U-M Gets Four Top-10 Finishes on Final Day of Drake Relays

April 24, 2010

Site: Des Moines, Iowa (Drake Stadium)
Event: Drake Relays (Day 4 of 4)
U-M Team Standing: No Team Scoring
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sat., April 30-May 1 -- at OSU Jesse Owens Invitational (Columbus, Ohio), 6 p.m./Noon; Saturday, May 1 -- at Stanford Jordan Invitational (Palo Alto, Calif.), Noon PDT

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The University of Michigan men's track and field team, led by top-10 finishes from senior thrower Sean Pruitt (Cato, Wis./Valders), junior Carl Buchanon (South Bend, Ind./Clay), junior jumper Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys) and the 4x400-meter relay today (Saturday, April 24) finished out the fourth day of the Drake Relays in what was the Wolverines' first appearance at the annual meet held at Drake Stadium in more than 40 years.

Pruitt kicked off Saturday's action with a third-place finish in the discus, after he won his heat with a throw of 53.29 meters (174-10), which he got on his second attempt. He also placed 13th in the hammer throw later in the afternoon with a top throw of 58.11 meters (190-8 feet). Buchanon had a bounce-back effort of his own after Friday's scratch in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing in ninth place in the 400-meter hurdles (51.69). Over in the triple jump, Peddlar finished in eighth place with a far jump of 14.64 meters (48-0 1/2 feet). The 4x400-meter relay team of sophomore Nicholas Neuman(Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East), Buchanon, freshman Aaron Taylor (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams) and sophomore Matthew Campbell (Rochester, Mich./Rochester) took eighth in the finals (3:09.31) to end the day. The quartet qualified for the finals after winning their heat a day earlier on Friday (April 23).

More Wolverines entered the action on Friday. Of the athletes in action, junior Nick McCampbell (Detroit, Mich./Cass Technical) took 22nd place in the preliminaries of the 110-meter hurdles (15.00) and Peddlar took 16th place in the long jump (6.88 meters/22-7 feet). Meanwhile, Buchanon was a scratch in the 110-meter hurdles, Pruitt failed to record a throw in the shot put and freshman John Greenlee (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) was not able to reach a height in the pole vault.

Michigan's decathletes were the first in action at the Drake Relays, as the decathlon began on Wednesday (April 21) and concluded Thursday (April 22). Junior Frank Shotwell (Medina, Ohio/Medina) was in third place after the first day in a tight race, as only 37 points separated first and fifth place. Shotwell jumped to first place momentarily by winning the first two events on Thursday (110-meter hurdles and discus) but failed to reach a height on the pole vault, thus receiving no points in the event, falling all the way to 14th. He finished in 13th place overall (6,708 points). Also, sophomore Kurt Reichenbach (Brighton, Mich./Pinckney Community) led the Wolverines' contingent in the decathlon with an 11th-place finish (6,728 points), while fellow sophomore Joe Strizich (San Francisco, Calif./St. Ignatius College Prep) came in 12th (6,711 points).

With their performances, both Reichenbach and Strizich found themselves at fourth and fifth on Michigan's all-time performance list for decathlon. Reichenbach passed Ryan Stevenson (6,466 points, 2001) for fourth, while Strizich overtook Brian Yonkoski (6,239 points, 1999) for fifth. Shotwell is the school-record holder with 7,362 points, which he set back in 2008. Former Wolverines Sean Clancy (7,147 points, 1993) and Dave Hall (7,034 points, 1985) are in second and third, respectively.

Michigan splits the squad up again next weekend. The majority of the Wolverines will head to the two-day OSU Jesse Owens Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, beginning on Friday (April 30), while some will head out west to the Stanford-Jordan Invitational on Saturday (May 1) in Palo Alto, Calif.

Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day Four)

 1. Jared Schuurmans, Doane          55.69m (182-8)
 3. Sean Pruitt, U-M                 53.29m (174-10)

Hammer Throw 1. John Freeman, Georgia 67.13m (220-3) 13. Sean Pruitt, U-M 58.11m (190-8)

Triple Jump 1. Oladipo Fagbemi, Minnesota 15.22m (49-11 1/4) 8. Robert Peddlar, U-M 14.64m (48-0 1/2)

400-meter Hurdles 1. Lee Moore, Mississippi 50.23 9. Carl Buchanon, U-M 51.69

4x400-meter Relay 1. Baylor 3:03.29 (Liggins, Harts, Hewitt, Boyd) 8. MICHIGAN 3:09.31 (Nicholas Neuman, Carl Buchanon Aaron Taylor, Matthew Campbell)

• Previous Results: Day Three | Day Two | Day One


Michigan Head Coach Fred LaPlante
On the team's performance at the Drake Relays ... "Well, we hadn't been here in a long time. It's certainly a good experience for the guys that were here. I felt our 4x400-meter relay team really found themselves this week, so that was positive. They ran terrific, a season-best time. Considering that the group has two redshirt freshmen, a freshman and a junior, I really felt we did well there."

On bouncing back after Friday ... "Those guys did better, obviously; Carl in particular. He ran against some top guys in his heat. He's been dealing with a back issue for a few weeks now, so considering that, he was able to run well, so that was great. I think his performance here gives him a real good shot at getting to nationals."

On Penn Relays ... "The Penn Relays is one of the best competitions in the country and from what I heard, our guys performed great. That was exciting to hear about. Like here at Drake, the Penn Relays have some top-level competitors, so to perform on such a big stage like that was great for our guys."

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423