Jan. 28, 2012
Site: Annapolis, Md. (Wesley A. Brown Field House)
Event: Wesley A. Brown Invitational
U-M Team Result: No team scoring
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sat., Feb. 3-4 -- at Notre Dame Meyo Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 5 p.m./10 a.m.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The University of Michigan men's track and field team took first place in eight of the 14 events it competed in at Navy's Wesley A. Brown Invitational on Saturday (Jan. 28) at the Wesley A. Brown Field House. Junior Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College) and junior/sophomore Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) each set facility records.
Blacklaws ran a personal-best time of 4:04.48 in the mile run to take first place, while Dennis recorded a winning mark of 20.07 meters (65-10 1/4) in the weight throw.
After missing the first two meets of the season due to injury, fifth-year senior Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) returned to compete in the 5,000-meter run. Forys remained in the lead pack for the first two-thirds of the race before pulling away in the final 800 meters, which he ran in just 2:00. His time of 14:11.00 won the race by more than 14 seconds.
Michigan also excelled in the sprint events, winning the 60-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 60-meter hurdles and 4x400-meter relay.
Sophomore Justin Clarke (Flint, Mich./Southwestern) and senior Matthew Campbell (Rochester, Mich./Rochester) finished one-two in the 60-meter dash with times of 6.88 and 6.99, respectively.
Junior Aaron Taylor (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams) won the 200-meter title with a personal-best time of 21:78. Sophomore Herman Washington (Blacklick, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln) took third in the 60-meter hurdle prelims and shaved .24 seconds off his prelim time to take first in the finals, clocking a personal-best time of 8.03.
Michigan's 4x400-meter relay team, which consisted of Campbell, freshman Philip Washington (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield), sophomore Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville) and sophomore Michael Parker Jr. (Jackson, Mich./Michigan Center), ran its best time this season at 3:14.34 to finish in first place.
In the field, junior/sophomore Bradley James (East Lansing, Mich./Haslett) recorded his third consecutive win in the high jump with a leap of 2.15 meters (7-0.50).
The Wolverines will remain on the road next weekend, traveling to South Bend, Ind., to compete in the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational. The meet will kick off on Friday (Jan. 27) at 5 p.m. and resume again on Saturday (Jan. 28) at 10 a.m.
Event Winners/U-M Finishers
60-meter Dash (Prelims)
1. Justin Clarke, U-M 6.91q
3. Matthew Campbell, U-M 7.08q
60-meter Dash (Finals)
1. Justin Clarke, U-M 6.88
2. Matthew Campbell, U-M 6.99
1. Aaron Taylor, U-M 21.78
3. Nick Neuman, U-M 22.06
1. Clayton Parros, North Carolina 47.56
4. Ali Arastu, U-M 48.79
5. Philip Washington, U-M 49.13
1. Wayne Bartholomew, La Salle 1:54.06
6. Nick Thomas, U-M 1:55.16
11. Scott Dvorak, U-M 1:55.70
14. Jake Schweinsberg, U-M 1:56.85
1. Brendon Blacklaws, U-M 4:04.48
6. Dallas North, U-M 4:10.92
1. Craig Forys, U-M 14:11.00
7. Mark Beams, U-M 14:42.00
60-meter Hurdles (Prelims)
1. Zach Ray, Maryland 8.13q
2. Ali Arastu, U-M 8.21q
3. Herman Washington, U-M 8.27q
5. Erick Gavin, U-M 8.34q
60-meter Hurdles (Finals)
1. Herman Washington, U-M 8.03
3. Erick Gavin, U-M 8.06
5. Ali Arastu, U-M 8.24
1. MICHIGAN 3:14.34
(Matthew Campbell, Aaron Taylor, Philip Washington, Ali Arastu)
Distance Medley Relay
1. Navy 10:04.83
5. MICHIGAN 10:27.49
(Brendon Blacklaws, Michael Parker Jr., Scott Dvorak, Dallas North)
1. Bradley James, U-M 7-0 1/2 (2.15m)
1. Ben Katz, William & Mary 23-8 3/4 (7.23m)
3. Ed Hur, U-M 21-10 (6.65m)
1. Tuan Wreh, Unattached 49-11 (15.21m)
3. Erik Braun, U-M 46-0 1/2 (14.03m)
1. Josh Haghighi, Maryland 50-8 3/4 (15.46m)
2. Justin Gaumer, U-M 50-4 (15.34m)
15. Kurt Reichenbach, U-M 37-0 1/2 (11.29m)
35-lb. Weight Throw
1. Ethan Dennis, U-M 65-10 1/4 (20.07m)
6. Justin Gaumer, U-M 51-2 1/4 (15.60m)
q qualified for finals
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Fred LaPlante
On the team's performance at its first road meet ... "You can have a team bonding experience during a scored meet and you get a team boding experience from traveling -- this is our first travel meet of the year. It was great to go to the Naval Academy. That always has some special significance being there. It's a nice place and they have a great track facility, which was a big reason for us to go there. We got to face a couple ACC teams and two other teams from the East. I think the change in venue helped keep our focus."
