Weekly Release #1: at Eastern Michigan Invitational

Jan. 6, 2010

This Week
Saturday, Jan. 9 -- at Eastern Michigan Invitational (Ypsilanti, Mich.), Noon

The No. 35-ranked University of Michigan men's track and field team opens the 2010 season this Saturday afternoon (Jan. 9), making the short trip across Washtenaw County for the Eastern Michigan Invitational, held at the Bob Parks Track/Bowen Fieldhouse in Ypsilanti, Mich. Competition is slated to begin at 10:30 a.m.

Schedule of Events
10:30 a.m. -- 35 lb. Weight
11 a.m. -- Long Jump
12:30 p.m. -- Pole Vault, Triple Jump (or 30 min. after women's pole vault concludes)
1 p.m. -- High Jump, Shotput

12 p.m. -- Distance Medley Relay
12:35 p.m. -- 60m Hurdles (Prelims)
12:50 p.m. -- 60m Dash (Prelims)
1:20 p.m. -- Mile
1:45 p.m. -- 400m
2 p.m. -- 60m Hurdles (Finals)
2:15 p.m. -- 60m Dash (Finals)
2:30 p.m. -- 800m
3:15 p.m. -- 200m
4 p.m. -- 3,000m

U-M's Top Returning Indoor Times
60-meter Dash: Robert Peddlar, 6.89 (at EMU Invitational)
60-meter Hurdles: Carl Buchanon, 7.97 (at Big Ten Championships)
200-meter Dash: Nick McCampbell, 22.08 (vs. Ohio State)
400-meter Dash: David St. Amant, 48.83 (at Akron Invitational)
Mile Run: Sean McNamara, 4:03.35 (at Indiana Relays)
3,000-meter Run: Sean McNamara, 7:58.89 (at Husky Invitational)
5,000-meter Run: Craig Forys, 13:54.48 (at Husky Invitational)
High Jump: John Kipf, 6-9 (vs. Ohio State)
Long Jump: Robert Peddlar, 23-8 3/4 (vs. Ohio State)
Triple Jump: Robert Peddlar, 49-5 3/4 (vs. Ohio State)
Pole Vault: Frank Shotwell, 15-1 (vs. Ohio State)
Shot put: Sean Pruitt, 58-7 1/2 (at Akron Invitational)
35-lb. Weight: Sean Pruitt, 69-4 (at Indiana Relays)
Heptathlon: Kurt Reichenbach, 4,805 pts. (at Akron Invitational)

Quick 2009 Recap
The Wolverines finished among the best in the Big Ten last season, finishing second at the Indoor Championships and third in the Outdoor. At NCAAs, Michigan took 32nd (indoor) and tied for 62nd (outdoor).

Former Wolverine and new first-year volunteer assistant coach Adam Harris was one of the top sprinters in the country. He was an All-America selection for both indoor (60m) and outdoor (100m) and won four individual Big Ten titles (indoor: 60m, 200m; outdoor: 100m, 200m). For the indoor season, Harris was named Athlete of the Year, as well as Athlete of the Championships. Former distance runner Justin Switzer was U-M's other All-America selection, earning the honor in the mile run.

Two student-athletes were Big Ten champions last season. Senior thrower Sean Pruitt (Cato, Wis./Valders) was a 2009 Big Ten indoor champion in the 35 lb. weight throw, while junior Carl Buchanon won the 400-meter hurdles (outdoor).

Twelve U-M student-athletes received All-Big Ten honors last season. For the indoor season, Pruitt, fifth-year senior Brandon Fellows (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island) and junior David St. Amant (Livonia, Mich./Churchill) joined Harris, Switzer and Roger Billhardt as first team All-Big Ten selections. Senior Sean McNamara (Elmhurst, Ill./York) was a second team selection. For the outdoor season, Buchanon and Harris were first team selections, while Pruitt, fifth-year senior Lex Williams (Ann Arbor, Mich./Dexter) and Dan Harmsen were second team selections.

