Feb. 15, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan men's track and field head coach Fred LaPlante announced the signings of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2011-12 season. The signees include throwers Brad Bolton (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro H.S.) and Derek Sievers (Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center H.S.), distance runner Scott Albaugh (Waterford, Mich./Waterford Mott H.S.) and sprinter Philip Washington III (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield H.S.).
"One of the primary focuses of our coaching staff is to get the best prospects in the state of Michigan to compete for the University of Michigan," LaPlante said. "Scott, Derek, and Philip are all state champions and fine students. They are exactly the kind of young men we want to represent Michigan."
"In addition, we expect to be in the recruiting conversation nationally, and the addition of Brad Bolton, one of the top prospects in the country, helps us achieve that. We got off to a great start. We are excited about these initial signees, and we are working to attract more student-athletes that are the right fit for Michigan and for our program."
Bolton is ranked as the nation's top hammer thrower, throwing a far mark of 225-8 feet at the Willie Williams Classic in March 2010. Also accomplished in the shot put, he has represented the U.S. in multiple international competitions, including the World Youth Track & Field Trials and with the USATF National Team. Bolton was a U.S. Junior Olympics champion in the hammer throw last year, and last summer, placed sixth in at the USATF Juniors Championships.
"Brad is a very talented thrower," field events coach Mohamad Saatara said. "He has a depth of experience in high-level competitions throughout his young career and will be an excellent addition to our throws crew. We are very excited about bringing him into the fold."
Sievers was the LP Division II Michigan state champion in the discus last season. He came from behind to hit 177-6 feet on his final attempt, helping Byron Center to win the Division-II state championship over Zeeland West last June. He also has the 12th-best weight throw (25-lb.) nationally so far this season.
"Derek brings a great deal of talent and enthusiasm to our group," Saatara said. "He has proven to be a great competitor and we are excited about what he will bring to the team."
Albaugh was the Division I Michigan state cross country champion last season and is the top 3,200-meter run returner in the state heading into the 2011 season.
"We expect that Scott can contribute to our cross country team right away," distance coach Alex Gibby said. "I expect him to be a factor in those longer races on the track."
Washington was the Division-I Michigan state champion in the 400-meter dash last season for West Bloomfield.
"Philip is one of the top 400-meter prospects to come out of the state of Michigan in the past decade," LaPlante said. "He'll make an already-strong 400 crew a lot stronger."
The Wolverines already have one of the nation's youngest rosters, losing only four seniors -- decathlete Frank Shotwell, sprinter David St. Amant and hurdlers Carl Buchanon and Nick McCampbell -- to graduation at the end of the season.
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423