Feb. 11, 2012
Site: SPIRE Institute (Geneva, Ohio)
Event: SPIRE Invitational (Day 2 of 2)
U-M Team Result: No Team Scoring
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Feb. 18 -- host Silverston Invitational (U-M Indoor Track Building), 10 a.m.
GENEVA, Ohio -- The University of Michigan men's track and field team broke a 27-year-old school record (3:09.14) in the 4x400-meter relay to highlight the final day of competition at the SPIRE Invitational on Saturday (Feb. 11) at the GaREAT Sports Complex.
The relay team, which consisted of senior/junior Nick Neuman (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East), sophomore Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville), junior Aaron Taylor (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams) and senior Matthew Campbell (Rochester, Mich./Rochester), topped a record of 3:09.28 that was set in 1985 to place second overall.
Michigan got several new personal records in the sprinting events. Arastu and Neuman also set new personal records in the 400-meter dash (47.47) and unseeded 400-meter dash (48.68) to finish sixth and second in their respective events. Sophomore Justin Clarke (Flint, Mich./Southwestern) advanced to the finals in the 60-meter dash, where he took fifth overall in a personal-best time of 6.82.
Junior Jack Greenlee (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier HS) vaulted a lifetime-best height of 5.20 meters (17-0.75), placing first on pole vault. He improved on his previous personal-best of 5.16 meters, which he set last weekend at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational (Saturday, Feb. 4). Fellow junior Austin DeWildt (Wyoming, Mich./Catholic Central) followed in second place with a personal-best height of 5.05 meters (16-6.75).
In the throwing circle, junior Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) recorded a runner-up performance in the weight throw with a mark of 19.58 meters (64-3.00).
Senior Kurt Reichenbach (Brighton, Mich./Pinckney Community) competed in his first heptathlon of the season, winning the event with a career-best total of 5,319 points. He also set personal records in the 1,000-meter run (2:42.42) and 60-meter dash (7.15), where he finished first and second, respectively.
In just his second competition of the season, fifth-year senior Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) finished fifth in the 3,000-meter run, shaving nearly five seconds off his previous personal record with a time of 7:59.82.
On Friday (Feb. 10), Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge) highlighted the opening day, running a lifetime-best mark of 14:17.50 to finish runner-up in the 5,000-meter run.
The Wolverines will return home to host the Silverston Invitational next Saturday (Feb. 18). Action will begin at 10 a.m. at the U-M Indoor Track Building. It will mark Michigan's last competition prior to the Big Ten Indoor Championships Feb. 24-25 at the University of Nebraska.
Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day 2)
Heptathlon 1. Kurt Reichenbach, U-M 5,319 Heptathlon - 60-meter Dash 1. Dexter Shreve, Kent State 7.14 2. Kurt Reichenbach, U-M 7.15 7. Joe Strizich, U-M 7.57 Heptathlon - Long Jump 1. Dexter Shreve, Kent State 6.57m (21-6.75) 3. Kurt Reichenbach, U-M 6.48m (21-3.25) 6. Joe Strizich, U-M 6.07m (19-11.00) Heptathlon - Shot Put 1. Joe Strizich, U-M 14.65m (48-0.75) 3. Kurt Reichenbach, U-M 11.82m (38-9.50) Heptathlon - High Jump 1. Tyler Jones, Kent State 1.98m (6-6.00) 2. Kurt Reichenbach, U-M 1.95m (6-4.75) -- Joe Strizich, U-M NH Heptathlon - 60-meter Hurdles 1. Joe Hutchinson, North Carolina 8.33 2. Kurt Reichenbach, U-M 8.48 -- Joe Strizich, U-M NT Heptathlon - Pole Vault 1. Chad Pierce, North Carolina 4.90m (16-0.75) 2. Kurt Reichenbach, U-M 4.40m (14-5.25) Heptathlon - 1,000-meter Run 1. Kurt Reichenbach, U-M 2:42.42 -- Joe Strizich, U-M NT 60-meter Hurdles (Prelims) Top 10 advance to finals - heat winners plus next fastest times 1. Jeff Artis-Gray, Virginia Tech 7.96q 4. Herman Washington, U-M 8.02q 60-meter Hurdles (Finals) 1. Joseph Samuels, East Carolina 7.82 -- Herman Washington, U-M DNF 60-meter Dash (Prelims) Top 10 advance to finals - heat winners plus next fastest times 1. Kind Butler, Indiana 6.69q 6. Justin Clarke, U-M 6.88q 60-meter Dash (Finals) 1. Kind Butler, Indiana 6.68 5. Justin Clarke, U-M 6.82 3,000-meter Run 1. Alex Genest, Guelph 7:57.46 5. Craig Forys, U-M 7:59.82 400-meter Dash 1. David Verburg, George Mason 46.39 6. Ali Arastu, U-M 47.47 10. Michael Parker Jr., U-M 48.31 15. Philip Washington, U-M 49.17 800-meter Run 1. David Mokone, Western Kentucky 1:48.61 19. Dallas North, U-M 1:52.50 24. Nick Thomas, U-M 1:54.35 25. Scott Dvorak, U-M 1:54.38 200-meter Dash 1. Kind Butler, Indiana 20.85 9. Aaron Taylor, U-M 21.61 10. Matthew Campbell, U-M 21.62 Mile Run 1. Paul Chelimo, UNC-Greensboro 4:02.80 15. Brendon Blacklaws, U-M 