"The Dual" on the Big Ten Network
The Big Ten Network will be in Ann Arbor next weekend (Jan. 16) to broadcast "The Dual" between Michigan and Ohio State from the Indoor Track Building. More details will be released when they are available.

Champions of the West
In addition to Buchanon and Pruitt last year, there are two other Big Ten champions are on this year's roster. Williams is a two-time Big Ten indoor champion, as he won the 5,000-meter run and was a part of the Distance Medley Relay in 2007. Junior multi-event performer Frank Shotwell (Medina, Ohio/Medina) won the decathlon (outdoor) and Heptathlon (indoor) in 2008.

U-M in Preseason Rankings
Michigan checked in at No. 35 in the USTFCCCA poll, released on Jan. 5.

Full Rankings

Football Imports
Throughout the years, some of Michigan's all-time football standouts have made the transition to the track during the winter and spring months. Former Wolverines like Desmond Howard, Tyrone Wheatley and Braylon Edwards all ran track, and this season, freshmen Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach), Joe Reynolds (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams) and Je'Ron Stokes (Philadelphia, Pa./Northeast) will join the roster.

Robinson played quarterback this past season for the Wolverines, while Reynolds and Stokes were listed as wide receivers. In high school, Robinson was clocked at running the 40-yard dash in 4.32 seconds and was considered to be one of the fastest athletes in the entire state of Florida last year. He was a member of the 2008 FHSAA state champion 4x100-meter relay team and finished third in the 100-meter dash at the 2008 Florida 4A Track & Field State Championships.

Reynolds was a three-time All-State selection at Rochester Adams (Rochester Hills, Mich.) and was a state champion in the 800-meter run as a junior.

Stokes was a member of the Pennsylvania All-State 4x200-meter relay team as a junior. He ran the 100-meter dash in 10.8 seconds, the 200-meter dash in 22.6 seconds and the 110-meter hurdles in 14.1 seconds. On the football field this past season for the Wolverines, Stokes played in six games, recording two receptions for 16 yards.

Youth Movement
After a senior-laden group roster in 2009, the 2010 roster is comprised of mostly underclassmen. Out of the 51 student-athletes on this year's track and field roster, 30 of them are listed as redshirt sophomores or younger. Here's a look at the roster, broken down by class:

Freshmen: 24
Sophomores: 6
Juniors: 7
Seniors: 6
Fifth-year seniors: 8

All Over the Country (and Beyond)
Over half of the student-athletes on the 2010 track and field roster hail from the state of Michigan. In addition, 14 states are represented on the track and field roster, as are two other countries. Find the complete list below:

Michigan (27): Bobby Aprill (Dexter), Chris Baldwin (Battle Creek), Erik Braun (Pinckney, Mich.), Geoff Burns (Traverse City), Matt Campbell (Rochester), Peter Christmas (Ann Arbor), Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids), Austin DeWildt (Wyoming), Ramses Dukes (Detroit), Andrew Evans (Portage), Derek Henning (Alanson), Bradley James (East Lansing), Michael Joiner-Hill (Detroit), John Kipf (Monroe), Jeff Kline (Flushing), Nick McCampbell (Detroit), Tony Nalli (Ann Arbor), David Ptacek (Allegan), Kurt Reichenbach (Brighton), Joe Reynolds (Rochester), Troy Sneller (Hamilton), David St. Amant (Livonia), Aaron Taylor (Rochester Hills), Kyle Terpak (Riverview), Taylor Voice (Boyne City), James Wade (Ann Arbor), Lex Williams (Ann Arbor)
California (3): Jeff Merrill (Lodi), Joe Strizich (San Francisco), Matt Wheeler (Atherton)
Connecticut (1): Davis Craw (Monroe)
Florida (1): Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach)
Illinois (3): Sean McNamara (Elmhurst), Nick Neumann (Mokena), David Sweeney (Oswego)
Indiana (1): Carl Buchanon (South Bend)
New Jersey (2): Craig Forys (Howell), Grant Till (Wayne)
New York (2): Mike Dobmeier (East Amherst), Will Jurkowski (North Salem)
Ohio (2): John Greenlee (Cincinnati), Frank Shotwell (Medina)
Pennsylvania (2): Je'Ron Stokes (Philadelphia), Dan Tyler (Wallingford)
Rhode Island (1): Brendan Lodge (Narragansett)
Texas (1): Zach Orneals (Cedar Park)
Washington (1): Brandon Fellows (Mercer Island)
Wisconsin (1): Sean Pruitt (Cato)

