Mason Ferlic (L) and James Yau
Feb. 4, 2014
Mark Beams Spotlight
Fri-Sat., Feb. 7-8 -- at Notre Dame Meyo Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 4 p.m./10 a.m.
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Following two weeks off from competition, the University of Michigan men's track and field team will head to South Bend, Ind., for its first two-day meet of the season at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 7-8). Competition will begin on Friday at 4 p.m. and resume again on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Notre Dame's Loftus Center.
The Meyo Field in the Loftus Center is a 320-meter Mondo track. The long jump/triple jump and pole vault runways are raised Mondo runways. The high-jump apron is a Mondo on wood surface placed on the fieldturf field, and the throwing circles are wooden.
The Wolverines were not able to compete last weekend, as their dual meet against Michigan State scheduled for Saturday, Feb.1, at Grand Valley was cancelled due to inclement weather. No makeup date has been determined at this time, but both schools are working to reschedule the meet.
Michigan will compete in the Meyo Invitational for the 12th straight year. The annual meets boasts nearly 80 men's and women's teams from around the country. 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.
Twelve Wolverines will make their season debut at the Meyo Invitational, including the core of U-M's distance squad. Senior/junior captain Mark Beams, senior/junior Morsi Rayyan and junior/sophomore Mason Ferlic will each debut in the 3,000-meter run. The trio helped U-M finish second at the Big Ten Championships and win the NCAA Great Lakes Region title during the 2013 cross country season. Junior/sophomore August Pappas and senior/junior James Yau, who were also key members of U-M's cross country squad in the fall, will kick off the season in the 5,000-meter run.
Junior/sophomore sprinter Codie Nolan will make his season debut in the 60- and 200-meter dash, while senior Erick Gavin will make his first appearance of the season in the 60-meter hurdles.
In the field, fifth-year senior Austin DeWildt and sophomore Thomas Sullivan will debut in the pole vault, and junior James Vincent will open his season in the long jump. DeWildt will compete in for the first time since the 2012 season, as he redshirted the 2013 indoor and outdoor season due to injury.
The meet will also make the career debuts for sprinters freshman Chris Maye and sophomore/freshman Joshua Nance.
The Wolverines opened the season on Jan. 18, hosting the annual Simmons-Harvey Invitational. After just one meet, U-M has four athletes ranked in the top 12 in the Big Ten in their respective events:
Ethan Dennis -- 8th -- weight throw (20.32m, 66-8)
Cody Riffle -- 10th -- in the shot put (17.38m, 57-0.25)
Bradley James -- 10th -- high jump (2.05m, 6-8.75)
Herman Washington -- 11th -- 60m hurdles (7.99)
THE CLAYTON ERA
Jerry Clayton is in his first year as Michigan's head coach, working primarily with U-M's field event athletes. Prior to moving to Ann Arbor, Clayton spent 15 seasons as an assistant head coach at Auburn. He has strong Big Ten ties, as he competed for Illinois and was two-time NCAA qualifier in the shot put, and returned to Illinois as an assistant coach from 1980-89. Clayton has produced several high-level national and international athletes, including 16 NCAA individual champions, 85 NCAA All-Americans, 39 international team competitors, 24 qualifiers for the U.S. Olympic Trials and 33 participants in Olympic Games and World Championship competition.
Assistant coach Steven Rajewsky is in his first year as a member of U-M's coaching staff, working primarily with U-M's sprinters and hurdles. Prior to coming to Michigan, Rajewsky spent six years as an assistant coach at Kent State.
THE 2014 WOLVERINES
Team Captains: Senior Herman Washington, as well as senior/juniors Mark Beams and Cody Riffle, were named tri-captains for the 2014 season. Each captain was chosen by the team and coaches to represent the different event areas -- Beams (distance), Riffle (field) and Washington (sprints).
Returning All-Americans: The Wolverines return four student-athletes who earned All-America honors in 2013. Senior/junior Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) placed 12th at the NCAA Indoor Championships and ninth at the outdoor national championships, earning All-America second team honors at both events. Fifth-year senior Ethan Dennis(Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) finished ninth in the weight throw at the NCAA Indoor Championships and 20th in the hammer throw at the national outdoor event, garnering All-America second team and honorable mention accolades, respectively. In his first year competing in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, junior/sophomore Mason Ferlic (St. Paul, Minn./Mounds Park Academy) ran to a 13th-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships to earn All-America second team recognition. Senior Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville) finished fourth in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, becoming U-M's only All-America first teamer of the year.
In the Record Book: Ethan Dennis owns Michigan's indoor weight throw (21.20m, 69-6 3/4) and outdoor hammer throw (62.75m, 213-2) records, while Cody Riffle has set new school records in the indoor (19.25m, 63-2) and outdoor (18.80m, 61-8.25) shot put. Both indoor records were set at the 2013 dual meet against Michigan State.
Qualifying Standards for NCAA Championships: There are no qualifying standards for the championships season. There will be a track indexing standard to delineate the different indexing among flat, undersized, banked and oversized. Qualification to the championships is based on descending-order list for the season. For each individual event contested, the top 16 declared student-athletes will be accepted into the competition. For each relay event contested, the top 12 declared relay teams will be accepted into the competition. Due to new NCAA legislation, last-chance meets will no longer be held the week prior to the national indoor meet. [ USTFCCCA Selection Criteria ]
For the second straight year, the Big Ten Indoor Championships will be held at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. The NCAA Indoor Championships will be hosted by the University of New Mexico.
A LOOK AHEAD
Fri-Sat., Feb. 14-15 -- at SPIRE Invitational (Geneva, Ohio), 2 p.m./10 a.m.
Fri-Sat., Feb. 14-15 -- at Husky Classic (Seattle, Wash.), 4 p.m./8 a.m. PST
Fri-Sat., Feb. 14-15 -- at New Mexico Don Kirby Invitational (Albuquerque, N.M.), 4 p.m./10:45 a.m. MST
Saturday, Feb. 22 -- host Silverston Invitational (U-M Indoor Track Building), 10:30 a.m.
Contact: Whitney Dixon (email@example.com)