Week #5: U-M Jumps into Action at GVSU Big Meet

Feb. 7, 2011

Fri-Sat., Feb.11-12 -- at GVSU Big Meet (Allendale, Mich.), Noon/9:30 a.m.
Event Information

The University of Michigan men's track and field team returns to the its home state this weekend, competing at the two-day Grand Valley State Big Meet at Laker Turf Building in Allendale, Mich., beginning at noon on Friday (Feb. 11) and starting up again at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday (Feb. 12).

Track Talk with Frank Shotwell
He's back! Fifth-year senior decathlete Frank Shotwell (Medina, Ohio/Medina) will once again be blogging during the season for MGoBlue.com. Check back to the site towards the end of each week to see what goes on inside the Michigan men's track and field team from one of its most experienced competitors!

Big Ten Championships
The 2011 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships are right around the corner, held Feb. 26-27 on the campus of the University of Illinois, in Champaign, Ill. [ Championship Information ]

Last Time Out
Michigan recorded numerous top-three finishes at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational last weekend (Fri-Sat., Feb. 4-5). Among them were freshman Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) in the shot put, sophomore Aaron Taylor (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams) in the unseeded 200-meter dash, freshman Erick Gavin (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) in the 60-meter hurdles, freshman Bradley James (East Lansing, Mich./Haslett) in the high jump and the 4x400-meter relay team.

James, Riffle, 4x400 Relay Stay in Top Three
Bradley James (high jump), Cody Riffle (shot put) and U-M's 4x400-meter relay team have each placed in third place or higher in all four events this season. After winning the high jump in the first three events, James placed third at the Meyo Invitational. Meanwhile, Riffle won his first-ever competition in the shot put at the EMU Invitational before placing second at both "The Dual" and the Simmons-Harvey Invitational and third at the Meyo invite.

The relay won at EMU and the Simmons-Harvey Invitational while placing runner-up at the Dual and third at Meyo.

New PR
In addition, senior/junior Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys), the reigning Big Ten Indoor champion in the long jump, recorded a new career high on Friday. He finished second in the competition with a top mark of 24-10 1/2 feet, breaking his old personal best of 24-1 1/2 feet, set at this year's Eastern Michigan Invitational (Jan. 8, 2011). He ranks second in the Big Ten and 20th nationally.

Recaps: MGoBlue | Michigan Daily

2011 Top Times/Marks
60-meter Dash: 6.83, Justin Clarke
200-meter Dash: #21.69, Nick Neuman
400-meter Dash: 48.30, David St. Amant
800-meter Run: #1:56.60, Dallas Bowden
Mile Run: #4:15.47, Dallas Bowden
3,000-meter Run: #8:14.92, Craig Forys
60-meter Hurdles: 7.90, Carl Buchanon
4x400-meter Relay: 3:12.15, Matthew Campbell, David St. Amant, Eric Oliver, Carl Buchanon
High Jump: 7-0 1/2 ft., Bradley James
Pole Vault: 16-8 3/4 ft., Jack Greenlee
Long Jump: 24-10 1/2 ft., Robert Peddlar
Triple Jump: 49-7 ft., Robert Peddlar
Shot Put: 59-0 3/4 ft., Cody Riffle
35-lb. Weight Throw: 65-7 3/4 ft., Ethan Dennis

# converted time

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)

Name Event Time/Mark Rank
Robert Peddlar (Sr.) Long Jump 24-10 1/2 feet 2
  Triple Jump 49-7 feet 5
Carl Buchanon (Sr.) 60m Hurdles 7.90 3
Nick McCampbell (R-Sr.) 60m Hurdles 8.01 6
Bradley James (R-Fr.) High Jump 7-0 1/2 feet 4
Jack Greenlee (So.) Pole Vault 16-8 3/4 feet 4
Cody Riffle (Fr.) Shot Put 59-0 3/4 feet 7
Ethan Dennis (R-Fr.) 35-lb. Weight Throw 65-7 3/4 feet 8

Rookie Rewind
Three Michigan field athletes rank among all freshmen nationally. Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) is tied for second in the 35-lb. weight throw, Bradley James is tied for third in the high jump and freshman Cody Riffle is fifth in the shot put.

