Week #1: Wolverines Kick Off Indoor Season at EMU Invitational

Jan. 4, 2011

This Week
Saturday, Jan. 8 -- at Eastern Michigan Invitational (Ypsilanti, Mich.), 10 a.m.

The 2011 season for the University of Michigan men's track and field team kicks off this Saturday (Jan. 8), as the Wolverines make the short drive across Washtenaw County for the Eastern Michigan Invitational at the Bowen Field House in Ypsilanti, Mich. The meet will begin at 10 a.m.

Schedule of Events (Men Only)
10:30 a.m. -- High Jump, Long Jump
11 a.m. -- 35-lb. Weight
12:45 p.m. -- Pole Vault, Triple Jump
1 p.m. -- Shot Put

11:15 a.m. -- 60-meter Hurdles (Prelims)
11:45 a.m. -- 60-meter Dash (Prelims)
12:15 p.m. -- 1,000-meter Run
12:40 p.m. -- 60-meter Hurdles (Final)
1:05 p.m. -- 300-meter Run
1:30 p.m. -- 60-meter Dash (Final)
2:00 p.m. -- 600-meter Run
3:00 p.m. -- 2,000-meter Run
3:30 p.m. -- 4x400-meter Relay

Short Trip
Parking will be available to fans who want to attend the event. Coming from the University of Michigan, fans will take Washtenaw Avenue east and turn left on Oakwood Street in Ypsilanti. Turn right on Structuce Drive and there is both a parking structure and a lot adjacent to Bowen Field House.


2010 Season in Review
Indoor -- Michigan finished eighth at the Big Ten Indoor Championships and did not send a competitor to the NCAA Championships. It was also the first time since 2002 that Michigan did not have an NCAA Indoor All-American. Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys) became the sixth Wolverine to win the Big Ten indoor long jump title and was the school's second champion in that event in three seasons (Adam Harris, 2008). Additionally, Sean Pruitt (35-lb. weight throw) and the distance medley relay team of Sean McNamara, Nick Neuman (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East), Dallas Bowden (Hastings, New Zealand/Nelson College) and Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College) were second team All-Big Ten selections.

Outdoor -- Michigan finished 10th at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships and sent three student-athletes to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. Frank Shotwell (Medina, Ohio/Medina) was a second team All-Big Ten selection after losing the decathlon competition by just two points; he finished 14th at the NCAA Championships in his third trip to the event. Carl Buchanon (South Bend, Ind./Clay) was 12th in the 400-meter hurdles, and Lex Williams (2006-10) was 22nd in the 10,000-meter run. The Wolverines did not have any individual Big Ten champions.

New Coaching Staff
Head coach Fred LaPlante begins his third season at the helm of the Wolverines and is joined by two new assistant coaches and three new volunteer assistants. Alex Gibby, the head coach of the men's cross country team, will oversee the distance runners. Gibby was hired this summer from William & Mary to replace former men's track and field head coach Ron Warhurst, who retired after an illustrious 36-year coaching career at Michigan. The other assistant is Mohamad Saatara, who will oversee the field events in his first year after being hired from Northern Arizona.

Volunteer assistants Christo Landry and Colin Leak, former distance runners under Gibby at William & Mary, will work under Gibby in the distance group. Shean Conlon (pole vault) is also new to the staff, while former volunteer assistant Tiberia Patterson re-joins the staff and will assist LaPlante with the sprints/hurdles group.

