March 24, 2012
Site: Loker Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Event: USC Trojan Invitational (Day 2 of 2)
U-M Team Standing: No team scoring
Next U-M Event:Fri-Sat., April 6-7 -- at William & Mary Colonial Relays (Williamsburg, Va.), 11 a.m.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Junior Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge) led the University of Michigan men's track and field team on the second day of the USC Trojan Invitational, winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase (8:59.57) on Saturday (March 24) at Loker Stadium. The Wolverines concluded the two-day outdoor-opening event with seven top-five performances.
Michigan also received a boost from its sophomore hurdlers, which recorded two top-five marks. Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville) clocked a time of 51.74 in the 400-meter hurdles, while Herman Washington (Blacklick, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln) finished fifth in the 110-meter hurdles in a time of 14.46.
In the field, fifth-year senior Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys) return to action for his final season. Peddlar had previously exhausted all of his indoor eligibility and sat out the 2012 indoor season. The team captain recorded a mark of 7.21 meters (23-8.00) to earn runner up in the long jump.
In his outdoor debut, sophomore/freshman Justin Gaumer (Holly, Mich./Holly) generated two top-five throws, finishing third in the discus (47.83 meters, 156-11.00) and fourth in the shot put (15.11 meters, 49-7.00).
On Friday (March 23), freshman Brad Bolton (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro) placed fourth in the hammer throw in his collegiate debut with a toss of 58.03 meters (190-5.00).
The Wolverines will take a week off from competition before returning to action at the William & Mary Colonial Relays on April 6-7.
Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day 2)
1,500-meter Run 1. Boru Guyota, Oregon 3:47.89 14. James Yau, U-M 3:53.51 15. Scott Dvorak, U-M 3:59.28 110-meter Hurdles 1. Johnathan Cabral, Oregon 13.76 5. Herman Washington, U-M 14.46 6. Erick Gavin, U-M 14.53 14. Kurt Reichenbach, U-M 15.44 400-meter Dash 1. Josh Mance, USC 45.65 7. Aaron Taylor, U-M 48.17 t10. Nick Neuman, U-M 48.51 14. Philip Washington, U-M 48.84 18. Eric Oliver, U-M 49.63 800-meter Dash 1. Michael Preble, Texas A&M 1:46.43 15. Scott Dvorak, U-M 1:54.26 16. James Yau, U-M 1:55.33 400-meter Hurdles 1. Reggie Wyatt, USC 49.95 2. Ali Arastu, U-M 51.74 t7. Michael Parker Jr., U-M 52.86 12. Troy Sneller, U-M 54.23 200-meter Dash 1. Ameer Webb, Texas A&M 20.46 14. Justin Clarke, U-M 22.05 18. Herman Washington, U-M 22.40 19. Erick Gavin, U-M 22.82 4x400-meter Relay 1. USC 'A' 3:02.24 6. Michigan 'A' 3:10.89 (Nick Neuman, Ali Arastu, Aaron Taylor, Michael Parker Jr.) 8. Michigan 'B' 3:14.17 (Philip Washington, Eric Oliver, Troy Sneller, Justin Clarke) 3,000-meter Steeplechase 1. Zach Ornelas, U-M 8:59.57 Long Jump 1. Marqise Lee, USC 7.30m (23-11.50) 2. Robert Peddlar, U-M 7.21m (23-8.00) 10. Patrick Cochran, U-M 6.67m (21-10.75) Shot Put 1. Joe Bartlett, Washington State 17.53m (57-6.25) 4. Justin Gaumer, U-M 15.11m (49-7.00) Pole Vault 1. Robby Fegles, Washington 5.07m (16-7.50) 6. Jack Greenlee, U-M 4.77m (15-7.75) 7. Austin DeWildt, U-M 4.62m (15-1.75) 10. Kurt Reichenbach, U-M 4.47m (14-8.00) Triple Jump 1. Brian Schaudt, Oregon 15.46m (50-8.75) 6. Patrick Cochran, U-M 14.52m (47-7.75) Discus Throw 1. Joe Bartlett, Washington State 51.61m (169-4.00) 3. Justin Gaumer, U-M 47.83m (156-11.00)
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Fred LaPlante
On the first outdoor meet of the season ... "It was a great venue, the weather was great, the competition was at a very high level -- USC and Texas A&M are recognized as two of the perennial powerhouses in the country and then you had Washington, Washington State and BYU, so there was very good competition. We fared okay -- it was about what we expected. We come off of indoors and we do some pretty hard training. We usually come to this meet in March and our guys are tired and they're just getting outdoors. It's a great experience to compete against these really good guys and there was a really nice crowd at the meet, so I think it was a good experience for everybody. We didn't have a lot of performances that I would say were great, but they were pretty encouraging in terms of where we are with our training. It was a really good opener for us."
On Zach Ornelas' win in the steeplechase ... "Alex (Gibby) has been working with him and he's really bought into the training. They do a lot of strength-based training, so this race for him, he wasn't that sharp, but he was very strong. It was a lifetime best for him in the steeple and a great way to start the season. He's been running the last really well. The last three or four meets he's run, going back to February, have been really solid, so I think his confidence is high. His training is going well, so that's very nice for him."
On having Robert Peddlar back for his final season in the long jump ... "He's a senior and it's nice to have him back because it plugs a gap. Without him we're not very strong in the long jump, but with him we've got a pretty good long jumper. To have him out there is great and he did a nice job for his first meet."
On the expectation of the 4x400-meter relay after a strong indoor season ... "It will be a strong suit of ours. Those guys are coming off of the NCAA Indoor Championships a couple weeks ago and first I gave them a couple days off, but when they came back we started training really hard, so their legs are pretty dead. They weren't sharp today, but they're going to run fast this season. It's certainly not something I'm concerned about. I'm excited about what they can do. Our 400-meter hurdlers really got off to a good start. We've hardly had a chance to practice and they were running against really good guys. It was Michael Parker's debut and that's a very fast time for his first meet, ever. Ali (Arastu) ran about a half second faster than he did last year at this time and last year he had a few more weeks than he did this year. It was a really good start for those guys."
On other solid performances at USC ... "Joe Strizich in the javelin I thought was good and Brad Bolton in the hammer throw. He was good in his first meet ever in college, so that was a good performance. We had some marks that didn't look so good on paper -- guys executed, but they just couldn't finish because they were pretty tired. I'm very encouraged by the type of team we're going to have outdoors."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423