Weekly Release #9: at Alex Wilson Invite, Virginia Tech Qualifier

March 2, 2010

Fri-Sat., March 5-6 -- at Alex Wilson Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 5 p.m./10:30 a.m.
Wilson Invite Schedule of Events
Saturday, March 6 -- at Virginia Tech Final Qualifier (Blacksburg, Va.), TBA
Live Results

With less than two weeks to go before NCAA Indoor Championships, the University of Michigan men's track and field team will only send a few competitors to action this weekend. On Saturday (March 6), senior thrower Sean Pruitt (Cato, Wis./Valders) will compete at the Virginia Tech Final Qualifier in Blacksburg, Va., while distance runners Dallas Bowden (Hastings, New Zealand/Nelson College), Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College) and Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) will run at the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Ind., beginning on Friday (March 5).

The competition time for the Virginia Tech Final Qualifier has not yet been announced. The Alex Wilson Invitational will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday (March 5) and conclude at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday (March 6).

U-M's Top Indoor Times
60-meter dash: Denard Robinson, 6.81 (1/16 vs. Ohio State)
60-meter hurdles: Carl Buchanon, 7.99 (1/23 Simmons/Harvey)
200-meter dash: Nicholas Neuman, 21.88 (1/30 at Rod McCravy Invite)
400-meter dash: Carl Buchanon, 48.11 (2/12 at GVSU Big Meet)
600-meter run: David St. Amant, 1:20.55 (1/23 Simmons/Harvey)
800-meter run: Dallas Bowden, 1:52.47 (2/6 at Meyo Invite)
Mile run: Dallas Bowden, 4:04.62 (2/12 at GVSU Big Meet)
3,000-meter run: Sean McNamara, 8:04.48 (2/13 at GVSU Big Meet)
5,000-meter run: Peter Christmas, 14:21.97 (2/12 at GVSU Big Meet)
High Jump: John Kipf, 2.11m (1/16 vs. Ohio State)
Long Jump: Robert Peddlar, 7.35m (1/22 Simmons-Harvey)
Triple Jump: Robert Peddlar, 15.00m (2/28 at Big Ten Indoors)
Pole Vault: Frank Shotwell, 4.90m (1/16 vs. Ohio State)
Shot put: Sean Pruitt, 18.20m (2/12 at GVSU Big Meet)
35-lb. Weight: Sean Pruitt, 20.23m (2/28 at Big Ten Indoors)
Heptathlon: Frank Shotwell, 5,476 (2/13 at GVSU Big Meet)
4x400-meter relay: Neuman, Buchanon, Campbell, St. Amant, 3:11.53 (2/13 at GVSU Big Meet)
Distance Medley Relay: McNamara, Neuman, Bowden, Blacklaws, 9:50.15 (2/27 at Big Ten Indoors)

Last Time Out
The Wolverines finished in eighth place at the 2010 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships on Sunday (Feb. 28) inside the Minnesota Fieldhouse. The Wolverines earned 42 points during the two-day event, with 21 coming from the field events.

Senior Sean Pruitt (Cato, Wis./Valders) came within inches of winning the 35-lb. weight title for the second straight year but was beat out by Aaron Studt (Minnesota) on the last throw. His top throw of 20.23 meters (66-4 1/2 ft.) met the NCAA provisional qualifying standard and was also a season high.

Since the Big Ten Indoor meet was first contested in 1964, Michigan has finished in the top half (places 1-5) all but 13 times. The Wolverines finished in eighth, their lowest team finish since 1999 (ninth place). Michigan did not have any finalists for the 60-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash, 600-meter run, 800-meter run or the mile run.

Peddlar Wins Big Ten Long Jump
Junior Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys) became the sixth Michigan field athlete to win the Big Ten Indoor long jump crown last Saturday (Feb. 27). Peddlar improved on each of his first four jumps, finally hitting the winning mark during his fourth jump (7.32 meters) after falling behind early. He came into the meet tied with Korbin Smith (Ohio State) for the best mark in the conference but out-jumped the competition to give Michigan its first Big Ten title of the meet and earn the first of his career.

Where U-M Ranks
The following table shows the Michigan athletes that rank in the Big Ten (top 10) and NCAA (top 100):

