Week 4: Wolverines to Split Squad for SPIRE Invite, Husky Classic

Feb. 5, 2013

Fri-Sat., Feb. 8-9 -- at SPIRE Invitational (Geneva, Ohio), 2 p.m./10 a.m.
Meet Information | Heat Sheets/Live Results
Friday, Feb. 8 -- at Husky Classic (Seattle, Wash.), 5:50 p.m. PST
Event Schedule | Live Results

Social Media: Facebook | Twitter

The University of Michigan men's track and field team will be represented at two meets on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 8-9). The majority of the squad will compete in the two-day SPIRE Invitational at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio, which is the site of the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Championships. Fifth-year seniors Bobby Aprill (Dexter, Mich./Dexter) and Dan Lowry (Philadelphia, Pa./La Salle College) will travel to Seattle, Wash., to compete the 5,000-meter run at the Husky Classic (Friday, 5:50 p.m. PST) at Dempsey Indoor. The SPIRE Invitational is set to start at 2 p.m. on Friday and resume again on Saturday morning at 10 a.m.


• This will mark the second year the SPIRE Institute is hosting the SPIRE NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Team Invitational. The SPIRE Institute was built in Geneva, Ohio, in 2008 to provide a centralized location to host various athletic events on all levels, including this year's Big Ten and Big East Indoor Championships. The GaREAT Sports Complex is the nation's largest track and field center and features an eight-lane 300-meter Beynon track with two full 150-meter straightaways.

• Last year at the inaugural SPIRE Invitational, Michigan's 4x400-meter relay team broke a 27-year-old school record with a time of 3:09.14. The relay consisted of 2012 graduate Nick Neuman, and junior Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville), senior Aaron Taylor (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams) and Matthew Campbell (Rochester, Mich./Rochester), who exhausted his indoor eligibility last season. Arastu and Taylor are in Michigan's rotation of student-athletes on this year's relay team.

Dan Lowry will compete in the invitational section of the 5,000-meter run at the Husky Classic, while Bobby Aprill will run in the fastest heat of the open event. Lowry and Aprill are currently ranked 13th and 18th, respectively, in the nation in the 3,000-meter run, and will make their 5k debut on Friday. Several of the nation's top distance competition, combined with Washington's five-lane 307-meter MONDO track, will create an ideal environment for recording fast times.

• Last weekend at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational (Feb. 1-2), Michigan recorded nine top-10 performances, including top-three finishes from senior/sophomore Nick Kern (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) in the 3,000-meter run (2nd, 8:23.85) and junior Herman Washington (Blacklick, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln) in the 60-meter hurdles (3rd, 8.04).

• With two competitions remaining until the Big Ten Indoor Championships, the Wolverines have five student-athletes ranked in the Big Ten's top eight in their respective events (the top eight finishers score at championship meets). Four of the athletes are in the top three, including Dan Lowry and Bobby Aprill in the 3,000-meter run, Cody Riffle in the shot put and Ethan Dennis in the weight throw.

Dan Lowry -- 3,000m, 2nd, 8:03.56
Bobby Aprill -- 3,000m, 3rd, 8:05.37
Bradley James -- high jump, 6th, 7-0.25 ft.
Cody Riffle -- shot put, 1st, 63-2 ft.
Ethan Dennis -- weight throw, 1st, 69-6.75 ft.

• Fifth-year senior Bobby Aprill (Dexter, Mich./Dexter), senior Jack Greenlee (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) and junior Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville) were named tri-captains for the 2013 season. Each captain was chosen by the team and coaches to represent the different event areas -- Aprill (distance), Greenlee (field) and Arastu (sprints).

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 ]

In the Spotlight

H. Washington Herman Washington
Blacklick, Ohio

On continuing to improve in preparation for Big Tens ... "I think the most important thing is being mentally prepared, and I think I've got that aspect down. I feel really, really confident coming off of Notre Dame last weekend. It was good to see a lot of Big Ten competition there -- the finals at that meet had about five of the top people that will be at Big Tens. It was good to get out there and beat a couple of them and know where I was at, although, the time wasn't where I want it to be. I feel strong, and this week I'm really focusing on a lot of little things. I'm excited to get out and race again this weekend and be aggressive."

On remaining consistent from the prelims through finals ... "I think like most of track and field, it's mental. I think for me, everyone has to do what's best for them, but I'm almost over-confident before I run. I'm running to win the race regardless of what race I'm in. I not only have the mindset but truly believe in it. Throughout my entire warm up, I remind myself to have fun, because running track is something I love to do. So dancing around, smiling, acting silly for a little bit helps get me in the right mindset to do what I need to do."

On running to the level of competition ... "I think the level of competition helps elevate my performances. Coach (LaPlante) and I always talk about how I tend to run with the competition, regardless of where I'm at. I'm definitely excited about the SPIRE Invite. I love the facility, and I think it's a good opportunity. I'm also excited for, as far as competition goes, getting out there and running with them. Last year, I ran eight-flat in the prelims and had a little stumble in the finals, and I don't feel I was as strong then as I am now, so I'm really excited about this opportunity."

On competing at the Big Ten Championship venue ... "I think it's great, getting experience on a surface so it's not a brand-new feeling at Big Tens. You can get a feel for what you have to do. I'm really glad I got to run there last year, plus I like that it's a neutral setting so I don't feel like I'm going into someone else's house and trying to upset the home crowd. I'm out here to represent Michigan well and make us the loudest time."

On participating in Mock Rock last night ... "Mock Rock is always a great event. It's always good to bring the freshmen into it. Normally that's kind of a turning point for them -- all the freshmen who compete in Mock Rock step out of their shell a little more, and it helps them get over their nerves. It's a positive thing to remind them that even though we're out here dancing, to remember the bigger cause and why we're out here doing this. It's definitely a positive experience for all of us. It was really nice to have Jalen Rose there with representatives from the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. I knew he was involved with that, but I didn't know a lot of the details, and I think it was really great what he's doing for those kids. I know for me and some of my friends back home, just seeing some of the opportunities they are given, would have been mind-blowing for us. He's helping to put people on the right path where they need to be. It was also cool to see Jalen and Jeff (Porter) go back and forth with their little comedian puns -- I like seeing that kind of stuff."

Saturday, Feb. 16 -- host Silverston Invitational (U-M Indoor Track Building), 10:30 a.m.
Fri-Sat., Feb. 22-23 -- at Big Ten Indoor Championships (Geneva, Ohio), 10 a.m.

Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423