Jan. 26, 2013
Site: Allendale, Mich. (Kelly Family Sports Center)
Score: Michigan 88, Michigan State 74
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sat., Feb. 1-2 -- at Notre Dame Meyo Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 4 p.m./10 a.m.
ALLENDALE, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's track and field team won 10 of 15 events to defeat Michigan State, 88-74, in the first head-to-head meeting between the two programs since 1982 on Saturday (Jan. 26) at Grand Valley State's Kelly Family Sports Center.
The Wolverines' victory was highlighted by a pair of school-record performances in the throwing events. Junior/sophomore Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) set a new standard with a throw of 19.25 meters (63-2) in the shot put, while senior/junior Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) made his record-setting mark at 21.20 meters (69-6.75) in the weight throw. Both throwers won their respective events to combine for 10 points for Michigan.
Riffle and Dennis helped the Wolverines win five of six field events. Senior/junior Bradley James (East Lansing, Mich./Haslett) cleared a height of 2.07 meters (6-9.50) to win the high jump, while fellow senior Jack Greenlee's (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) mark of 5.0 meters (16-4.75) in the pole vault was good enough for first place. James and Greenlee each recorded the same marks as the runner-up finishers but won their respective events by being the first to successfully clear the bar.
Sophomore James Vincent (Farmington, Mich./Farmington) made his mark in the sand at 6.89 meters (22-7.25) to take first place in the long jump.
On the track, senior Aaron Taylor (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams) earned the victory in the 200-meter dash by clocking a career-best time of 21.52, while junior Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville) stopped the clock at 1:20.66 to win the 600-meter run.
Fifth-year seniors Dan Lowry (Philadelphia, Pa./La Salle College) and Bobby Aprill (Dexter, Mich./Dexter) finished 1-2 in the 3,000-meter run, each topping the previous U-M/MSU dual-meet record (8:15.44). Lowry won the event in 8:03.56, while Aprill set a new personal-best time of 8:05.37 to finish second.
Junior Herman Washington (Blacklick, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln) captured the win the in 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.04.
In the final event of the meet, Michigan topped Michigan State's 4x400-meter relay by nearly two seconds with a time of 3:15.51. The relay consisted of senior/junior Troy Sneller (Hamilton, Mich./Hamilton), sophomore Philip Washington (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield), freshman Nate Chapman (Auburn Hills, Mich./Avondale) and Arastu.
Michigan will compete in its first two-day meet of the season next Friday and Saturday (Feb. 1-2) at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Ind. Competition will begin on Friday at 4 p.m. and resume again on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Loftus Sports Center.
N O T E S
• Cody Riffle set a new school record in the shot put (19.25 meters, 63-2), breaking a 41-year-old record set by Steve Adams in 1972. Riffle also topped Adams' dual-meet record set in 1973 (18.46 meters, 60-7).
• Ethan Dennis set a new school record in the weight throw (21.20 meters, 69-6.75), breaking the previous record set by Sean Pruitt in 2009. Dennis also topped former Wolverine Patrick Johansson's dual-meet record of 16.23 meters (53-3) set in 1999 (*tri-meet).
• Dan Lowry set a new dual-meet record in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 8:03.56, topping former Wolverine Kevin Sullivan's time of 8:15.44, set in 1995 (*tri-meet).
Antonio Whitfield -- 60m dash (6.97)
Aaron Taylor -- 200m dash (21.52)
Nate Chapman -- 600m run (1:21.33)
James Yau -- Mile run (4:11.62)
Bobby Aprill -- 3,000m Run (8:05.37)
Zach Ornelas -- 3,000m Run (8:16.76)
Mark Beams -- 3,000m Run (8:18.45)
Cody Riffle -- Shot Put (19.25m; 63-2)
Derek Sievers -- Shot Put (17.55m; 57-7)
Brad Bolton -- Weight Throw (16.87m; 55-4.25)
Ethan Dennis -- Weight Throw (20.21m; 69-6.75)
Antonio Whitfield -- Triple Jump (12.07m; 39-7.25)
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Fred LaPlante
On renewing the dual history with Michigan State and getting the win ... "I thought we had a nice crowd. It took a little while for the crowd to really embrace what was going on and once they did, the crowd was pretty wild, and with the crowd there we saw a little more animation in the athletes from both teams. These types of meets bring out the best in all the athletes to really compete until the end of their event. I thought the Michigan State athletes did a good job, as well as our athletes, who were able to have a good performance for their teammates and the people watching. Everyone was very competitive and really tried to help their team out the entire meet."
On dual meets bringing the team together ... "This meet was great. Although the meet was over much quicker than most meets, the pace wasn't such that people were missing things. Our athletes were able to get over and watch while our guys were throwing. Sometimes the field events end up in the background, and this was an opportunity for our track athletes to be around those events as well, so that was great. The people who were competing felt the support of their teammates right there on the field or on the track. I think it does help them down the road in major competitions because guys feel like they're competing for more than their own personal glory."
On the improvements across all event areas ... "It was sort of a night-and-day experience from last weekend. That first meet, you're sort of feeling your way around, and I give our guys credit, especially the upperclassmen, they did a nice job of explaining to the younger guys not to panic with their performances last week. Today was a new day, and we needed to hone in on what we had to do to be competitive, and they did that. It was definitely a different level of intensity from beginning to end."
On Ethan Dennis and Cody Riffle setting new school records ... "It was really great for Ethan Dennis, who is a local guy from the Grand Rapids area. The weight throw was the first event of the meet, and Michigan State has a very strong contingent of throwers, so for him to get a great throw off early and set the school record, it kind of set the tone for the meet for our guys. He threw over five feet further than he did last week, and that was great for him to get that mark. And then Cody (Riffle) came back and bashed the school record in the shot put by two-and-a-half feet. The competition was very good, so for him to get that throw out there, that was great. They sort of fed off each other, and for a dual meet, to have those kinds of performances was very impressive."
U-M Senior/Junior Ethan Dennis
On breaking the school record in the weight throw in front of his hometown crowd ... "It was awesome. There was a huge cheering section for me -- I had a lot of friends and family there. It was really cool to get that done there. It is nice to get that record out of the way. I can be happy with what I did yesterday but not satisfied by any means. I have to keep improving each meet if I want to be as successful as I want to be at the end of the year."
On competing in the first dual meet with Michigan State in 31 years ..."Dual meets are a lot of fun because the way they're scored; teams are never too far apart from each other. You're always in it throughout the entire meet and are never really out of it. Everyone watches you because you're more on display than you would be in bigger invitational. It's cool to be one of the first events to go and get everyone hyped up after a big performance."
On having a larger throwing group in competitions this season ... "It's huge. Up until this season, we only had one or two throwers competing in a season, and now we have five indoors. To have those other people there with you that you're with every day at practice is great. You can really feed off each other's performances, and it helps take pressure off yourself and makes it a lot more fun."
On the meet improving the team's confidence and chemistry ... "I think it's definitely huge to walk out of there with a win. I think everyone got pretty fired up after the meet. It was really cool to have everyone do the victory lap together at the end to really bring the team together. It was so much fun."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423