Jeff Demps (Florida) 6.59 -- 1
Denard Robinson 6.81 5 87
Lee Emanuel (New Mexico) 3:57.62 -- 1
Dallas Bowden 4:04.62 9 56
Ronnie Ash (Oklahoma) 7.59 -- 1
Carl Buchanon 7.99 4 61
Nick McCampbell 8.06 8 95
Trent Arrivey (Washington St.) 2.24m (7-4 ¼) -- T-1
John Kipf 2.11m (6-11) 8 54
Alain Bailey (Arkansas) 8.17m (26-9 3/4) -- 1
Robert Peddlar 7.35m (24-1 ½) 2 73
Christian Taylor (Florida 16.83m (55-2 3/4) -- 1
Robert Peddlar 15.00m (49-2 1/2) 8 91
Ryan Whiting (Arizona St.) 21.24m (69-8 ¼) -- 1
Sean Pruitt 18.20m (59-8 ½)# 5 24
Walter Henning (LSU) 23.33m (76-6 ½) -- 1
Sean Pruitt 20.23m (66-4 1/2) 2 20
Ashton Eaton (Oregon) 6,256 -- 1
Frank Shotwell 5,476 4 25
Texas A&M (Howell, Miller,
Henry, Pinder)
3:04.86 -- 1
Nicholas Neuman, Carl Buchanon,
Matthew Campbell, David St. Amant
3:11.53 3 53
Oregon (Fleet, Barlow,
Greer, Acosta)
9:29.82 -- 1
Sean McNamara, Nicholas Neuman,
Dallas Bowden, Brendon Blacklaws
9:47.15 3 19

-- Marks/Times courtesy of TFRRS.org.

Michigan's NCAA Provisional Qualifiers
Sean Pruitt
35-lb. weight - 19.65m (64-5 3/4 ft.)
Shot put - 18.20m (59-8 1/2 ft.)

Sean McNamara
3,000-meter run - 8:04.48

Frank Shotwell
Heptathlon - 5,476 pts.

Forys' Season Debut
One of Michigan's top distance runners made his season debut at the Grand Valley State Big Meet on Feb. 13. Forys participated in the 3,000-meter run, finishing in 15th place (8:22.12). Forys had missed the first six meets of the season recovering from injury.

At Big Ten Indoors, Forys ran the 3,000-meter run and the 5,000-meter run. He finished in 15th and 20th, respectively.

Heptathletes A Hit
At the Grand Valley State Big Meet (Feb. 12-13), senior/junior Frank Shotwell (Medina, Ohio/Medina) led Michigan's group of heptathletes by finishing first with 5,476 points, exceeding the NCAA provisional qualifying standard for that event and earning first place points in five of the seven events. Shotwell now holds the top two heptathlon scores in Michigan track and field history (he set the record of 5,528 back in 2008).

Two of his teammates also scored top-five finishes, including sophomore Joe Strizich (San Francisco, Calif/St. Ignatius College Prep), who finished third (with fifth-best point total in school history: 5,051 pts.), and sophomore Kurt Reichenbach (Brighton, Mich./Pinckney Community), who took fourth.

Former Athletes at Boston Indoor Games
Two former University of Michigan men's track athletes (and current volunteer assistant coaches) Nick Willis (2003-05) and Adam Harris (2006-09) competed at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games on Feb. 6. The meet was televised to a national audience on ESPN2.

Willis, a 2008 Silver Medalist for New Zealand in the 1,500-meter run, won the mile, while Harris, a three-time All-American and eight-time Big Ten Champion, finished eighth in the 60-meter dash. [ Find out more about the meet here ]

Michigan Inks Five for 2011
On Feb. 17, head coach Fred LaPlante announced the signings of five prep student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2010-2011 academic year. The signees include Patrick Cochran (Erie, Pa./McDowell), Eric Gavin (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic), Eric Oliver (Hazel Crest, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor), Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) and Herman Washington (Blacklick, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln). [ To read the complete release, click here ]

Youth Movement
After a senior-laden group roster in 2009, the 2010 roster is comprised of mostly underclassmen. Out of the 53 student-athletes on this year's track and field roster, 30 of them are listed as redshirt sophomores or younger. Here's a look at the roster, broken down by class:

Freshmen: 24
Sophomores: 7
Juniors: 8
Seniors: 6
Fifth-year seniors: 8

All Over The Country (And Beyond)
Over half of the student-athletes on the 2010 track & field roster hail from the state of Michigan. In addition, 14 states are represented on the track & field roster, as are two other countries. Find the complete list below:

Michigan (27): Bobby Aprill (Dexter), Chris Baldwin (Battle Creek), Erik Braun (Pinckney, Mich.), Geoff Burns (Traverse City), Matthew Campbell (Rochester), Peter Christmas (Ann Arbor), Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids), Austin DeWildt (Wyoming), Ramses Dukes (Detroit), Andrew Evans (Portage), Derek Henning (Alanson), Bradley James (East Lansing), Michael Joiner-Hill (Detroit), John Kipf (Monroe), Nick McCampbell (Detroit), Tony Nalli (Ann Arbor), David Ptacek (Allegan), Kurt Reichenbach (Brighton), Joe Reynolds (Rochester), Troy Sneller (Hamilton), David St. Amant (Livonia), Aaron Taylor (Rochester Hills), Kyle Terpak (Riverview), Nick Thomas (Bloomfield Hills) Taylor Voice (Boyne City), James Wade (Ann Arbor), Lex Williams (Ann Arbor)
California (3): Jeff Merrill (Lodi), Joe Strizich (San Francisco), Matt Wheeler (Atherton)
Connecticut (1): Davis Craw (Monroe)
Florida (1): Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach)
Illinois (3): Sean McNamara (Elmhurst), Nick Neuman (Mokena), David Sweeney (Oswego)
Indiana (1): Carl Buchanon (South Bend)
New Jersey (2): Craig Forys (Howell), Grant Till (Wayne)
New York (2): Mike Dobmeier (East Amherst), Will Jurkowski (North Salem)
Ohio (2): John Greenlee (Cincinnati), Frank Shotwell (Medina)
Pennsylvania (2): Je'Ron Stokes (Philadelphia), Dan Tyler (Wallingford)
Rhode Island (1): Brendan Lodge (Narragansett)
Texas (2): Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park), Troy Woolfolk (Sugar Land)
Washington (1): Brandon Fellows (Mercer Island)
Wisconsin (1): Sean Pruitt (Cato)

