Weekly Release #11: at Stanford Invitational, at Victor Lopez/Bayou Classic

March 22, 2010

Friday, March 26 -- at Stanford Invitational (Palo Alto, Calif.), 7 p.m. PDT
Live Results
Saturday, March 27 -- at Victor Lopez/Bayou Classic Invitational (Houston, Texas), 8 a.m. CDT
Meet Central

The University of Michigan men's track and field team splits up competition for the second weekend of the outdoor season, sending the majority of the squad to the Victor Lopez/Bayou Classic in Houston, Texas, on Saturday (March 27). Competition begins at 8 a.m. CDT at the Rice Track with the field events and noon for the running events.

Also, four distance runners will head to the Stanford Invitational on Friday (March 26) in Palo Alto, Calif. Competition is slated to begin at Cobb Track at Angell Field at 7:45 p.m. PDT for junior Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck), who will participate in the 5,000-meter run. At 9:35 p.m., redshirt freshman Bobby Aprill (Dexter, Mich./Dexter), senior Tony Nalli (Ann Arbor, Mich./Dexter) and senior Lex Williams (Ann Arbor, Mich./Dexter) will take the track for the 10,000-meter run.

(All times are local to site)

Friday, March 26 (Stanford Invitational)
7:45 p.m. -- 5,000-meter Run
9:35 p.m. -- 10,000-meter Run

Saturday, March 27 (Victor Lopez Classic)
Running Events
12:00 p.m. -- 4x100-Meter Relay
12:55 p.m. -- 110-meter Hurdles
400-meter Dash
100-meter Dash
2:15 p.m. -- 800-meter Dash
3:10 p.m. -- 400-meter Hurdles
200-meter Dash
5:25 p.m. -- 4x400-Meter Relay

Field Events
8 a.m. -- Hammer
9 a.m. -- Javelin
10:30 a.m. -- Long Jump
11 a.m. -- Pole Vault
11 a.m. -- Shot Put
2 p.m. -- Discus
2:30 p.m. -- Triple Jump
3 p.m. -- High Jump

Last Time Out
Sophomore Kurt Reichenbach (Brighton, Mich./Pinckney Community) and junior tri-captain Frank Shotwell (Medina, Ohio/Medina) each scored top-five finishes in the decathlon, leading Michigan to a second-place finish among the six-team field at the Miami Hurricane Invitational & Decathlon.

Shotwell had a considerable lead after the first five events on Friday (March 19), scoring first-place points in five of them. He added another in the 110-meter hurdles on day one but cooled off after his hot start, fouling on all three of his discus throws and failing to hit points in pole vault. While Reichenbach never won any of the 10 events, he picked up the slack during the Saturday (March 20) session to finish third, with Shotwell in fourth. Two competitors from Big Ten foe Wisconsin held the first two spots in the decathlon.

Two other Wolverines were in action on Friday, as senior throwers Brendan Lodge (Narragansett, R.I./Bishop Hendricken) and Grant Till (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills) each made their season debuts in the field. Lodge was best amongst the four-person field in the hammer throw, taking top honors with a throw of 56.77 meters (186-3 feet). Till threw the javelin, his signature event, taking third with a top throw of 53.34 meters (175 feet).

Matt Rudnitsky of the Michigan Daily covered the event. [ Full Recap ]

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, Lex Williams, 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), Shotwell 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 Reichenbach, 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). [ 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 & 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
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.

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.