Five Winners for Maize & Blue at FSU Relays

March 26, 2011

Notes & Quotes

Site: Tallahassee, Fla. (Mike Long Track)
Event: FSU Relays (Day 2 of 2)
Result: No Team Scoring
Next U-M Event: Thu-Sat., April 7-9 -- at UCLA Rafer Johnson Invitational (Westwood, Calif.), 10 a.m. (PDT)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Five members of the University of Michigan men's track and field team picked up event wins at the FSU Relays, which concluded Saturday (March 26) at the Mike Long Track.

Among the winners at the two-day event were sophomore Austin DeWildt (Wyoming, Mich./Catholic Central) in the pole vault, junior Nick Neuman (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) in the 400-meter dash, freshman Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville) in the 400-meter hurdles and sophomore Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge) in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The 4x400-meter relay team of Neuman, senior David St. Amant (Livonia, Mich./Churchill), freshman Eric Oliver (Berkeley, Calif./Homewood-Flossmoor [Ill.]) and junior Matthew Campbell (Rochester, Mich./Rochester) closed out the meet with a victory as well, crossing the finish line in 3:11.30.

Three of the four men on Michigan's winning 4x400-meter relay team also dominated in the 400-meter dash a day earlier (Friday, March 25), occupying the top four spots. Neuman took first (47.43), Oliver was second (48.04), St. Amant was third (48.12) and Arastu rounded out the quartet in fourth (48.23). Neuman also tied for fifth in the 200-meter dash on Saturday (22.03).

Michigan's hurdlers were also in top form at the FSU Relays. Despite the absence of top hurdler Carl Buchanon (South Bend, Ind./Clay), fifth-year senior Nick McCampbell (Detroit, Mich./Cass Tech) finished third (14.40 - career high) in the 60-meter hurdles on Friday, in addition to Arastu's win on Saturday.

Over in the field, freshman Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) finished second in the discus throw (170-7 ft.) on Saturday, while fellow freshman Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Northville) finished fourth in the hammer throw (164-7 ft.) on Friday. Junior Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys) finished fifth in the long jump (23-6 1/4 ft.), and sophomore Erik Braun (Pinckney, Mich./Pinckney Community) took second in the triple jump (46-7 1/2 ft.).

Each of Michigan's decathletes -- fifth-year senior Frank Shotwell (Medina, Ohio/Medina), redshirt sophomore Kurt Reichenbach (Brighton, Mich./Pinckney Community) and junior Joe Strizich (San Francisco, Calif./St. Ignatius College Prep) -- competed this weekend. All three threw the javelin (with Strizich finishing fifth), discus (with Shotwell finishing eighth) and ran in the 110-meter hurdles. In addition to those two events, Strizich competed in high jump and Reichenbach competed in long jump.

The Wolverines return to the track in two weeks at the UCLA Rafer Johnson Invitational in Westwood, Calif. The three-day meet will begin at 10 a.m. PDT on Thursday, April 7, and run through Saturday, April 9.

Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day Two)

 1. Michael Putman, Florida State           176-9 ft. (53.87m)
 2. Cody Riffle, U-M                        170-7 ft. (52.00m)
 8. Frank Shotwell, U-M                    141-10 ft. (43.24m)
21. Kurt Reichenbach, U-M                    86-1 ft. (26.24m)
--  Joe Strizich, U-M                        FOUL
200-meter Dash
 1. Payton McGhee, Troy                     21.68
 4. Matthew Campbell, U-M                   21.92
T5. Nick Neuman, U-M                        22.03
 9. Aaron Taylor, U-M                       22.17
10. Nick McCampbell, U-M                    22.34
11. David St. Amant, U-M                    22.40
14. Eric Oliver, U-M                        22.71
21. Justin Clarke, U-M                      23.08
400-meter Hurdles
 1. Ali Arastu, U-M                         52.13
10. Troy Sneller, U-M                       54.60
14. Herman Washington, U-M                  55.41
Pole Vault
 1. Austin DeWildt, u-M                  16-2 3/4 ft. (4.95m)
 4. Jack Greenlee, U-M                       15-9 ft. (4.80m)
 5. Taylor Voice, U-M                        15-9 ft. (4.80m)
Triple Jump
 1. Terrell Irons, Troy                  49-4 1/4 ft. (15.04m)
 2. Erik Braun, U-M                      46-7 1/2 ft. (14.21m)
100-meter Dash
 1. Marvin Bracy, Unattached                10.28
 8. Justin Clarke, U-M                      10.95
13. Robert Peddlar, U-M                     11.36
18. Ed Hur, U-M                             12.00
4x400-meter Relay
 1. MICHIGAN 'A'                          3:11.30
   (Nick Neuman, David St. Amant,
    Eric Oliver, Matthew Campbell)
 3. MICHIGAN 'B'                          3:16.37
   (Troy Sneller, Ali Arastu,
    Aaron Taylor, Herman Washington)
10. MICHIGAN 'C'                          3:26.60
   (Kurt Reichenbach, Frank Shotwell,
    Joe Strizich, Justin Clarke)


• It was the first collegiate outdoor competition for freshmen Eric Oliver, Ali Arastu, Ethan Dennis, Herman Washington, Nick Kern, Justin Clarke, Erick Gavin, Ed Hur, and Cody Riffle. It was also the first competition of the season for Frank Shotwell and Simon Wenet.

• The times in the 400-meter dash were career highs for Neuman, Oliver and Arastu.

• Competition was delayed for about 45 minutes due to lightning in the Tallahassee area.


Michigan Head Coach Fred LaPlante
On the start of the outdoor season ..."I thought we got off to a good start. We're training hard, so it's not like we're fresh. There were a number of events where we competed well. There was a point in the meet where we had a rain delay, and a thunderstorm and that can throw some people off, but our guys focused on what they had to when they had to compete and they did a nice job. This was a good way to start our outdoor season."

On whether the three-week layoff after indoor season helped the team refresh ... "Mentally it did. We don't stop training, and in some respects we train even harder for outdoor, but our guys had their heads in the right place. It definitely allows you to get freshened up. After a long layoff like that, guys are eager to get back out there. They were chomping at the bit to get out there and compete. They had a lot of energy."

On who opened some eyes with their performances ..."First off, I thought everybody competed well and showed a lot of energy for it being the first outdoor competition of the season. In particular, I felt Ali Arastu and Nick Neuman. It was Ali's first collegiate 400-meter hurdles race, and to come out in his first meet, race against a pretty good field and win was very impressive. He also ran his best 400-meter time and had a very good split on the 4x4 as well. He was a real standout. And Nick in the 400-meter dash with a lifetime best in your first meet was impressive as well. He was also on our 4x4 team, and all those guys gave tremendous performances."

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423