New Zealand (2): Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington), Dallas Bowden (Hastings)
Jamaica (1): Robert Peddlar (Kingston)

Follow the Leader
Forys, Shotwell and junior hurdler Carl Buchanon (South Bend, Ind./Clay) as tri-captains for the 2010 season. Shotwell was also a tri-captain last season, along with former Wolverines Dan Harmsen and Justin Switzer.

Meyer Honored
Former U-M track athlete Greg Meyer (1974-77) was inducted into the University of Michigan Hall of Honor on Jan. 10. He was an All-America selection in the steeplechase and a Big Ten champion. In addition, Meyer won the 1983 Boston Marathon. He was inducted into the Michigan Track & Field Hall of Fame last year.

Football Imports
Throughout the years, some of Michigan's all-time football standouts have made the transition to the track during the winter and spring months. Former Wolverines like Desmond Howard, Tyrone Wheatley and Braylon Edwards all ran track, and this season, in addition to junior Troy Woolfolk (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles), freshmen Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach), Joe Reynolds (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams) and Je'Ron Stokes (Philadelphia, Pa./Northeast) are on the roster.

Robinson and Woolfolk will primarily run the 60-meter dash, with Stokes training in the 60-meter hurdles. Reynolds has been in the 600-meter and 800-meter runs this season.

Robinson saw action at quarterback last season for the Wolverines on the football field with Reynolds and Stokes, who were wide receivers. Woolfolk rotated between cornerback and safety.

History Made at Simmons/Harvey
As the title says, history was made on Jan. 23 at the Simmons/Harvey Invitational. Michigan student Jerome Singleton, a T-44 amputee who wears a prosthetic below his right knee, broke the world record for fastest time in the 60-meter dash by a paralympian. He crossed the finish line with a clocked time of 7.34, breaking the old world record of 7.78. Singleton is a senior at Michigan studying industrial engineering and has worked with Michigan head coach Fred LaPlante at practices. Singleton's time was the fastest in his heat.

Stay Connected
Michigan track & field is now on Twitter. Sign up for Twitter and follow the Wolverines with up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond.

2010 Record Book and Yearbook!
Beginning with the 2009-10 academic year, 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.

Leaders of the Wolverines
Fred LaPlante is in his second season as head coach for the Michigan men's track and field team after 11 seasons as the associate head coach of the program. In his 12 seasons with the program, LaPlante's main focus has been the development of U-M's sprint and hurdle athletics. LaPlante has coached 17 Olympians, 28 individual national champions and 79 All-Americans in his 23 years of coaching.

Ron Warhurst is in his second season as associate head coach, but has been at Michigan for nearly 40 years. Working with mainly Michigan's distance athletes, Warhurst has been in charge of the cross country team for the last 36 years in Ann Arbor. He was the head coach for track and field from 2000-08, before yielding the reins to LaPlante prior to last season. Overall, Warhurst has spent 36 years with the Michigan track and field program and has coached 12 Olympians, 12 individual national champions, 44 track and field All-Americans, and 38 cross country All-Americans.

David Kaiser is in his sixth season working with Michigan's field and jump athletes. Kaiser has coached 27 All-Americans and 33 conference champions.

Home Of The Wolverines
During the Indoor season, the Wolverines compete inside the U-M Indoor Track Building, which has been in use for Michigan's men and women track & field teams since 1974.

Originally constructed as the Indoor Track and Tennis Building in 1974, the completion of the Varsity Tennis Center allowed for the removal of the tennis courts and the 1997 renovations. During these renovations, the U-M Indoor Track Building's six-lane track switched from a tartan-surface to Durathon-surface, and the pole vault, long jump and high jump pits were moved into the middle of the track.

Michigan hosts several indoor meets during the winter months, including the prestigious Red Simmons and Harold Silverston Invitationals, which draw top talent from the Big Ten Conference and Midwestern region, as well as the annual Jack Harvey Invitational, named after the long-time U-M men's track and field coach, who retired in 1999.

The U-M Indoor Track Building has hosted several Big Ten Conference Indoor Championships, including the men's meet in 1994 and the women's meet's in 2005, when the Wolverines won the title in front of their home crowd. In addition, the men's (1977, 1984 and 2004) and women's (1987 and 1995) conference championship meets have taken place at the U-M Indoor Track Building.