March 5, 2013
Fri-Sat., March 8-9 -- at NCAA Indoor Championships (Fayetteville, Ark.)
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The University of Michigan men's track and field team will be represented by junior/sophomore Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) in the shot put and senior/junior Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) in the weight throw, as well as fifth-year seniors Bobby Aprill (Dexter, Mich./Dexter) and Dan Lowry (Philadelphia, Pa./La Salle College) in the 5,000-meter run at the NCAA Indoor Championships on Friday and Saturday (March 8-9) at the University of Arkansas. Competition will begin on Friday at 10 a.m. and resume again on Saturday at 11 a.m. CST at Randal Tyson Track.
MICHIGAN COMPETITION SCHEUDLE
Watch the NCAA Championships Live
ESPN3 will stream the meet live on March 8, starting at 6:30 p.m. CST and March 9, beginning at 7 p.m. CST. A tape delay of the championship will also air Sunday, March 17, at 7 p.m. CDT on ESPNU.
Based on a descending-order list for the season, the top 16 declared student-athletes and top 12 declared relay teams were accepted into the NCAA Championships.
Individuals and relays that score any portion of a team point at the NCAA Championships will earn USTFCCCA All-America first team honors. Those individuals and relays that place between nine and 16 overall (including ties) will earn USTFCCCA All-America second team honors. Those who do not meet the criteria above but participate in at least a round of the NCAA Championships will be listed as All-America honorable mention.
Cody Riffle Shot Put
Riffle is making his first appearance at the NCAA Indoor Championships and is currently ranked 10th in the NCAA in the shot put with his school record-setting mark of 19.25 meters (63-2). He finished fourth at the Big Ten Indoor Championships with a mark of 18.40 meters (60-4.50). Riffle will be joined by Big Ten shot put champion Danny Block from Wisconsin, as well as Purdue's Jakob Engel from the conference.
Ethan Dennis Weight Throw
Dennis is making his second straight appearance at the NCAA Indoor Championships. He finished 14th (19.36m, 63-6.25) a year ago to earn All-America second team honors. Dennis set a new school weight throw record of 21.20 meters (69-6.75) against Michigan State earlier this season, which currently ranks 11th in the nation. He broke the previous record set by Sean Pruitt in 2009.
Dan Lowry & Bobby Aprill 5,000-meter Run
Lowry and Aprill currently rank 13th and 14th in the nation in the 5,000-meter run, respectively, with times they clocked at the Husky Classic on Feb. 8. Lowry set a new school record with a time of 13:42.48, while Aprill followed on his heels in 13:44.34. Five of the 16 runners in the national field in the 5,000-meter run hail from the Big Ten Conference, as Wisconsin will be represented by three athletes in the event. Aprill and Lowry finished fourth and fifth in the 3,000-meter run, respectively, at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, and Aprill returned to finish fourth in the 5,000-meter run as well.
Michigan has been represented at the national meet in each of the last two years but has not scored at the meet since 2009, when the Wolverines finished 32nd overall. Since the NCAA Indoor Championships began in 1965, Michigan has finished in the top 10 as a team on 11 occasions, with the program's highest finish coming in 1995 at fourth.
U-M recently signed 10 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to compete for the Wolverines beginning in the 2013-14 season. [ Wolverines Ink 10 to National Letters of Intent ]
In the Spotlight
On having a week off to train before NCAAs ... "It was good to have a weekend off and take some rest after the Big Ten Championship meet and get back to a good week of training. I focused more on some hammer technique in the last two weeks, which is going to help out my weight throw technique as well. It was nice to get rested and get ready for this weekend."
On what felt right with the throw when he set the school record ... "I feel like that weekend I was focused not on the distance or throwing far, mostly just winning. The way I went about doing that was going in with a clear mind of the process of my throw and not letting the pressure of the meet take over, which I feel happened to me at the Big Ten Championships. I'm just going to keep my focus on the process this weekend."
On what he took from NCAAs last year that will help this year ... "Last year, I was excited to make it, but I think I let myself get caught up in the atmosphere of the meet. It's such a huge meet and there are just great competitors from all over the nation. This year I'm going in focusing on what I can do. I can't control how far other people are going to throw, but I can control how far I throw and that's all I'm going to do."
On a tough Big Ten Conference preparing him for the NCAA Championships ... "It keeps you honest -- you can't have a weekend off where you have a guaranteed win in this conference. That helps give you mental toughness and when you get to a national championship meet like this weekend, you're going to be able to cope with seeing big throws and not be phased by it and keep a strong mentality throughout the meet."
On having Cody Riffle, Dan Lowry and Bobby Aprill there to help support each other ... "It's going to be awesome. I'm pumped to compete the day after them because I know they're all going to do really well and that's going to give me a big energy boost and big confidence boost. If I see some other guys make the All-America first team, that's going to make me more excited to get it for myself."
A LOOK AHEAD
Outdoor Track and Field
Fri-Sat., March 22-23 -- at Florida State Relays (Tallahassee, Fla.), 9 a.m./8 a.m.
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423