Young and Old
Michigan has an abundance of youth on the 2011 roster. Out of the 49 student-athletes on this year's track and field roster, 39 have three or more years of eligibility remaining, giving the Wolverines one of the youngest rosters in the country. Here's a look at the roster, broken down by class:

Freshmen: 25
Sophomores: 14
Juniors: 6
Seniors: 4

Several of the freshmen were ranked among the best in their state, in the nation, or both, in their respective events. All times/marks are from 2010, unless otherwise noted, and are courtesy of ESPNRise (formerly DyeStat TFX):

Name Event Time/Mark U.S. Rank State Rank
Ali Arastu* 300m Hurdles 37.85 52 1
Patrick Cochran Triple Jump (I) 46-10 37 3
  Triple Jump (O) 48-9 1/2 26 3
Justin Gaumer Shot Put (I) 49-8 1/2 -- 11
  Shot Put (O) 53-10 -- 9
  Discus (O) 170-5 -- 3
Erick Gavin 55-meter Hurdles (I) 7.46 11 2
  110-meter Hurdles (O) 13.90 18 1
Ed Hur Long Jump (I) 23-2 1/2 25 1
Nathan Karr 1,600-meter Run (I) 4:21.61 63 6
  3,200-meter Run (I) 9:19.42 23 2
  1,500-meter Run (O) 3:53.68 10 2
  Mile (O) 4:10.44 21 2
Eric Oliver 55-meter Dash (I) 6.49 65 5
  200-meter Dash (I) 22.26 57 5
  300-meter Dash (I) 35.50 44 1
  400-meter Dash (I) 48.58 12 1
  200-meter Dash (O) 22.21 -- 10
  400-meter Dash (O) 47.78 56 2
Michael Parker Jr.* 300-meter Hurdles (O) 37.98 71 2
  400-meter Hurdles (O) 55.06 -- 3
Cody Riffle Shot Put (I) 63-0 1/2 7 3
  Shot Put (O) 68-7 3/4 4 2
  Discus (O) 193-7 14 4
Herman Washington* 60-meter Hurdles (I) 8.08 19 2

* Time(s)/Mark(s) from 2009

Qualifying Standards for NCAA Championships
For the first time, provisional standards are no longer part of the NCAA Championships qualifying process. Championship fields will first be filled with those who declare for their events with automatic status. Then, the remainder of the field will be filled by the highest-remaining ranked performances.

NCAA Indoor Qualifying Standards (PDF)

Rotating the Leaders & Best
This year, instead of going with permanent team captains, the track and field team will name two captains for each competition week, except for the week of the Big Ten Championships. For this week, senior David St. Amant (Livonia, Mich./Churchill) and sophomore Erik Braun (Pinckney, Mich./Pinckney Community) were named team captains.

2011 Captains
Jan. 8 -- David St. Amant, Erik Braun

Social Media
Twitter: Simply log-on and search for "michigan_track" and follow us today.
Facebook: Search "Michigan Men's Track & Field" and click the "Like" button to instantly get connected with fellow fans, student-athletes and alumni.
Foursquare: Check in on Foursquare (smartphones only). For home events, fans can check into the Indoor Track Building or Ferry Field. The Wolverine fans can "check-in" to any U-M sports venue and become eligible for giveaways, unlock exclusive offers, and learn exciting trivia while connecting with fellow fans.

1. On your smartphone, go to Foursquare.com to find the Foursquare application for your iPhone, Android or Blackberry.
2. Install the program and create a user account to get started.
3. To find special tips and offers for Michigan athletics, add "MichiganGoBlue" as a friend.
To add friends, go to the Me tab, then click "Friends" and select "Add Friends."
4. Start checking-in to Michigan athletic venues and join the fun!

Yearbook & Record Book
For the second year in a row, the University of Michigan athletics department will no longer print media guides. U-M fans and media can still obtain all the information they're used to, only now it's available online. If you're looking for in-depth historical information, statistics, records, archives, etc., the Record Book is what you'll need and it was just added to MGoBlue.com. For more of a general overview of a team, the staff and student-athletes, check out the Yearbook.

2010-11 Men's Track & Field Yearbook | Record Book (PDF)

Up Next
One of the best rivalries in all of sports is renewed next weekend, as Michigan faces Ohio State in "The Dual" on Saturday (Jan. 15) in Columbus, Ohio. The competition will begin at noon. The Buckeyes swept both the indoor and outdoor meets last season. The two teams will meet again on April 16 in Ann Arbor.

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423