Weekly #7: U-M to Begin Outdoor Campaign with Split Squad
Codie Nolan

March 25, 2014

• Wolverine Athlete Spotlight: Bradley James

Fri-Sat., March 28-29 -- at Raleigh Relays (Raleigh, N.C.), 8:45 a.m./9:30 a.m.
Meet Information PDF | Schedule of Events PDF | Live Results | Live Video (Flotrack)
Saturday, March 29 -- at North Florida Invitational (Jacksonville, Fla.), 11 a.m.
Meet Information | Schedule of Events PDF | Live Results | @UNFTrackMeets

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The University of Michigan men's track and field team will kick off its 2014 outdoor season this weekend, sending members of its squad to a pair of meets, including the Raleigh Relays on Friday and Saturday (March 28-29) at the Paul Derr Track and Field facility in Raleigh, N.C., and the North Florida Invitational on Saturday (March 29) at UNF's Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. Action in Raleigh will begin at 8:45 a.m. on Friday and continue on Saturday at 9:30 a.m., while the meet at North Florida will get underway at 11 a.m. on Saturday.


North Florida Invitational: Brad Bolton, Stephen Burk, Patrick Cochran, Ethan Dennis, Ben Duncan, Justin Gaumer, Erick Gavin, Bradley James, Louis Lamberti, Chris Maye, Codie Nolan, Michael Parker Jr., Cody Riffle, Derek Sievers, Troy Sneller, Stephen Sykes, James Vincent, Herman Washington.

Raleigh Relays: Scotty Albaugh, George Kelly, August Pappas, Nick Posada, Ben Reed, Jeff Sattler, James Yau.


• Eight student-athlete who will compete in uniform for U-M this outdoor season are currently ranked on the program's all-time top-10 outdoor performance list:

Name Event Rank Time/Mark (Year)
Mason Ferlic 3,000m steeplechase 6th 8:41.83 (2013)
Herman Washington 110m hurdles 5th 13.82 (2013)
Bradley James High Jump 8th 7-0 1/2 (2011)
Austin DeWildt Pole Vault 6th 17-0 3/4 (2011)
Cody Riffle Shot Put 1st 61-3 1/2 (2013)
  Discus 5th 179-6 (2011)
Ethan Dennis Hammer 1st 213-2 (2013)
Brad Bolton Hammer 3rd 197-2 (2012)
Codie Nolan 4x100m Relay 3rd 40.25 (2013)


• Several new events will be contested during the outdoor season that were not during the indoor season. The 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles will be replaced by the 100-meter dash and 110-meter hurdles; the mile run will be replaced by the 1,500-meter run; and the weight throw will be replaced with the hammer throw. The 400-meter hurdles, 3,000-meter steeplechase, 10,000-meter run, javelin and discus, as well as the 4x100-meter relay, will also be added to the list of events.

Michigan will benefit from several of the different outdoor events added to the outdoor lineup:

Junior/sophomore Mason Ferlic (St. Paul, Minn./Mounds Park Academy) is a returning second team All-American in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, as he finished 13th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Competing in the steeplechase for the first time just one meet prior to the 2013 Big Ten Championships, Ferlic excelled quickly and contributed immediately, finishing fourth at the conference meet.

Senior/junior Mark Beams (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg) and junior/sophomore Scotty Albaugh (Waterford, Mich./Waterford Mott) finished eighth and ninth, respectively, in the 10,000-meter run at the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships and also qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds.

Fifth-year senior Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) and junior/sophomore Brad Bolton (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro) will compete in the hammer throw. Dennis is the school record holder in the hammer throw (62.75m, 213-2) and a returning All-America honorable mention athlete. Bolton redshirted during the 2013 outdoor season, following an impressive freshman campaign that saw him finish ninth at the 2012 Big Ten Indoor Championships and qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds. Bolton currently ranks third on U-M's all-time performance list (60.25m, 197-8).

Sophomore/freshman Stephen Burk (Parsippany, N.J./Parsippany), who only competes for the Wolverines during outdoor season in the javelin, will return to action for the first time since the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, where he finished 12th in his conference debut.

Fifth-year senior Troy Sneller (Hamilton, Mich./Hamilton), who finished eighth at the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships and qualified for the 2013 NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in the 400-meter hurdles, will return for his final season in Maize and Blue.

