Jan. 31, 2012
Fri-Sat., Feb. 3-4 -- at Notre Dame Meyo Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 5 p.m./10 a.m.
Schedule of Events
The University of Michigan men's track and field team will travel to South Bend, Ind., to compete in the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 3-4). Friday's events will begin at 5 p.m., with action resuming again on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Loftus Center.
Michigan has competed in the non-scored Meyo Invitational in each of the last nine years. The annual meets boasts roughly 80 men's and women's teams from around the country each year. The Loftus Center features one of the largest six-lane banked tracks in the nation at one-fifth of a mile. The facility's Mondo track surface, lengthy straightaway and wide turns make for optimum conditions.
U-M has competed at the Meyo Invitational in each of the past nine campaigns, including earning nine top-three finishes last season. Top performances for current Wolverines at the event include fifth-year senior Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys) and sophomore Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville) placing runner-up in the long jump and 500-meter run, respectively, last season. The last Wolverine to win an event final was Sean Pruitt (2006-10) in the shot put. Senior Matthew Campbell (Rochester, Mich./Rochester) did win the unseeded 400m dash at last year's meet.
National Notables -- Michigan has three student-athletes ranked in the top 10 in the nation in their respective events. Junior/sophomore Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville HS) ranks 10th in the weight throw (66-10 1/2), while junior/sophomore Bradley James (East Lansing, Mich./Haslett) is currently 17th in the high jump (7-1 /2). Both nationally recognized marks were recorded at "The Dual" against Ohio State on Jan. 14. Fifth-year senior Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) ranks eighth nationally in the 5,000-meter run. Forys returned to the track to compete at Navy after missing the first two meets due to injury. [ NCAA Division I Indoor Rankings ]
Among The Big Ten's Best -- Several Michigan track and field athletes rank among the best in the Big Ten through the early season (# - Converted mark)
Wolverines of the Week -- Each week throughout the season, the track and field coaching staff will select up to five members of the team as Wolverines of the Week. "The team recognition is based on personal accomplishments that enhance team objectives and examples of competitive focus," said head coach Fred LaPlante.
This week's Wolverines of the Week are fifth-year senior distance runner Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) and junior Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College). Forys competed in his first meet of the season at the Navy Wesley A. Brown Invitational (Jan. 28), after missing the first two meets due to injury. Forys won the 5,000-meter run with a time of 14:11.00, which currently ranks fourth in the Big Ten and eighth in the nation. Blacklaws recorded the eighth-fastest mile time in the Big Ten this season, clocking a personal-best time of 4:04.48 to win the event.
Personal Improvement -- At the Navy Wesley A. Brown Invitational, seven Michigan student-athletes recorded personal-best marks. With just three meets crossed off the 2012 schedule, 24 Wolverines have set new PRs in at least one event, with four improving in at least two events.
Last Time on the Track -- In its first road meet of the season, Michigan took first place in eight of the 14 events it competed in at Navy's Wesley A. Brown Invitational (Jan. 28). Junior Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College) and junior/sophomore Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) set facility records in the mile and weight throw, respectively, to win their events. Sophomore Herman Washington (Blacklick, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln) ran the third-fastest 60-meter hurdle time in the Big Ten this season at 8.03 to finish first. The Wolverines' 4x400-meter relay team, which consisted of senior Matthew Campbell (Rochester, Mich./Rochester), freshman Philip Washington (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield), sophomore Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville) and sophomore Michael Parker Jr. (Jackson, Mich./Michigan Center), ran its best time this season at 3:14.34 to finish in first place. [ Recaps: MGoBlue l Michigan Daily ]
Qualifying Standards for NCAA Championships -- For the second straight year, provisional standards are no longer part of the 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. [ Indoor Qualifying Standards ]
Michigan men's track and field is on Facebook. Connect with the program, alumni and fans by clicking the "Like" button at facebook.com/michiganmenstrack. Also, be sure to follow the team on Twitter (@umichtrack) for up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond.
A LOOK AHEAD
Fri-Sat., Feb. 10-11 -- at SPIRE Invitational (Geneva, Ohio), 11 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 18 -- host Silverston Invitational (U-M Indoor Track Building), Noon
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423