Weekly Release #3: Host Simmons-Harvey Invitational

This Week
Fri-Sat., Jan. 22-23 -- host Simmons-Harvey Invitational (U-M Indoor Track Building), 6 p.m./Noon
Parking Notice

The University of Michigan men's track and field team returns to the Indoor Track Building this weekend (Fri-Sat., Jan. 22-23), hosting the Simmons-Harvey Invitational The event begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 22) with the field events and concludes at noon on Sunday (Jan. 23) with the track events.

• Schedule of Events

Field Events (Friday, Jan. 22)
Shot Put, 6 p.m.
High Jump, 6 p.m.
Pole Vault, 6:30 p.m.
Long Jump, 6:30 p.m.
20-pound Weight Throw, 7:30 p.m.
Triple Jump, 8 p.m.
Events should conclude by 9 p.m.

Running Events (Saturday, Jan. 23)
60m Hurdles (pr), Noon
60m Dash (pr), 12:15 p.m.
Mile Run, 12:30 p.m.
60m Hurdles (f), 12:45
400m Dash, 12:50 p.m.
60m Dash (f), 1 p.m.
600m Run, 1:10 p.m.
800m Run, 1:25 p.m.
200m Dash, 1:40 p.m.
3,000m Run, 1:50 p.m.
4x400m Relay, 2:15 p.m.
Events should conclude by 2:30 p.m.

U-M's Top Indoor Times
60-meter Dash: Denard Robinson, 6.81 (1/16 vs. Ohio State)
60-meter Hurdles: Carl Buchanon, 8.01 (1/16 vs. Ohio State)
200-meter Dash: Aaron Taylor, 22.35 (1/9 at EMU Invitational)
400-meter Dash: David St. Amant, 49.92 (1/16 vs. Ohio State)
600-meter Run: Joe Reynolds, 1:23.50 (1/16 vs. Ohio State)
800-meter Run: Brendon Blacklaws, 1:55.73 (1/16 vs. Ohio State)
Mile Run: Dallas Bowden, 4:37.13 (1/16 vs. Ohio State)
3,000-meter Run: Peter Christmas, 8:17.99 (1/16 vs. Ohio State)
High Jump: John Kipf, 6-11 (1/16 vs. Ohio State)
Long Jump: Robert Peddlar, 23-10 3/4 (1/16 vs. Ohio State)
Triple Jump: Robert Peddlar, 48-3 1/2 (1/16 vs. Ohio State)
Pole Vault: Frank Shotwell, 16-0 3/4 (1/16 vs. Ohio State)
Shot put: Sean Pruitt, 56-5 3/4 (1/16 vs. Ohio State)
35-lb. Weight: Sean Pruitt, 63-8 1/4 (1/16 vs. Ohio State)

Up Close and Personal
With field events on Friday, the Wolverines are offering a unique experience for their fans. Seating will be moved onto the track, allowing viewers to get an up-close look at field events. During a regular track meet, fans are seated beyond the track.

The Opponents
Teams coming to Ann Arbor this weekend include Central Michigan (men and women), Eastern Michigan (men and women), Valparaiso (men), the University of Detroit (women) and Oakland (women).

In addition, several former Michigan track athletes will be in the competition as unattached competitors. The list includes Stann Waithe (2004-08), Andre Barnes (2006-09) and Adam Harris (2006-09).

Simmons-Harvey History
The event is named for former coaches Red Simmons (women) and Jack Harvey (men). Simmons was the first women's track and field coach at the University of Michigan.

Jack Harvey led the University of Michigan track and field team for 25 seasons from 1975-1999. In that time, he guided the Wolverines to five NCAA top-10 finishes and 10 Big Ten titles (four indoor, six outdoor) and eight different Wolverines have won 11 national titles under his tutelage. Harvey earned National Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year in 1980, and Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year in 1994.

As a student-athlete, Harvey competed in track and field at the University of Michigan under legendary coach Don Canham. Harvey was an All-American and a two-time Big Ten shot put champion.

