7 1/4)
Long Jump
  1. Kevin Lanier, EMU                       7.38m (24-2 1/2)
  2. Robert Peddlar, U-M                     7.34m (24-1 1/2)
  3. Ed Hur, U-M                             7.07m (23-2 1/2)
  6. Michael Joiner-Hill, U-M                6.41m (21-0 1/2)
Triple Jump
  1. Erik Braun, U-M                        13.84m (45-5)
  -- Patrick Cochran, U-M                     DNF
Shot Put
  1. Cody Riffle, U-M                       18.00m (59-0 3/4)
  7. Joe Strizich, U-M                      12.84m (42-1 1/2)
  -- Kurt Reichenbach, U-M                   FOUL
35-lb. Weight Throw
  1. Brian Richotte, Unattached             19.67m (64-6 1/2)
  2. Ethan Dennis, U-M                      18.58m (60-11 1/2)


Erik Braun and David St. Amant were named captains for this week's meet. Instead of choosing three permanent captains as has been done in years past, two different captains will be picked for each competition week.

• Three redshirt freshmen (Bradley James, Ethan Dennis, Michael Joiner-Hill) and 10 true freshmen (Ali Arastu, Cody Riffle, Patrick Cochran, Ed Hur, Austin Stevens, Eric Oliver, Michael Parker, Jr., Erick Gavin, Herman Washington, Justin Clarke) saw their first collegiate action on Saturday.

• Michigan did not have any distance runners compete.

• Reigning Big Ten Conference indoor long jump champion Robert Peddlar made only one attempt in the long jump, coming in second (7.34 meters/24-1 1/2). He was one inch shy of first place as Eastern Michigan's Kevin Lanier jumped 7.38 meters/24-2 1/2.


Michigan Head Coach Fred LaPlante
On first impressions of his team in competition ... "I was really excited at how our guys performed, especially our younger guys. We put quite a few freshmen out there against some pretty good competitors and they came out and competed."

On field event performances ... "Those guys did really well. Bradley James' high jump was really exceptional. We felt like he could have jumped even higher than he did. Obviously it's an early season, but we think that's one of the top marks in the country so far. Then Cody [Riffle] in the shot, that was impressive. Robert [Peddlar] only had one attempt in the long jump just to get his feet wet. And then Erik Braun, his first real attempt at the triple jump, was fantastic. Overall, they did great job."

On "The Dual" next week at Ohio State ... "We'll certainly have our hands full next week. Ohio State is a very good team. Those events that we did well in this week are areas where they have some very good guys, too. It'll be interesting. We'll definitely be competitive, and we'll go out there thinking we can win. That's exciting. Both teams don't have a lot of weaknesses."

U-M Sophomore Erik Braun
On his triple jump performance ... "It was a great opportunity. I've got to give credit to my coaches for giving me a great week of training. It all just kind of came together. It's a great blessing to be able to go out and compete for Michigan. It was fun to say the least."

On Mohamad Saatara's impact ... "Coach Mo is very influential. He's a great speaker and definitely has a way of motivating you, whether in practice or on break. He sends out texts or e-mails over Christmas to keep you in the track state of mind. There's definitely more a family mentality this year. This is my first year competing as a triple jumper, and Coach Mo has taken some personal time out of his schedule to give me some extra tutelage. It's been fun and I look forward to the future working with him."

On being named captain for this week's competition ... "I was a high school captain all my life. Coach Fred called David St. Amant and myself into his office last Sunday and we didn't even know why were getting called in. I think it's a true honor. I grew up watching Michigan, and have been a fan my whole life. It's a very prestigious honor to be named captain even for a week, which is something I told to the guys this week when I spoke in front of them. The big thing is trying to continue being a captain even when you aren't named one, just being a leader."

U-M Redshirt Freshman Bradley James
On his high jump performance ... "I felt really good about that. I redshirted last year and was able to compete unattached a few times. I wanted to go out there today and have a good day, and wear the Block 'M' with pride."

On his level of excitement after redshirting last season ... "Oh, definitely. I competed last year unattached, but I almost felt like those were meaningless jumps. I've waited an entire year to do this, so there was definitely a lot more energy for me today."

On how he can improve on his marks ... "Well the first thing I want to do is get a personal record. I was able to jump to 7-1 last season, and I want to get back to that mark. After that, I want to be able to score in the Big Ten Championships, get points for the team and compete as well as I can throughout the season."

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423