Former Athletes Shine at New Balance Indoor Grand Prix
Four former Wolverines ran at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix last Saturday (Feb. 5). 2008 Olympic silver medalist Nick Willis (U-M 2003-05) finished third in the mile (3:56.29), with Alan Webb (U-M 2002) coming in seventh (4:00.70). Adam Harris (U-M 2006-09), a 2008 Olympian, took sixth in the 60-meter dash (6.77), while Nate Brannen (U-M 2002-05) finished seventh in the 3,000-meter run (7:54.75).

[ Complete Coverage ]


Rotating the Leaders & Best
This year, instead of going with permanent team captains, the track and field team will name two captains for each competition week, except for the week of the Big Ten Championships. Sophomore distance runner Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College) and junior/sophomore heptathlete Kurt Reichenbach (Brighton, Mich./Pinckney Community) have been named captains for the Grand Valley State Big Meet this weekend.

2011 Indoor Captains
Jan. 8 -- David St. Amant, Erik Braun
Jan. 15 -- Robert Peddlar, Craig Forys
Jan. 22 -- Nick McCampbell, Taylor Voice
Feb. 5 -- Jack Greenlee, Matthew Campbell
Feb. 11 -- Brendon Blacklaws, Kurt Reichenbach

Wolverines of the Week
Each week, the coaching staff will select a few student-athletes who performed the best as "Wolverines of the Week":

Jan. 8 (Eastern Michigan Invitational): Erik Braun, Justin Clarke, Ed Hur, Bradley James, Cody Riffle
Jan. 15 ("The Dual" at Ohio State): Ethan Dennis, Jack Greenlee, Craig Forys, Carl Buchanon
Jan. 22 (Simmons-Harvey Invitational): Erik Braun, Justin Clarke
Feb. 4-5 (ND Meyo Invitational): Robert Peddlar, Ali Arastu, Erick Gavin

Young And Old
Michigan has an abundance of youth on the 2011 roster. Out of the 48 student-athletes on this year's track and field roster, 38 of them are three or more years of eligibility remaining, giving the Wolverines one of the youngest rosters in the country. Here's a look at the roster, broken down by class:

Freshmen: 24
Sophomores: 14
Juniors: 6
Seniors: 4

Qualifying Standards for NCAA Championships
For the first time, 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 ] [ TFRRS ]

Coaching Staff
Head coach Fred LaPlante is in his third season at the helm of the Wolverines and is joined by two new assistant coaches and three new volunteer assistants. Alex Gibby, the head coach of the men's cross country team, will oversee the distance runners. Gibby was hired this summer from William & Mary to replace former men's track and field head coach Ron Warhurst, who retired after an illustrious 36-year coaching career at Michigan. The other assistant is Mohamad Saatara, who will oversee the field events in his first year after being hired from Northern Arizona.

Volunteer assistants Christo Landry and Colin Leak, former distance runners under Gibby at William & Mary, will work under Gibby in the distance group. Shean Conlon (pole vault) is also new to the staff, while former volunteer assistant Tiberia Patterson re-joins the staff and will assist LaPlante with the sprints/hurdles group.

Social Media
Twitter: Simply log-on and search for "michigan_track" and follow us today.
Facebook: Search "Michigan Men's Track & Field" and click the "Like" button to instantly get connected with fellow fans, student-athletes and alumni.
Foursquare: Check in on Foursquare (smartphones only). For home events, fans can check into the Indoor Track Building or Ferry Field. The Wolverine fans can "check-in" to any U-M sports venue and become eligible for giveaways, unlock exclusive offers and learn exciting trivia while connecting with fellow fans.

1. On your smartphone, go to Foursquare.com to find the Foursquare application for your iPhone, Android or Blackberry.
2. Install the program and create a user account to get started.
3. To find special tips and offers for Michigan athletics, add "MichiganGoBlue" as a friend.
To add friends, go to the Me tab, then click "Friends" and select "Add Friends."
4. Start checking-in to Michigan athletic venues and join the fun!

Yearbook & Record Book
For the second year in a row, 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.

[ 2010-11 Men's Track & Field Yearbook ] [ Record Book ]

Up Next
Michigan has one final tune-up before the 2011 Big Ten Indoor Championships and it comes next weekend, as it hosts the Silverston Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 19, inside the Indoor Track Building. The action begins at 10 a.m.

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423