Kris Eggle Invitational 3,000-meter Run
For the fifth consecutive year, the Red Simmons/Jack Harvey meet (Jan. 23) will feature a special invitational section of the 3,000-meter run named in honor of former Wolverine student-athlete Kris Eggle. A three-year Wolverine letterwinner in track and cross country (1992-94), Eggle was tragically killed in the line of duty on Aug. 9, 2002 while serving his country with the National Park Service at Organ Pipe National Monument on the Arizona-Mexico border.

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.

Last Time Out
Last Saturday (Jan. 9), Michigan welcomed Ohio State to Ann Arbor for another edition of "The Dual" but fell to its rival to the south, 92-70.

Michigan's event winners included junior Carl Buchanon (South Bend, Ind./Clay) in the 60-meter hurdles, freshman Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach) in the 60-meter dash, senior Peter Christmas (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) in the 3,000-meter run, senior John Kipf (Monroe, Mich./St. Mary's Catholic Central) in the high jump, and junior Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys) in the triple jump.

Senior Sean Pruitt (Cato, Wis./Valders), the reigning Big Ten Indoor Champion in the 35-lb. Weight, finished second in that event, but his mark of 63-8 1/4 (19.20 meters) was good enough to meet NCAA Provisional Qualifying standards. [ Check out Michigan Daily writer Luke Pasch's take on last Saturday's action ]

Here Come The Champions
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. [ Complete Poll ]

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.

Also re-joining the squad is junior Troy Woolfolk (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles), who was a 2008 Big Ten Champion as part of the 4x100-meter relay team (Outdoor). In high school, Woolfolk was a varsity letterwinner all four years in high school for Dulles and was a District champion in the 200-meter dash as a senior. This past season on the football field, Woolfolk recorded 46 tackles as a cornerback/safety. He is the son of former Michigan All-American tailback Butch Woolfolk (1978-81).

Robinson's Electric Debut
In his first Indoor track meet ever, Denard Robinson won the 60-meter dash against Ohio State (Jan. 16), crossing the finish line with a time of 6.81. His debut has generated buzz in the media. [ Read AnnArbor.Com's Dave Birkett's story on Robinson ]

New Addition
Michigan has added a new transfer, middle distance runner Nick Thomas (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Brother Rice). Thomas, a sophomore, transferred from Princeton and was in the lineup last Saturday against Ohio State, finishing fourth in the 800-meter run. At Brother Rice, Thomas was a two-time All-State selection and 2008 Nike Outdoor All-American in the 800-meter run.

Youth Movement
After a senior-laden group roster in 2009, the 2010 roster is comprised of mostly underclassmen. Out of the 53 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: 7
Juniors: 8
Seniors: 6
Fifth-year seniors: 8

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

Michigan (28): Bobby Aprill (Dexter), Chris Baldwin (Battle Creek), Erik Braun (Pinckney, Mich.), Geoff Burns (Traverse City), Matthew 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), Nick Thomas (Bloomfield Hills) 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), Nicholas Neuman (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 (2): Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park), Troy Woolfolk (Sugar Land)
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) was 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 & 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.

2010 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.

Home Of The Wolverines
During the Indoor season, the Wolverines compete inside the Indoor Track Building, which has been in use for Michigan's men and women track & field teams since 1974.

Originally constructed as the Indoor Track and Tennis Building in 1974, the completion of the Varsity Tennis Center allowed for the removal of the tennis courts and the 1997 renovations. During these renovations, the Indoor Track Building's six-lane track switched from a tartan-surface to Durathon-surface, and the pole vault, long jump and high jump pits were moved into the middle of the track.

Michigan hosts several indoor meets during the winter months, including the prestigious Red Simmons and Harold Silverston Invitationals which draw top talent from the Big Ten Conference and midwestern region, as well as the annual Jack Harvey Invitational, named after the long-time U-M men's track and field coach, who retired in 1999.

The Indoor Track Building has hosted several Big Ten Conference Indoor Championships, including the men's meet in 1994 and the women's meet's in 2005, when the Wolverines won the title in front of their home crowd. In addition, the men's (1977, 1984 and 2004) and women's (1987 and 1995) conference championship meets have taken place at the Indoor Track Building.

Up Next...
Michigan now hits the road for a three-week stretch, starting with the Kentucky McCrary Invitational next weekend (Fri-Sat., Jan. 29-30) in Lexington, Ky. The meet will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday and conclude at noon on Saturday.

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423