April 28, 2012
Site: Philadelphia, Pa. (Franklin Field)
Event: Penn Relays (Day 3 of 3)
U-M Team Result: No Team Scoring
Next U-M Event: Thu-Fri., May 3-4 -- at Len Paddock Invitational (Ferry Field), 3 p.m./Noon
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- The University of Michigan men's track and field team wrapped up competition on the third and final day of the 118th annual Penn Relays on Saturday (April 28) in front of 49,810 fans at Franklin Field. Freshman Brad Bolton (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro) led the Wolverines with a win in the college division of the hammer throw with a personal-best toss of 60.25 meters (197-8).
The Wolverines clocked a time of 3:14.50 in Friday's (April 27) collegiate 4x400-meter relay to advance to the finals, where they placed third on Saturday in 3:11.17. The four-man relay was made up of freshman Philip Washington (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield), sophomore Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville), senior/junior Matthew Campbell (Rochester, Mich./Rochester) and sophomore Eric Oliver (Berkeley, Calif./Homewood-Flossmoor [Ill.]).
Michigan competed in the 4x800-meter relay for the first time this season, finishing 11th in 7:38.06. The relay squad consisted of sophomore/freshman James Yau (Troy, Mich./Troy), freshman Scott Dvorak (Westmont, Ill./Westmont), junior Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College) and junior Dallas North (Hastings, New Zealand/Nelson College).
In Friday's college division of the distance medley relay, Yau, junior/sophomore Troy Sneller (Hamilton, Mich./Hamilton), Dvorak and Blacklaws recorded a runner-up performance in 9:56.90.
On Thursday, junior Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge) finished sixth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of 9:00.85.
Michigan will host its only home meet of the outdoor season with its annual Len Paddock Invitational on Thursday and Friday (May 3-4) at Ferry Field.
Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day 3)
Hammer Throw 1. Brad Bolton, U-M 60.25m (197-8) 4x800m Relay 1. N.C. Wilmington 7:28.31 11. MICHIGAN 7:38.06 (James Yau, Scott Dvorak, Brendon Blacklaws, Dallas North) 4x400m Relay College Final 1. St. Augustine's 3:08.10 3. MICHIGAN 3:11.17 (Matthew Campbell, Ali Arastu, Eric Oliver, Philip Washington)
Name, Event (Mark)
Brad Bolton, Hammer Throw (60.25m, 197-8)
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Fred LaPlante
On his thoughts on the Penn Relays overall ... "It was a typical Penn Relays experience. The weather wasn't great, it was crowded. There's pushing and shoving to get to your seats; there's pushing and shoving to get on the track. I think it's a good experience. You're nervous a little bit, but the competition was exciting. While we didn't have any outstanding performances, we held our own with the people we were specifically competing with in our heats and sections. I think it was a good competitive experience for us."
On Brad Bolton winning the college division of the hammer throw ... "They have two divisions, which are the Championship of America, where they take the top 10 guys, and Brad was in the other college division. He actually threw farther than some of the guys in the championship division. I know he wanted to be in the other division, but you kind of have to work your way up. He's been working with Coach Saatara and I know he's thrown that far in practice, but a meet is certainly a different situation with a lot more eyes on you. There were a lot of great athletes and great competition. I don't think we were surprised -- Brad is a pretty good pressure performer, so that was right up his alley. He performed well and threw about a seven-foot PR, so that's a great sign."
On being without the seniors who were at graduation ... "I think this is four out of five years where the Penn Relays has fallen on the weekend of graduation. Most of our top guys get to perform at Penn and I think they like it. Some of the guys choose to go through graduation ceremonies and some guys choose to go to Penn and this year all the guys chose to go to graduation. It's a great experience for them to be able to share that with their families. And it gave a couple other guys a chance to go to Penn and step into the lineup, which was good for them."
On the team progressing toward the Big Ten Championships ... "We're progressing and we're headed in the right direction. I think some of our top performers are surfacing and your top guys have to perform at the Big Ten meet. Our guys are doing a good job of that and some of the other guys who are sort of on the cusp of being contributors; those are the guys who can make a difference in our team score as well. Hopefully, they are seeing that and are looking forward to the championships."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423