On Herman Washington's continued improvement in the 60-meter hurdles ... "I think in both of his races, he got out of his rhythm on the second hurdle and he responded better during the final than he did in the prelims. He's had three weeks in a row where he's run faster -- small increments of improvement at a time, but he keeps running faster, so that was good to see him keep improving."
On having Craig Forys back for today's meet ... "He's certainly one of the big, big keys to our team. The 5,000 was a very good performance for him. He started out kind of conservatively in the first half of the race. There were a couple pretty good guys in there with him and they were with him for the first two-thirds of the race, but the last 800 meters of the race, he ran in two minutes, which is very, very fast at 5,000 meters. It was really great to see."
On the depth the team has in the 4x400-meter relay ... "Fortunately, we do have some depth. We've had some unfortunate things happen and today we had a couple more -- Aaron Taylor was going to run the 4x4 today, and we really hoped to run very fast today, but Aaron had a little hamstring injury today during the 200. We couldn't use him for the relay and Ali Arastu, who did run, he twisted his ankle during warm-ups today and it affected all of his performances -- he just wasn't on form today. He stayed in the relay, but we substituted Taylor with Michael Parker, who did a nice job. The guys that ran did a nice job -- it was their best time of the year, but really they are capable of running quite a bit faster. So, fortunately that's one area that we do have quite a bit of depth at."
U-M Sophomore Hurdler Herman Washington
On the improvement from the 60-meter prelims to the finals ... "I felt pretty good and confident going into the prelim race. My mindset this year is that I'm just out to compete and win every time. I kind of ran slower in the prelims, but I was kind of content with how I ran. After that, I just tried to regain focus and finish first, which is my goal for every race."
On his continued improvement from week to week ... "I think what's helped me improve the most is just my focus. I feel like I have more of a focus this year. I have more of a sense of my role after getting my feet wet last year. I'm able to make the right decision as far as how much focus I keep in practices and having the will to compete in practices and in meets. At the end of the day, it's just reminding myself that I'm doing what I like to do and to not be so serious about it -- just smile and have fun with it."
On competing with a cast on his left arm ... "At the beginning it was different because it made me change my set position a little bit. I would kind of cringe a little bit to balance on the fingers that are sticking out of the cast. But now it's just kind of a mental thing and I have to except the situation the way it is. The guy next to me in the lane is going to care less if I have a cast on, he's not going to run any slower because I have a cast on, so I just have to make the best of the situation and keep going."
On the different environment at the team's first road meet ... "There are pros and cons to it. It's kind of good (competing at home) because we have guys from our school cheering us on. But I think it's kind of good sometimes getting away because you're practicing on your track every day and now some of those things that you did the day before and the week before will carry over with you to the race. It's good for us to face good competition and see some new faces so that we're ready for that when the Big Ten meet comes around."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423