Historic Weight Throw Duo Leads U-M to Seventh at Big Tens
Grant Cartwright (left) and Joe Ellis

Feb. 25, 2017

What You Need to Know
» Grant Cartwright twice broke the weight throw school record to lead a 1-2 finish in the weight throw with Joe Ellis.
» Khoury Crenshaw and Kevin Stephens Jr. went from not projected to score to finishing top-five in their events.
» Aaron Baumgarten scored for the second time this weekend, while Taylor McLaughlin also posted two scoring efforts.

Complete Results |  Photo Gallery 

Site: Geneva, Ohio (SPIRE Institute)
Event: Big Ten Indoor Championships
U-M Team Result: Tie-7th Place of 12 Teams (54 Points)
Next U-M Events: Fri-Sat., March 10-11 -- at NCAA Indoor Championships (College Station, Texas)

GENEVA, Ohio -- Led by a historic and emotionally supercharged top-two sweep in the weight throw, the University of Michigan men's track and field team closed out the Big Ten Indoor Championships Saturday (Feb. 25) at the SPIRE Institute with a seventh-place team showing.

The Wolverines scored 54 points to tie rival Ohio State for seventh place in the team standings, bolstered by weight throw champion Grant Cartwright and runner-up Joe Ellis, who combined for three school records on the day.

After unloading a gigantic heave of 23.31m (76-5.75) on his final attempt to take the win and the record, an ecstatic Cartwright ran into the bleachers to celebrate with teammates and supporters.

Moments later he returned for another Michigan mosh pit with Ellis in tow after Ellis unleashed a career-best throw of his own at 22.49m (73-9.5) on his final attempt.

Ellis recorded the first of three school records on the day -- and his fourth of the season -- on his second attempt, going 22.15m to take the lead heading into the finals.

Meanwhile, Cartwright was in danger of fouling out after two throws out of the sector to start his day -- a déjà vu scenario from yesterday's shot put. But after the junior landed a mark of 20.50m right down the middle of the fair area to secure his finals berth, Cartwright was free to flex his muscles in the final.

His first throw of three in the final was a career-best 22.02m to move up to second behind Ellis. The mark equaled a previous school record set by Ellis in January at Notre Dame.

Next time around, Cartwright claimed the school record for himself with a 22.25m bomb to top the standard set by Ellis just three rounds prior.

Cartwright capped the day with his record throw, leaving with a career best just over two meters farther than when he entered the SPIRE Institute Saturday morning. His previous personal record had been 21.29m (69-10.25) from two weeks ago.

In addition to securing 18 critical team points for the Wolverines, the two also almost certainly secured their berths to the NCAA Indoor Championships in two weekends' time (March 10-11) in College Station, Texas. As it stands, Cartwright and Ellis make Michigan the only school in the nation with two weight throwers ranked top-10; Cartwright checks in at No. 4 while Ellis is No. 8.

The Wolverines got five big points from Khoury Crenshaw in the 60-meters final, as he crossed the line right in the midst of a blanket finish in which finishers second through seventh were separated by just .05. Crenshaw clocked 6.73 just one day after running a career-best 6.71 in the prelims.

Crenshaw scored despite coming into the meet ranked outside the top eight, as did Kevin Stephens Jr. in the triple jump.

After finishing runner-up a year ago with a season-best leap, Stephens repeated that script in 2017 with a fifth-place performance. He jumped 15.43m (50-7.50) -- 40 centimeters farther than at any other point this year -- for four points in the Wolverines' team total.

Taylor McLaughlin contributed six points to the effort by way of sixth-place finishes at both 400 and 200 meters.

A 46.43 showing in the quarter-mile put McLaughlin within just .01 of his U-M indoor school record from last year's Big Ten Championships, followed up later in the afternoon by a 21.20 sprint over 200 meters.

Aaron Baumgarten also turned in his second scoring performance of the weekend, this time in a sixth-place finish over 5,000 meters in 14:06.82, just .8 from third place. After moving up to second in the very late stages of the race, he was able to hold on for his three points in a fast and furious finish in the final 300 meters.

Brennan Munley scored four points for Michigan, taking fifth at 800 meters in 1:49.01, while Will Sheeran and Ned Willig were sixth and seventh, respectively for five more in the mile. Willig had opened up a big lead heading into the late stages of the race but was overcome by a quick finish on the final lap.

Drake Johnson was ninth in the hurdles, running 8.08 to miss a scoring spot by only .02.

Select Wolverines will finish up the indoor season in two weekends at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas. Entries into the championships -- the top 16 in individual events and the top-12 relays -- will be announced the evening of Tuesday (Feb. 28).

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Communications Contact: Kyle Terwillegar


 



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