Michigan Prevails in Four Events on Day Two of Paddock
Ali Arastu

May 4, 2012

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Ferry Field)
Event: Len Paddock Invitational (Day 2 of 2)
U-M Team Result: No team scoring
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sun., May 11-13 -- at Big Ten Championships (Madison Wis.), 3 p.m./9 a.m./11 a.m. CDT

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Four Wolverines won event titles to lead the University of Michigan men's track and field team on the final day of the Len Paddock Invitational on Friday (May 4) at Ferry Field. U-M finished the two-day event with five individual events victories and eight new personal-best marks.

Michigan claimed the top three spots in the 400-meter dash, led by sophomore Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville), who won the event with a personal-best time of 47.00. Freshman Philip Washington (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield) and senior/junior Matthew Campbell (Rochester, Mich./Rochester) followed in second and third place with times of 47.83 and 47.90, respectively. Washington's time was also a lifetime best.

In the 110-meter hurdles, sophomores Herman Washington (Blacklick, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln) and Erick Gavin (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) finished one-two. Washington clocked a personal-best time of 14.12, while Gavin's runner-up time was 14.52.

Michigan also secured first and second-place finishes in the 200-meter dash. Senior Nick Neuman (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) won the event in a personal-best time of 21.53, while junior Aaron Taylor (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams) followed on his heels in 21.53.

In the field, junior/sophomore Bradley James (East Lansing, Mich./Haslett) finished first, clearing a height of 2.05 meters (6-8.75).

Sophomore/freshman James Yau (Troy, Mich./Troy) and junior Dallas North (Hastings, New Zealand/Nelson College) each ran personal-best times in the 1,500-meter run to finish second and third, respectively. Yau remained in the middle of the pack for the majority of the race and began to make his move in the last 400 meters. Yau edged past North in the final 20 meters to finish runner-up in 3:49.57, while North crossed the line in 3:49.75.

In his final home meet at Ferry Field, fifth-year senior Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys) took second in the long jump, reaching a mark of 7.25 meters (23-9.50).

Junior/sophomore Troy Sneller (Hamilton, Mich./Hamilton) recorded another runner-up performance in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 53.13.

The Wolverines will travel to Madison, Wis., to compete in the Big Ten Outdoor Championships from May 11-13 at the University of Wisconsin's McClimon Complex.


Name, Event (Mark)
Taylor Voice, Pole Vault (4.97m, 16-3.50)
Justin Gaumer, Shot Put (16.08m, 52-9.25)
Nick Neuman, 200m (21.53)
Ali Arastu, 400m (47.00)
Philip Washington, 400m (47.83)
Scott Dvorak, 800m (1:52.61)
James Yau, 1,500m (3:49.57)
Dallas North, 1,500m (3:49.75)


U-M Head Coach Fred LaPlante

On his overall thoughts of the meet … "We were so happy to get the weather that we got, so that made it nice. Along with that came some very nice performances. The ones that stand out for me are Herman Washington's hurdle race -- it was a pretty big lifetime best for him going into a slight head-wind. That was a really good performance by him and I'm sure that will get him to the NCAA Round One. I think all our guys in the 400, led by Ali (Arastu) -- that was a good run. Nick Neuman winning the 200, that was good. James Yau ran a lifetime best in the 1,500, along with Dallas North. In the pole vault, Taylor Voice, a senior in his last meet had a lifetime best. Getting Brad James back high jumping again went well. Robert (Peddlar) in the long jump and (Erick) Braun in the triple jump both did well. We had a good day. We had a lot of guys have a good day and that's what you want going into the Big Ten meet."

On the momentum going into Big Tens … "When you're up and coming, I think it's important to have a meet like this the week before. Having multiple guys do well was great. A lot of guys can be happy and just keep their focus. We should be pretty excited about going into next week."

On the opportunity for multiple guys to score at the Big Ten meet ... "They score eight places and your goal is to make the finals. When you're in the finals, everybody is good, so usually there is a very fine line between who is first and who is eighth. The first thing is to get to the finals and then when you do, there are a lot of good athletes out there. We've got ours and other teams have theirs, so it's about who is going to put it together on that day."

U-M Sophomore Ali Arastu

On running the 400m to help train for the 400m hurdles … "The thing with me is that I'm more of a mid-distance sprinting guy. We run a lot of 200's and 100's to get my speed up because we have the stamina and we have the capability of running a whole race now --we've been doing it all year. We just have to work on our speed now. Today coach (LaPlante) told me to do the 400 and try to get my speed up, finish really hard and fast, which was my main focus. That's going to carry over in the hurdles and in between hurdles."

On his momentum going into postseason … "My goal now is to win the Big Ten. That's been my goal since September. I've already made the regional mark, so my goal is to make it to nationals. If I could get in the top-eight and get All-American, that would be the icing on the top."

On the success of the 4x4 relay … "The guys are awesome and that is 85 percent of the reason why I've been so successful, because I get to train with guys like that. They've helped me get this far; all of us working together in practice and in meets. We have such a positive vibe when we run the 4x4, so it's a lot of fun. Hopefully we get just as far as indoors and make it to nationals -- that's our main goal for outdoor."  


Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423