May 18, 2014
Site: West Lafayette, Ind. (Rankin Track and Field)
Event: Big Ten Outdoor Championships (Day 2 of 3)
U-M Team Result: 9th of 11 Teams (48 points)
Next U-M Event: Thu-Sat., May 29-31 -- at NCAA East Preliminary Rounds (Jacksonville, Fla.), Noon/10 a.m./Noon
WEST LAYAFETTE, Ind. -- The University of Michigan men's track and field team got scoring performances from four individuals as the Wolverines finished ninth overall in the team standings with 48 points on the final day of the Big Ten Outdoor Championships on Sunday (May 18) at Purdue's Rankin Track and Field.
Sophomore Stephen Burk (Parsippany, N.J./Parsippany) represented the Maize and Blue on the podium on the final day, winning bronze in the javelin with a mark of 63.51 meters (208-4) to score six points. His third-place mark came on his third throw and proved to be his best of six throws on the day.
After winning bronze in the 3,000-meter steeplechase last night (Saturday, May 17), junior/sophomore Mason Ferlic (St. Paul, Minn./Mounds Park Academy) returned to take fifth in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 14:11.12. Ferlic contributed a total of 10 points to Michigan's total over the last two days.
In the shot put, junior/sophomore Derek Sievers (Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center) and senior/junior Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) each advanced to the finals. Sievers' best toss of 18.25 meters (59-10.5) came on his first throw and was a new personal best, while Riffle threw 18.06 meters (59-3).
Junior/sophomore Jeff Sattler (Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center) finished just outside of scoring position in the 1,500-meter finals, placing ninth in 3:57.27.
Select Wolverines will now continue their season at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, which will take place from May 29-31 in Jacksonville, Fla. The field for the regional round will be announced on Thursday, May 22, at 1 p.m.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Jerry Clayton
On his overall thoughts on the Big Ten Championships ... "The athletes that we had here performed quite well. When we came in, we doubled the amount of points we had on paper. When you come into this meet and score double what you had on paper coming in, that's an outstanding job by all the athletes. I thought all our athletes performed quite well, regardless if they scored or not. I'm very pleased with it. The big thing that we're trying to accomplish is coming to this meet and performing. That's what we have to instill on the program because this is the start of the championship phase. We're definitely not happy with the team finish, but for where we're at in the program, I think the athletes have to be satisfied with the way they performed."
On Bradley James winning the high jump as a fifth-year senior ... "It's awesome. That's what this is about -- it's about the student-athletes. Brad being able to enjoy that moment was great. What I always tell the athletes is that they can take records, but they can never take championships away from you -- that will be his for life -- he'll always be a Big Ten champion. That's a moment that they'll cherish forever. Especially for him -- I'm probably his third or fourth coach -- that's a tough situation for any young person. He hung in there and he believed in what we were doing and obviously the results came out. You couldn't wish for any better ending result."
On Patrick Cochran and Stephen Burk taking third in their events ... "It's great. Like I told them last night in our meeting, when you come into this meet, when you're looking at a BSC school, in a BCS conference, in one of the top four conferences in the country in track and field, and you can get on the podium, that's a great accomplishment. Getting top three here is what it's about -- bringing home medals like that. Pat (Cochran) and Steve (Burk) did an outstanding job."
On Mason Ferlic's performances in the steeple and 5,000m ... "No question what Mason did was special. After that fall in the steeple, he didn't panic. He took about a lap and a half to get back in it and once he got back in it, he competed the best he could, but that takes a lot out of you when you go down as hard as he did. Some people wouldn't even get up and attempt to finish. He came back today and did an outstanding job in the 5K. Now we have to look onto the preliminary rounds. He's in a position where there could be some really good opportunities ahead of him in the next two meets."
U-M Fifth-Year Senior Bradley James
On what it means to win the Big Ten high jump title ... "Everything. When you come into Big Tens, this is the top goal besides a team title. To come into my last Big Ten meet and win a title, I couldn't end on a higher note for a Big Ten Championship meet."
On the progression of the day ... "Warm up were strange because it was raining really hard and the check in procedure was a little different so I only had about a half hour or so to warm up, so I was a little concerned. And that translated to two misses at my first bar so I was scared that I was going to no height. I got that bar on my third attempt, but after that I found a little bit of rhythm. To be completely honest, I didn't feel great coming into competition -- I felt good all week, but the morning of the event I felt a little off."
On helping to improve the program in his last year ... "It means a lot to help set the tone. As seniors, we had to realize that our role this year was to kind of help turn this program around during the transition period. What we tried to provide was good leadership and a good attitude as we try to turn this program around. To come out and get a championship, get guys pumped up and see that Michigan can get on the podium and Michigan can get gold medals, means a lot for these guys going forward, the rest of the meet and in the future."
On providing motivation for regionals ... "It gives me a ton of motivation. I felt great at that 2.17m (7-1.50) bar that I missed. Clearance at that bar, maybe even clearance at seven feet, should be enough to get me through that round to nationals. This gave me a lot of confidence and I feel good going onto the next level."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (firstname.lastname@example.org)