Feb. 16, 2013
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (U-M Indoor Track Building)
Event: Silverston Invitational
U-M Team Result: No team scoring
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sat., Feb. 22-23 -- at Big Ten Indoor Championships (Geneva, Ohio), 10 a.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The 25th-ranked University of Michigan men's track and field hosted the annual Silverston Invitational on Saturday (Feb. 16), and the team tallied 13 top-five performances in its tune-up for the Big Ten Indoor Championships. The U-M Indoor Track Building was filled with pink and blue as the meet was a Pink and Blue Cancer Awareness event.
Senior Jack Greenlee's (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) performance in the pole vault highlighted the meet. He won the event with a season-best vault of 5.15 meters (16-10.75), moving him into a tie for eighth place in the Big Ten standings with one week remaining until the conference championships.
Junior/sophomore Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) won the shot put with a winning throw of 17.69 meters (58-0.50), while sophomore/freshman Derek Sievers (Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center) took fourth place with a toss of 17.09 meters (56-1).
In the weight throw, senior/junior Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) was U-M's top finisher, placing third with a mark of 19.84 meters (65-1.25).
The 800-meter run headlined the track events, with Michigan claiming the top four spots. In his first event of the season and his final home meet at U-M, senior Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College) won the event with a time of 1:54.79. Sophomore Ben Reed (Hemlock, Mich./Midland) (1:55.39), freshman Nate Chapman (Auburn Hills, Mich./Avondale) (1:56.43) and sophomore Jake Schweinsberg (Monroe, Mich./Monroe) (1:56.93) went 2-3-4 behind Blacklaws. Reed recorded a personal-best time, while Chapman ran the 800 for the first time in his career.
Sophomore/freshman Codie Nolan (Morenci, Mich./Adrian) ran a personal-best time of 6.94 to finish runner-up in the 60-meter dash and also took fourth in his first collegiate 200-meter dash with a time of 22.65.
Sophomore/freshman Kwesi Rutledge (Somerset, N.J./Franklin) and sophomore/freshman Justin Krauss (Perry, Mich./Perry) each ran personal-best times in their respective events. Rutledge took third in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:25.01, while Krauss' time of 4:17.54 in the mile was good enough for fourth place.
Up next, the Wolverines will travel to Geneva, Ohio, to compete in the Big Ten Indoor Championships on Friday and Saturday, Feb 22-23 at the SPIRE Institute. Competition will begin at 10 a.m. each day. Meet Information/Purchase Tickets
N O T E S
Today's meet was a Pink and Blue Cancer Awareness event. The men's team wore blue shirts to promote prostate cancer awareness, while the women wore pink shirts for breast cancer awareness. Representatives from the American Cancer Society were on site to help create awareness and collect donations. Volunteers Same Lewis and Julia Roberts addressed the crowd to share their inspiring storied about why the volunteer with the ACS.
Michigan's seniors were honored prior to the start of the running events.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Fred LaPlante
On the environment for the meet ... "Well, first of all, the cancer awareness thing, I think it's always appropriate to make people aware of the things that are going on. Pretty much all adults are aware, as it's something that's touched so many in their lives. My wife is a cancer survivor, so it certainly hits home with me, and Coach Henry is a close friend and it is great to see that everything is going well there. Just in hearing the testimonials of the students who talked and so forth, our meet served a purpose as more than just a track meet. So that was all certainly nice. As far as the seniors go, being a week before the championships, a lot of guys weren't competing, but it always gives you cause to think about these guys back when they were freshmen and sophomores, and the journey that they've been on. For most of the kids at Michigan, the journey ends up going pretty well. Getting a degree from the university and having a great experience, both on the track and off."
On some of the highlights from today ... "Jack's (Greenlee) performance was a season best, so that was very impressive for him. Brendon Blacklaws came back -- this was really his first race for us, so it was nice to see him running because he's a senior and had a good performance. Codie Nolan running the 60; that was a big breakthrough for him. Those were probably the best performances we had and the most significant heading into next week. But everybody had a chance to compete, to get out there and get some experience."
On finally putting the whole team together for Big Tens ... "We certainly had a mini version of it at our dual with Michigan State. But since that time, we've been all over the map with training. It's an experience we're looking forward to. Everyone knows that this is the meet that everyone's pointing to. That's what you're out there trying to prepare for. I think they'll be together, as far as pulling for each other. They're really looking forward to this experience also. Right now, we're going into the meet fairly healthy, and I think our attitude is good for our team. Our goal is for each person to give their best performance, and then we'll see where we stand when the smoke clears."
U-M Senior Pole Vaulter Jack Greenlee
On recording a season-best mark before Big Tens ... "The purpose of this meet is to tune up for Big Tens. My vault hasn't been where I wanted it this season. I've been dealing with a few little issues, but it felt good. I felt like I got my vault back this weekend, and I finally got some confidence back. Hopefully I'll be able to bring that confidence to do some damage at Big Tens."
On being able to improve his mark next weekend ... "I missed on my last try, but it was more of a standards issue, which is good. I hit the pole a little better than I thought I would, which made me hit the bar on the way up. I definitely still got some confidence. I was glad I was able to get it together and get a good shot at a third attempt. Like I said, hopefully we can fix up the little things there, and we'll know a little more about what to expect going into next week."
On Senior Day and the pink and blue cancer awareness meet ... "Well, Coach Henry is a cancer survivor and then we heard some inspiring stories today at the meet. Anything we can do in terms of spreading awareness, we're proud to do it. As far as being seniors, we don't have an outdoor home meet this year, so this was our last chance to compete in front of our home crowd. That means a lot to all of us seniors."
On how the team is feeling heading into Big Tens next week ... "We've been pretty fortunate. We don't have too many injuries, we don't have a lot of things bugging us, and everyone's keeping up in classes. So, I think we're going to be able to bring a pretty strong team into Big Tens. I know the coaches are happy with the performances so far, and as long as we get our guys hitting on next week I think we'll do well. We need to prepare mentally, and we'll talk to the younger guys. I think a lot of that falls on the seniors and captains, so we'll get them prepared mentally because we all want to perform our best. I think we're definitely an underdog heading into the meet, so we want to surprise some people with some good performances."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423