4:10.76 17. James Yau, U-M 4:14.04 4x400-meter Relay 1. George Mason 3:08.40 2. MICHIGAN 'A' 3:09.14 (Nick Neuman, Ali Arastu, Aaron Taylor, Matthew Campbell) 9. MICHIGAN 'B' 3:17.35 (Michael Parker Jr., Philip Washington, Troy Sneller, Scott Dvorak) Pole Vault 1. Jack Greenlee, U-M 5.20m (17-0.75) 2. Austin DeWildt, U-M 5.05m (16-6.75) 12. Taylor Voice, U-M 4.75m (15-7.00) High Jump 1. Darius King, IU 2.18m (7-1.75) 6. Bradley James, U-M 2.03m (6-8.00) Long Jump 1. Stefan Britts, Florida State 7.11m (23-4.00) 9. Ed Hur, U-M 6.85m (22-5.75) Triple Jump 1. Aarik Wilson, Unattached 16.40m (53-9.75) 6. Patrick Cochran, U-M 14.88m (48-10.00) 7. Erik Braun, U-M 14.53m (47-8.00) Shot Put 1. Stephen Saenz, Auburn 19.37m (63-6.75) -- Justin Gaumer, U-M FOUL Weight Throw 1. Montrell Morrow, East Carolina 19.95m (65-5.00) 2. Ethan Dennis, U-M 19.58m (64-3.00) 19. Justin Gaumer, U-M 14.61m (47-11.25) q qualified for event finals
|Kurt Reichenbach||Heptathlon||5,319 points|
|Joe Strizich||Shot Put (Hep.)||14.65m (48-0.75)|
|Michael Parker Jr.||400m||48.31|
|Jack Greenlee||Pole Vault||5.20m (17-0.75)|
|Austin DeWildt||Pole Vault||5.05m (16-6.75)|
|Patrick Cochran||Triple Jump||14.88m (48-10.00)|
|Erik Braun||Triple Jump||14.53m (47-8.00)|
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Fred LaPlante
On the team's overall performance in its last big meet before Big Tens ... "The competition was really good -- in some cases the competition was as stiff as the Big Ten will be or maybe even better, and in some cases maybe not quite as good. Overall, it was a perfect competition for us to be in before the conference meet. Like in all our meets, you have 30 guys -- you have a mixed bag of guys that had really good performances and some guys didn't. You're just trying to learn from your experiences and get the competitive edge coming into the conference meet. For the most part, I think we accomplished that. Even the guys that didn't do well, I don't think it's a lack of focus or confidence, I think it just helps them realize how much they need to stay focused and they can't let their guard down when you get to this level of competition."
On the 4x400-meter relay's school-record breaking performance ... "That was big. For one reason or another, the few times that we've run it this year, we haven't been able to put it all together. Part of a relay running fast is being in the right place at the right time --good competition and your guys being ready to go, and both of those things were in order here. We beat some great teams and we really competed well. All four of those guys did a terrific job. All four of them did their job on the relay to make it happen."
On other individual performances that stood out ... "Kurt (Reichenbach) had a really solid performance in the heptathlon. He competed well and won. It was a nice little competition for him and that was his lifetime best by a couple hundred points. Craig's (Forys) performance was a lifetime best. Jack Greenlee's mark was really good. Justin Clarke making the finals of the (60-meter) dash was really an outstanding performance. It was a great field of people in the sprints and he finished fifth overall, which was his best mark. Ali Arastu ran his lifetime best in the 400 and that was another highlight for us. Patrick Cochran had a lifetime best in the triple jump, so that was another big highlight. And of course the day before, Zach Ornelas, that was a big PR for him in the 5,000. Zach really had the performance of the day."
U-M Sophomore Sprinter Ali Arastu
On breaking the 4x400-meter relay school record ... "Our 4x4 has been a little messy and Coach (LaPlante) just decided to put up our outdoor regional team from last year that did really well. We were just hoping for the best and he had really great competition, the meet was really fast, the track was really good. All four of us were pretty shocked by our time. We all think it's awesome. Plus, we had a really hard week of practice leading into this meet and it all paid off. Honestly, it hasn't hit me yet. I know for sure that even though we just broke the school record, all of us know we can go faster, we have to go faster."
On running a personal record in the 400-meter dash ... "I ran a much smarter race than I usually do. I usually go out a little too slow and then try to catch up the whole way, but I went out a little better today. I'm usually more of a 400-meter hurdler, but indoor the turns are a little sharper and I'm really tall and lanky so it's a little harder for me to adapt to it. In my second year, I'm getting stronger from the weight lifting and all the running and this race is getting easier and easier as I go on. Now that my times are lower, I can have a bigger impact at Big Tens. Hopefully, I have a chance to get into the finals and do well at Big Tens and even after that."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423