Weekly Release #12: Michigan Heads to Duke Invitational

March 31, 2010

This Week
Fri-Sat., April 2-3 -- at Duke Invitational (Durham, N.C.), Noon/10 a.m.
» Live Results | Duke Site

The University of Michigan men's track and field team continues the outdoor season this weekend, as it heads to the Duke Invitational in Durham, N.C., beginning on Friday (April 2) at Wallace Wade Stadium. Field events begin at noon on Friday, with running events commencing at 4:30 p.m. Competition begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday (April 3).

Schedule of Events


Field Events
Noon -- Hammer Throw
3:00 p.m. -- Javelin
4:30 p.m. -- Triple Jump
6:30 p.m. -- High Jump

Track Events
4:45 p.m. -- 400m Hurdles     
5:25 p.m. -- 1,500m
6:05 p.m. -- 3,000m
6:20 p.m. -- 5,000m "C"
7:00 p.m. -- 5,000m "B"
7:40 p.m. -- 5,000m "A"
8:45 p.m. -- 10,000m
9:20 p.m. -- 5,000m

Field Events
10:00 a.m. -- Shot Put
1:00 p.m. -- Pole Vault
1:30 p.m. -- Discus
2:30 p.m. -- Long Jump

Track Events
10:00 a.m. -- Developmental 800m
10:50 a.m. -- 100m Trials
11:45 a.m. -- 110m Hurdle Trials
12:40 p.m. -- 200m
2:00 p.m. -- Jason Manse 800m
2:30 p.m. -- 4x100m Relay
3:00 p.m. -- 400m
3:25 p.m. -- 100m Final
3:35 p.m. -- 110m Hurdle Final
4:35 p.m. -- 3,000m Steeplechase
5:25 p.m. -- 4x400m Relay
5:50 p.m. -- 4x800m Relay

Last Time Out
Senior thrower Sean Pruitt (Cato, Wis./Valders) won the discus and finished second in both the shot put and hammer throw at the Victor Lopez/Bayou Classic on Saturday (March 27), highlighting a group of performances from the Wolverines in Houston, Texas.

Pruitt was not the only field performer to shine on Saturday. Junior Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys), the 2010 Big Ten indoor long jump champion, took second in that same event on Saturday (7.43 meters) and ran the opening leg of U-M's seventh-place 4x100-meter relay team. Freshman John Greenlee (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) finished third in pole vault (4.80 meters), while team newcomer Simon Wenet (Seattle, Wash./Seattle Academy) took sixth in the discus (50.77 meters) in his first collegiate competition.

On the track, junior Carl Buchanon (South Bend, Ind./Clay) put together back-to-back top-10 finishes in the hurdles races, taking seventh in the 110-meter event (14.73) and then third in the 400-meter competition (52.44). He also ran the third leg on U-M's 4x400-meter relay team, as the group collectively finished sixth (3:13.96).

With the U-M distance contingent at Stanford, sophomore Nick Thomas (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Brother Rice) represented the group well, taking ninth in the 1,500-meter run (4:02.89). On the sprints side, sophomore Aaron Taylor (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams) finished 12th in the 100-meter dash (11.05), while junior David St. Amant (Livonia, Mich./Churchill) finished 11th in the 400-meter dash (49.03).

Fifth-year senior Lex Williams (Ann Arbor, Mich./Dexter) was one of four U-M distance runners in action at the Stanford Invitational last Friday (March 26). He won the 10K run with a career-best time of 28:34.28, It cleared his previous career best -- 30:03.89, set at last year's Big Ten Outdoor Championships -- by a sizable margin. Junior tri-captain Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) took 13th in section two of the 5,000-meter run (14:17.52). Fifth-year senior Tony Nalli (Ann Arbor, Mich./Dexter) and redshirt freshman Bobby Aprill (Dexter, Mich./Dexter) both ran in the second section of the 10K, finishing 27th and 30th, respectively.

U-M Nation!
Lex Williams' time of 28:34.28 at the Stanford Invitational last Friday (March 26) is currently the best in the nation after the second weekend of outdoor competition. With his throws at the Victor Lopez/Bayou Classic, Sean Pruitt stands inside the top 50 in the shot put, discus and hammer throw. Lastly, Robert Peddlar ranks inside the top 20 in the long jump.

Indoor Recap
Michigan finished eighth at the 2010 Big Ten Indoor Championships (Feb. 27-28). Robert Peddlar won the Big Ten long jump title and was an All-Big Ten first team selection. Sean Pruitt (weight throw) and the distance medley relay team of 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 their second-place finishes. The Wolverines did not send anyone to the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Welcome to the Hall
On Tuesday (March 30), head coach Fred LaPlante announced the U-M Men's Track and Field Hall of Fame class of 2010, which includes one former student-athlete from each decade, as well as a coach of the century. This year's selection of entries include: William Coe (1906), Harry Hawkins (1925-26), Robert Osgood (1935-37), Warren Breidenbach (1939-41), Milt Mead (1952-54), Ben McRae (1960-62), Kim Rowe (1971-74), Chris Brewster (1983-87), Trinity Townsend (1993-96) and former head coach Jack Harvey, who helmed the team from 1975-1999. This is the fifth year of inductions, following the 2006 inaugural class. Read the full release.

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 on May 7-8. The Wolverines are on the road every other weekend.

Peddlar Wins Big Ten Long Jump
Peddlar became the sixth Michigan field athlete to win the Big Ten Indoor long jump crown (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 Ohio State's Korbin Smith 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), 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 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), 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 feet). 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 Olympic 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 at the Boston Indoor Games site.

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 2010-11 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 the complete release.

Youth Movement
After a senior-laden team 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 and field roster hail from the state of Michigan. In addition, 11 states are represented on the outdoor roster, as are two other countries. The complete list:

Michigan (22): Bobby Aprill (Dexter), Chris Baldwin (Battle Creek), Erik Braun (Pinckney), 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
Craig Forys, Frank Shotwell and Carl Buchanon were named 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 and Field Hall of Fame last year.

Stay Connected
Michigan track and 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. For more of a general overview of the team, 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 athletes. 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 and 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 ...
On April 10, the two biggest rivals in all of college sports meet once again on the track, as Michigan and Ohio State will battle in the outdoor version of "The Dual." The two teams met earlier this season in Ann Arbor, with Ohio State claiming top honors, 92-70. The dual meet is scheduled to begin at noon in Columbus, Ohio.

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423