May 13, 2012
Sites: Madison, Wis. (McClimon Complex)
Event: Big Ten Outdoor Championships (Day 3 of 3)
U-M Team Result: 9th Place of 11 Teams (50 points)
Next U-M Event: Thu-Sat., May 24-26 -- at NCAA East Preliminary Rounds (Jacksonville, Fla.), 11 a.m.
MADISON, Wis. -- Four members of the University of Michigan men's track and field team, as well as the 4x400-meter relay, scored points on the final day of the Big Ten Outdoor Championships on Sunday (May 13) at Wisconsin's McClimon Track. Michigan placed ninth overall with 50 points, while the home school, Wisconsin, won the team title with 121 points.
Sophomore Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville) improved two spots from last year's conference meet, finishing runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles with a personal-best time of 49.43.
After winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase yesterday (Saturday, May 12), fifth-year senior Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) returned to finish third in the 5,000-meter run in a time of 13:52.49. Sophomore Morsi Rayyan (Dewitt, Mich./St. Johns) finished just outside the scoring positions in 10th with a time of 14:16.01.
Freshman Philip Washington (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield), who used a personal-best time of 47.19 in the 400-meter prelims to advance to the finals, improved his time to finish seventh in 47.17.
In the field, senior Joe Strizich (San Francisco, Calif./ St. Ignatius College Prep) scored two points after finishing seventh in the javelin with a mark of 56.91 meters (186-8).
In the final event of the championships, Michigan finished fifth in the 4x400-meter relay with a season-best time of 3:06.27 to tally four points. The relay was comprised of senior Nick Neuman (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East), Washington, senior/junior Matthew Campbell (Rochester, Mich./Rochester) and Arastu.
Michigan will have one week off before select members of the squad compete in the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds from May 24-26 in Jacksonville, Fla. The regional fields will be announced on May 17.
Final Team Standings
1. Wisconsin 121 2. Nebraska 115.5 3. Indiana 115 4. Ohio State 86 5. Iowa 80.5 6. Penn State 80 7. Minnesota 70.5 8. Illinois 65 9. MICHIGAN 50 10. Michigan State 19 11. Purdue 15.5
Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day 3)
400-meter Dash (Finals) 1. Brady Gehret, Penn State 45.22 7. Philip Washington, U-M 47.17 400-meter Hurdles (Finals) 1. Miles Ukaoma, Nebraska 49.23 2. Ali Arastu, U-M 49.43 5,000-meter Run 1. Mohammed Ahmed, Wisconsin 13:41.06M 3. Craig Forys, U-M 13:52.49 10. Morsi Rayyan, U-M 14:16.01 18. Mark Beams, U-M 14:38.90 24. Bobby Aprill, U-M 14:48.43 Javelin 1. Matt Byers, Iowa 67.94m (222-11) 7. Joe Strizich, U-M 56.91m (186-8) Shot Put 1. Joe Kovacs, Penn State 20.85m (68-5) 18. Justin Gaumer, U-M 16.39m (53-9.25) Triple Jump 1. Troy Doris, Iowa 16.66m (54-8)F 15. Robert Peddlar, U-M 14.26m (46-9.50) -- Erik Braun, U-M FOUL 4x400-meter Relay 1. Penn State 3:04.78F 5. MICHIGAN 3:06.27 (Nick Neuman, Philip Washington, Matthew Campbell, Ali Arastu) F - Facility Record M - Big Ten Meet Record
N O T E S
Ali Arastu met the U.S. Olympic Trials automatic 'A' standard of 49.50 in the 400-meter hurdles with his time of 49.43.
Q U O T E S
U-M Head Coach Fred LaPlante
On his overall thought of the meet ... "This was certainly one of the best Big Ten Championships statistically in the history of the meet. There were so many great performances and we were part of it. Craig (Forys) ran the fastest time in the nation in the steeplechase, which is the number two performance all-time at Michigan, behind an Olympian. Ali Arastu today had the number two performance all-time at Michigan in the 400-meter hurdles, also behind an Olympian. I'm not sure where that ranks in the nation, but I'm sure it's top five. Those were both great performances. For the rest of the team to see teammates at a higher level, it brings up everyone's expectations and feelings and they realize this can be done. I'm very encouraged by how we fought. At the end it's a pride factor. We ran a great time in the 4x4 relay, so that was a great way to cap off the meet. We finished up well and had a lot of good things happen."
On Jack Greenlee's pole vault title on the first day providing momentum ... "No question -- Jack and Ethan (Dennis) both. Both those guys exceeded their seed mark and that's something that gets everyone saying 'this is possible'. Those were really big performances and most of our team was there to watch them. Getting off to a great start is always important."
On freshmen stepping up at their first Big Ten Outdoors ... "Phil Washington and Brad Bolton are two freshmen that both got into the finals and that is always a good start. When you have a positive experience your first year, and it's hard in your freshman year to have a positive experience, that's really great. And that also has a trickle-down effect to the rest of the team to see that people can achieve early on. For both those guys, I think their futures are really bright and we have to add to it. We're going in the right direction."
On the team's momentum moving forward in the postseason ... "I think the next two weeks are going to be fun. Ali (Arastu) and Craig (Forys) are toward the top of the national scene right now. Our 4x4, Ethan (Dennis) and Jack (Greenlee) are a couple other areas where we really look like we're a factor. They're looking forward to competing in the East qualifier and getting to the NCAA final."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423