Feb. 14, 2012
The University of Michigan men's track and field team will host the Silverston Invitational in its final regular-season indoor meet on Saturday (Feb. 18). The Wolverines will welcome athletes from Eastern Michigan, Detroit-Mercy, Windsor, Toledo and Michigan State to the U-M Indoor Track Building. Field events will begin at 11 a.m., with the running events commencing at 1 p.m.
Setting the Scene -- The Silverston Invitational will be Michigan's third and final indoor home meets of the season. With the Big Ten Championships right around the corner on Feb. 24-25, the majority of Michigan's athlete who have qualified for the conference meet will not compete in the Silverston Invitational. The meet will provide an opportunity for many of the Wolverines' younger athletes to compete in front of a home crowd.
"This is a non-scored meet, which is typical to have the week before the Big Ten Championships," said head coach Fred LaPlante. "Many of our top athletes will be continuing their training and resting for Big Tens. Some athletes in certain circumstances will need one more meet to tune up and compete one more time before the conference meet. Many of our redshirts will get to participate unattached and some of our younger athletes, who haven't gotten the chance as much, will get to compete against similar competition. Also, a few pro athletes will be here, who want to get in a tune-up and see where they're at in a competitive setting. The meet serves a purpose for a variety of people."
Amin Nikfar, a 2008 Olympian in the shot put, who is currently training with assistant coach Mohamad Saatara for the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships, will compete unattached.
Wolverines of the Week -- Each week throughout the season, the track and field coaching staff will select 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 junior pole vaulter Jack Greenlee (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier HS),senior heptathlete Kurt Reichenbach (Brighton, Mich./Pinckney Community), sophomore sprinter Justin Clarke (Flint, Mich./Southwestern), fifth-year senior distance runner Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck), junior/sophomore distance runnerZach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge) and the members of the 4x400-meter relay team.
Greenlee won the pole vault with a lifetime-best height of 5.20 meters (17-0.75). In his first heptathlon of the season, Reichenbach won the event with a career best 5,319 points. Clarke advanced to the finals of the 60-meter dash, where he took fifth with a personal-best time of 6.82. Forys finished fifth in the 3,000-meter run, clocking a lifetime best of 7:59.82. Ornelas highlighted the opening day of the meet, running a lifetime-best mark of 14:17.50 to finish runner-up in the 5,000-meter run.
The 4x400-meter relay team , which consisted of senior/junior Nick Neuman (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East), sophomore Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville), junior Aaron Taylor (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams) and senior Matthew Campbell (Rochester, Mich./Rochester), broke a 27-year-old school record (3:09.14) to finish second overall.
Personal Improvement -- At the SPIRE Invitational, 16 Michigan student-athletes recorded personal-best marks. With one meet remaining before the Big Ten Championships, 35 Wolverines have set new PRs in at least one event, with six improving in two or more events.
Last Time on the Track -- Michigan broke a 27-year-old school record (3:09.14) in the 4x400-meter relay last weekend at the SPIRE Invitational. The relay was one of seven top-five performances from the meet, including two first-place finishes. Junior Jack Greenlee (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier HS) won the pole vault with a lifetime-best height of 5.20 meters (17-0.75), while senior Kurt Reichenbach (Brighton, Mich./Pinckney Community) took first in the heptathlon with a career best 5,319 points. [ MGoBlue Recaps: Day One | Day Two :: Michigan Daily ] [ FloTrack Coverage: 4x400-meter Relay | Craig Forys, 3rd 3000m Run | Ali Arastu 400m Dash (H2) ]
National Notables -- The Wolverines' 4x400-meter relay team from the SPIRE Invitational ran the 16th-fastest time in the country this season with a school record setting time of 3:09.14. Michigan is the 11th-ranked school overall in the relay, as several teams have multiple relay squads ranked in the top 15. Junior/sophomore Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville HS) ranks 18th in the weight throw with a distance of 66-10 1/2 feet, which he recorded against Ohio State. [ 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)
|Justin Clarke (So.)||60m Dash||6.82||10|
|Matthew Campbell (Sr.)||200m Dash||21.57 #||9|
|Ali Arastu (So.)||400m Dash||47.47||6|
|Brendon Blacklaws (Jr.)||Mile Run||4:04.48||9|
|Craig Forys (R-Sr.)||3,000m Run||7:59.82||5|
|Herman Washington (So.)||60m Hurdles||8.00||7|
|Karr, Snyder, Martin, Yau||Distance Medley Relay||9:54.66||5|
|Bradley James (R-So.)||High Jump||7-1 1/2 feet||3|
|Jack Greenlee (Jr.)||Pole Vault||17-0 3/4 feet||5|
|Patrick Cochran (So.)||Triple Jump||48-10 feet||9|
|Ethan Dennis (R-So.)||35-lb. Weight Throw||66-10 1/2 feet||6|
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. 24-25 -- at Big Ten Indoor Championships (Lincoln, Neb.), 10 a.m. CST
Fri-Sat., March 2-3 -- at Notre Dame Alex Wilson Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 6 p.m./11 a.m.
Fri-Sat., March 2-3 -- at North Florida Spring Invitational (Jacksonville, Fla.), 9 a.m.
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423