• Senior/junior Patrick Cochran (Erie, Pa./McDowell), who redshirted the 2014 indoor season, will return to compete for the Wolverines during the outdoor campaign. Cochran represented U-M at the 2013 Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor Championships, competing in the long jump and triple jump.

• Senior/junior shot putter Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit), who missed the majority of the indoor season due to a hand injury will be back in action at the North Florida Invitational. He is the school-record holder in the shot put (18.80m, 61-8.25) and a returning second team All-American.

• Several Wolverines will make their outdoor track and field debuts this weekend:

Sophomore/freshman George Kelly (Lincroft, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) and junior/sophomore Nick Posada (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) will each make their debut in a Michigan track and field uniform at the Raleigh Relays.

At the North Florida Invitational, four Wolverines will make their outdoor track and field debut, including freshman sprinter Ben Duncan (Woodland Hills, Calif./Taft), freshman high jumper Louis Lamberti (Petoskey, Mich./Petoskey), sophomore/freshman sprinter Chris Maye (Union City, Mich./Union City) and sophomore/freshman high jumper Stephen Sykes (Litchfield, Mich./Litchfield).


Jerry Clayton is in his first year as Michigan's head coach, working primarily with U-M's field event athletes. Prior to moving to Ann Arbor, Clayton spent 15 seasons as an assistant head coach at Auburn. He has strong Big Ten ties, as he competed for Illinois and was two-time NCAA qualifier in the shot put, and returned to Illinois as an assistant coach from 1980-89. Clayton has produced several high-level national and international athletes, including 16 NCAA individual champions, 85 NCAA All-Americans, 39 international team competitors, 24 qualifiers for the U.S. Olympic Trials and 33 participants in Olympic Games and World Championship competition.

• Assistant coach Steven Rajewsky is in his first year as a member of U-M's coaching staff, working primarily with U-M's sprinters and hurdles. Prior to coming to Michigan, Rajewsky spent six years as an assistant coach at Kent State.

• Assistant coach Alex Gibby is in his fourth season as U-M's distance coach. In his first three seasons, he guided nine student-athletes to the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, two to the NCAA Indoor Championships and three to NCAA Outdoor Championship appearances. As the Wolverines' cross country head coach, he led his 2013 squad to the NCAA Great Lakes Region title and a runner-up finish at the Big Ten Championships.


Team Captains: Senior Herman Washington as well as senior/juniors Mark Beams and Cody Riffle were named tri-captains for the 2014 season. Each captain was chosen by the team and coaches to represent the different event areas -- Beams (distance), Riffle (field) and Washington (sprints).

Returning All-Americans: The Wolverines return four student-athletes who earned All-America honors during the 2013 outdoor season. Senior/junior Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) placed ninth at the outdoor national championships, earning All-America second team recognition. Fifth-year senior Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) finished 20th in the hammer throw at the national outdoor event, garnering All-America honorable mention. In his first year competing in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, junior/sophomore Mason Ferlic (St. Paul, Minn./Mounds Park Academy) ran to a 13th-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships to earn All-America second team honors. Senior Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville), who is redshirting the 2014 season, finished fourth in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, becoming U-M's only All-America first teamer of the year.

In the Record Book: Ethan Dennis owns Michigan's indoor weight throw (21.20m, 69-6 3/4) and outdoor hammer throw (62.75m, 213-2) records, while Cody Riffle has set new school records in the indoor (19.25m, 63-2) and outdoor (18.80m, 61-8.25) shot put. Both indoor records were set at the 2013 dual meet against Michigan State.


The 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championships will be hosted by Purdue University from May 16-18.

For the fifth consecutive season, the NCAA East and West Preliminary Rounds will be utilized to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Using a descending order list, the top 48 athletes in each event will participate in two rounds (first round and quarterfinals) during the Preliminary Round. Twelve competitors from each individual event and 12 teams from each relay event will advance from each Preliminary Championship competition to the NCAA Championships. There are no qualifying marks used during the outdoor season. This year's NCAA East Preliminary Round will be hosted by the University of North Florida from May 29-31 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Saturday, April 5 -- vs. California and Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.)
Thu-Sat., April 17-19 -- at Mt. SAC Relays (Walnut, Calif.), 6 p.m./10 a.m./9 a.m. PDT
Fri-Sat., April 18-19 -- at Kentucky Relays (Lexington, Ky.)

Contact: Whitney Dixon (whitdix@umich.edu)