Weekly Release #10: at Miami Hurricane Invitational & Decathlon
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MGOBLUE Joe Strizich
MGOBLUE
Joe Strizich
MGOBLUE

March 16, 2010

THIS WEEK
Fri-Sat., March 19-20 -- at Miami Hurricane Invitational & Decathlon (Coral Gables, Fla.), 3 p.m./10 a.m.

The University of Michigan men's track and field team opens the outdoor season this weekend (Fri-Sat., March 19-20), as five field competitors travel to the Miami Hurricane Invitational, held at Cobb Stadium in Coral Gables, Fla. Michigan will send its multi-event performers to compete in the decathlon, including junior Frank Shotwell (Medina, Ohio/Medina) and sophomores Joe Strizich (San Francisco, Calif./St. Ignatius) and Kurt Reichenbach (Brighton, Mich./Pinckney Community). Also, seniors Brendan Lodge (Narragansett, R.I./Bishop Hendricken) and Grant Till (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills) will see their first action of the season, throwing the hammer and javelin, respectively.

Javelin and hammer throw will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday (March 19). The decathlon will start at 10 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday.

Indoor Recap
Michigan finished eighth at the 2010 Big Ten Indoor Championships. Junior Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys) won the Big Ten long jump title and was an All-Big Ten first team selection. Teammates Sean Pruitt (Cato, Wis./Valders), Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College), Dallas Bowden (Hastings, New Zealand/Nelson College), Nicholas Neuman (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) and Sean McNamara (Elmhurst, N.Y./York) all earned All-Big Ten second team honors after taking second in the distance medley relay at Big Tens. The Wolverines did not send anyone to the NCAA Championships.

Name to Watch
Several athletes return to the team for the outdoor season that did not compete indoors. In addition to Lodge and Till (throws), fifth-year senior Lex Williams (Ann Arbor, Mich./Dexter), a two-time Big Ten champion, is back for his last go-around on the outdoor track. Williams will provide depth and experience to Michigan's distance runners.

Road Warriors
Michigan will spend the majority of the outdoor season away from Ann Arbor. Its lone home meet will be the U-M Paddock Invitational from May 7-8. The Wolverines are on the road every other weekend.

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.

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.

Simon Says
The Wolverines have one addition for the outdoor season. Freshman Simon Wenet (Seattle, Wash./Seattle Academy) is a discus thrower who will provide depth to U-M's field events. Wenet was a four-year varsity letterwinner at Seattle Academy and recorded the third-farthest discus throw in school history at the 2009 Washington State Outdoor Meet (173-3 ft.). Welcome, Simon!

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. [ More Information ]

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). [ Read Complete Release ]

Youth Movement
After a senior-laden group roster in 2009, the 2010 roster is comprised of mostly underclassmen. Out of the 43 student-athletes on this year's outdoor track and field roster, 24 of them are listed as redshirt sophomores or younger. Here's a look at the roster, broken down by class:

Freshmen: 17
Sophomores: 7
Juniors: 7
Seniors: 5
Fifth-year seniors: 7

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, 11 states are represented on the outdoor track and field roster, as are two other countries. Find the complete list below:

Michigan (22): Bobby Aprill (Dexter), Chris Baldwin (Battle Creek), Erik Braun (Pinckney, Mich.), Matthew Campbell (Rochester), Peter Christmas (Ann Arbor), Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids), Austin DeWildt (Wyoming), Bradley James (East Lansing), Michael Joiner-Hill (Detroit), John Kipf (Monroe), Nick McCampbell (Detroit), Tony Nalli (Ann Arbor), David Ptacek (Allegan), Kurt Reichenbach (Brighton), 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)
Illinois (3): Sean McNamara (Elmhurst), Nicholas Neuman (Mokena), David Sweeney (Oswego)
Indiana (1): Carl Buchanon (South Bend)
New Jersey (2): Craig Forys (Howell), Grant Till (Wayne)
Ohio (2): John Greenlee (Cincinnati), Frank Shotwell (Medina)
Rhode Island (1): Brendan Lodge (Narragansett)
Texas (2): Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park), Troy Woolfolk (Sugar Land)
Washington (2): Brandon Fellows (Mercer Island), Simon Wenet (Seattle)
Wisconsin (1): Sean Pruitt (Cato)

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

Follow the Leader
Junior Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck), 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.

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.

UP NEXT...
Fri-Sat., March 26-27
-- at Rice University Bayou Classic (Houston, Texas), Noon CDT

   

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