Week #7: Michigan Prepares for This Week's Big Ten Championships

Feb. 21, 2011

Sat-Sun., Feb. 26-27 -- at Big Ten Indoor Championships (Champaign, Ill.), 10 a.m. CST
Live Results | Championship Central

The University of Michigan men's track and field team travels to Champaign, Ill., this weekend for the 2011 Big Ten Indoor Championships, beginning on Saturday (Feb. 26) and running through Sunday (Feb. 27) at the University of Illinois Armory. Competition each day will begin at 10 a.m. CST.

The meet will be shown on the Big Ten Network on tape delay on Saturday, March 12, at 2 p.m.

Michigan at Big Ten Indoor Championships Quick Hits
• Michigan has claimed 26 Big Ten Indoor championships.
• U-M's last Big Ten Indoor championship came in 1994.
• One hundred and fourteen Michigan athletes have won 199 individual Big Ten Indoor titles.
• Carl Johnson (1918-20) leads all Wolverines with eight Big Ten titles.
• U-M has also won 21 relay championships.

One Year Removed: A Look Back at the 2010 Big Ten Indoor Championships
Michigan finished eighth at the 2010 Big Ten Indoor Championships, held in Minneapolis, Minn. The Wolverines earned 42 points during the two-day event, with 21 coming from the field events.

The Wolverines had one champion crowned, senior/junior Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys) in the long jump. In addition, former Wolverine Sean Pruitt (2006-10) in the shot put and the distance medley relay team -- including current Wolverines Nick Neuman, Dallas Bowden and Brendon Blacklaws -- each scored second-place finishes.

Recaps: Day One (2-27-10) | Day Two (2-28-10)

Here Come the Champions
There are three former Big Ten indoor champions on the roster this season:

Robert Peddlar: Long Jump (2010)
David St. Amant: Distance Medley Relay (2009)
Frank Shotwell: Heptathlon (2008)*

* Has exhausted indoor eligibility

NOTE: Senior Carl Buchanon was the 2009 conference champion in the 400-meter hurdles (outdoor)

Last Time Out
With most of Michigan's top student-athletes held out of action, several stepped up and won events at the Silverston Invitational last Saturday (Feb. 19) at the Indoor Track Building. Among the winners in the field were sophomore Jack Greenlee (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) in the pole vault, senior/junior Robert Peddlar in the long jump (23-6 3/4 ft.) and junior Erik Braun (Pinckney, Mich./Pinckney Community) in the triple jump (career-best 47-4 1/4 ft.). Michigan also got runner-up performances in two of those events mentioned above, coming from freshman Ed Hur (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Andover) in the long jump (22-3 1/2 ft.) and sophomore Austin DeWildt (Wyoming, Mich./Catholic Central) in the pole vault.

Recaps: MGoBlue

2011 Top Times/Marks
60-meter Dash: 6.83, Justin Clarke
200-meter Dash: #21.69, Nick Neuman
400-meter Dash: 47.75, Matthew Campbell
800-meter Run: 1:54.90, Dallas Bowden
Mile Run: 4:11.82, Dallas Bowden
3,000-meter Run: 8:07.49, Craig Forys
5,000-meter Run: 14:56.07, Zach Ornelas
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
Heptathlon: 4,999 points, Kurt Reichenbach

# converted time

Among The Big Ten's Best
Several Michigan track and field athletes rank among the best in the Big Ten this season:

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 7.97 4
Matthew Campbell (Jr.) 400m Dash 47.75 9
Bradley James (R-Fr.) High Jump 7-0 1/2 feet T4
Jack Greenlee (So.) Pole Vault 16-8 3/4 feet T5
Cody Riffle (Fr.) Shot Put 59-0 3/4 feet 7
Ethan Dennis (R-Fr.) 35-lb. Weight Throw 65-7 3/4 feet 9
Kurt Reichenbach Heptathlon 4,999 pts. 9

Rookie Rewind
Three Michigan field athletes rank among all freshmen nationally. Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) is third in the 35-lb. weight throw, Bradley James (East Lansing, Mich./Haslett) is tied for fourth in the high jump and freshman Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) is sixth in the shot put.

James, Riffle, 4x400 Relay Like the Top Three
Bradley James (high jump) and U-M's 4x400-meter relay team have each placed in third place or higher in all five events this season. After winning the high jump in the first three events, James placed third at the Meyo Invitational and GVSU Big Meet.

Before placing first at GVSU, the relay won at EMU and the Simmons-Harvey Invitational while placing runner-up at the Dual and third at Meyo.

Meanwhile, Cody Riffle placed in the top three in each of the first four weekends before earning sixth at GVSU. He 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.


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.

Michigan's senior trio of Carl Buchanon (South Bend, Ind./Clay), Nick McCampbell (Detroit, Mich./Cass Tech) and David St. Amant (Livonia, Mich./Churchill) are team captains for Big Tens this week.

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
Feb. 19 -- Austin DeWildt, Troy Sneller
Feb. 26 -- Carl Buchanon, Nick McCampbell, David St. Amant

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
Feb. 11-12 (GVSU Big Meet): Austin DeWildt, Nick McCampbell, Matthew Campbell
Feb. 19 (Silverston Invitational): Troy Sneller, Herman Washington, Erik Braun

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 ]

New Additions
On Feb. 15, 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) and Derek Sievers (Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center), distance runner Scott Albaugh (Waterford, Mich./Waterford Mott) and sprinter Philip Washington III (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield).

Bolton is ranked as the nation's top hammer thrower, while Sievers, Albaugh and Washington III are all Michigan state champions.

[ Signing Day Release (Feb. 15) ]

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). 2008 Olympian Adam Harris (U-M 2006-09) took sixth in the 60-meter dash (6.77), and Nate Brannen (U-M 2002-05) finished seventh in the 3,000-meter run (7:54.75).

[ Complete Coverage ]

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, oversees 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 oversees 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, work under Gibby in the distance group. Shean Conlon (pole vault) is also new to the staff, while former volunteer assistant Tiberia Patterson re-joined the staff and assists 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!

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!

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
The indoor season is winding down, and the Wolverines will have one final opportunity to get student-athletes qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships next weekend at the Notre Dame Wilson Invitational, held in South Bend, Ind. The two-day meet begins on Friday, March 4, at 6 p.m. and concludes on Saturday, March 5, at noon.

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423