New Zealand (2): Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington), Dallas Bowden (Hastings)
Jamaica (1): Robert Peddlar (Kingston)

Meet The Newbies
There are 19 first-year student-athletes on this year's roster, compared to seven last season:

Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College)
Dallas Bowden (Hastings, New Zealand/Nelson College)
Ramses Dukes (Detroit, Mich./Mumford)
Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge)
Joe Reynolds (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams)
Dan Tyler (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven)

Davis Craw (Monroe, Conn./Masuk)
David Ptacek (Allegan, Mich./Hamilton)
Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach)
Troy Sneller (Hamilton, Mich./Hamilton)
Je'Ron Stokes (Philadelphia, Pa./Northeast)
Aaron Taylor (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams)

Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville)
Austin DeWildt (Wyoming, Mich./Catholic Central)
Andrew Evans (Portage, Mich./Portage Northern)
John Greenlee (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier)
Bradley James (East Lansing, Mich./Haslett)
Michael Joiner-Hill (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit)
Jeff Kline (Flushing, Mich./Flushing)

Follow the Leader
Junior hurdler Carl Buchanon (South Bend, Ind./Clay), sophomore distance runner Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) and junior multi-event performer Frank Shotwell (Medina, Ohio/Medina) were named tri-captains for the season. Shotwell was also a tri-captain last season, along with former Wolverines Dan Harmsen and Justin Switzer.

Meyer Honored
Former U-M track athlete Greg Meyer (1974-77) will be inducted into the University of Michigan Hall of Honor on Jan. 10. He was an All-America selection in the steeplechase and a Big Ten champion. In addition, Meyer won the 1983 Boston Marathon. He was inducted into the Michigan Track & Field Hall of Fame last year.

Stay Connected
Michigan track and field is now on Twitter. Sign up for Twitter and follow the Wolverines (michigan_track) with up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond.

2009-10 Record Book and Yearbook!
Beginning with the 2009-10 academic year, 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. [ Check out the Yearbook and Record Book ]

Leaders of the Wolverines
Fred LaPlante enters his second season as head coach for the Michigan men's track and field team after 11 seasons as the associate head coach of the program. In his 12 seasons with the program, LaPlante's main focus has been the development of U-M's sprint and hurdle athletics. LaPlante has coached 17 Olympians, 28 individual national champions and 79 All-Americans in his 23 years of coaching.

Ron Warhurst is in his second season as associate head coach, but has been at Michigan for nearly 40 years. Working with mainly Michigan's distance athletes, Warhurst has been in charge of the cross country team for the last 36 years in Ann Arbor. He was the head coach for track and field from 2000-08, before yielding the reins to LaPlante prior to last season. Overall, Warhurst has spent 36 years with the Michigan track and field program and has coached 12 Olympians, 12 individual national champions, 44 track and field All-Americans, and 38 cross country All-Americans.

David Kaiser returns for his sixth season working with Michigan's field and jump athletes. Kaiser has coached 27 All-Americans and 33 conference champions.

Up Next...
The rivalry is renewed next weekend, as the University of Michigan track and field squad welcomes Ohio State to Ann Arbor to kick off the 2010 home slate with "The Dual". The home-and-home series has been contested between the longtime rivals since the 1920s and was restarted in Jan. 2008. The meet will take place at the U-M Indoor Track Building next Saturday (Jan. 16) and begin at noon.

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423