Weekly #8: U-M to Clash with Cal, Virginia in Second Annual Tri-Meet
Mark Beams

April 2, 2014

• Athlete Spotlight: Patrick Cochran

Saturday, April 5
-- vs. California and Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.), 3 p.m.
Meet Information PDF | Live Results

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For the second consecutive year, the University of Michigan men's track and field team will go head to head against California and Virginia in a scored triangular meet on Saturday (April 5). This year's event will be hosted by the University of Virginia at Lannigan Field, starting at 3 p.m.

Brandon Alfond, Mark Beams, Brad Bolton, Stephen Burk, Patrick Cochran, Ethan Dennis, Ben Duncan, Mason Ferlic, Justin Gaumer, Erick Gavin, Bradley James, George Kelly, Louis Lamberti, Chris Maye, Joshua Nance, Codie Nolan, Michael Parker Jr., Morsi Rayyan, Ben Reed, Cody Riffle, Jeff Sattler, Derek Sievers, Tony Smoragiewicz, Troy Sneller, Stephen Sykes, James Vincent, Herman Washington, James Yau.

• The idea behind organizing the tri-meet with Cal and Virginia was to bring together three of the top academic and athletic public institutions in the nation for a competitive, scored event.

• The tri-meet will mark Michigan's first and only head-to-head competition of the 2014 season, as U-M's indoor dual meet against Michigan State scheduled for Feb. 1 was cancelled due to weather.

Setting the Scene
• Michigan recorded 145 points to finish in second place behind California (161) and defeat Virginia (93) in the inaugural tri-meet at the University of California. The Wolverines were ahead by four points with two events remaining but could not hold on as Cal won the discus and triple jump.

Codie Nolan was a member of U-M's winning 4x100-meter relay at last year's tri-meet and will return to lead off that relay this weekend. Mark Beams, Herman Washington and Ethan Dennis recorded runner-up finishes in the 5,000-meter run, 110-meter hurdles and hammer throw, respectively, and will also return to lead the Wolverines at this year's event.

Cal returns six event champions from last year's tri-meet, including two athletes who doubled in a pair of events, while Virginia returns two individual winners.

Scott Esparza (hammer throw)
Ethan Cochran (discus)
Hammed Suleman (long jump)
Noel Frazier (high jump)
Jordan Locklear (800m, 1,500m)
Tom Blocker (100m, 200m)

Kyle King (3,000m steeplechase)
Payton Hazzard (400m)

Outdoor Advantages
• 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. 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 with his throw her recorded last weekend at the North Florida Invitational (60.73m, 199-3).

Sophomore/freshman Stephen Burk (Parsippany, N.J./Parsippany), who only competes for the Wolverines during outdoor season in the javelin, returned to action last weekend for the first time since the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships. He won the javelin at the North Florida Invitational with a mark of 68.10 meters (223-5), which moved him into second on U-M's all-time performance list.

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, returned for his final season in Maize and Blue. Sneller, who competed in the 600-meter run indoors, excels more in the 400-meter hurdles outdoors.

Other Key Wolverines
• Senior/junior Patrick Cochran (Erie, Pa./McDowell), who redshirted the 2014 indoor season, returned to compete for the Wolverines during the outdoor season-opener. In his first competition since the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, Cochran finished runner-up in the long jump at the North Florida Invitational with a mark of 7.54 meters (24-9), which ranks first in the Big Ten, 11th in the nation and 10th on U-M's all-time performance list. His mark was more than a two-foot personal record.

• 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 not be in action this weekend at Virginia. He is the school-record holder in the shot put (18.80m, 61-8.25) and a returning second team All-American.

Michigan Among the Big Ten
• After one week of competition, Michigan has 12 student-athletes ranked in the top eight in the Big Ten in at least one event (the top eight score at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships).

August Pappas5,000m14:23.975
George Kelly5,000m14:29.818
Nick Posada10,000m29:57.842
Scotty Albaugh10,000m30:00.973
Herman Washington110m Hurdles14.194
Erick Gavin110m Hurdles14.286
Patrick CochranLong Jump7.54m (24-9)1
Derek SieversShot Put16.92m (55-6.25)7
 Discus51.72m (169-8)6
Justin GaumerShot Put16.58m (54-4.75)8
Brad BoltonHammer Throw60.73m (199-3)4
Ethan DennisHammer Throw59.97m (196-95
Stephen BurkJavelin68.10m (223-5)2

• 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:

Mason Ferlic3,000m steeplechase6th8:41.83 (2013)
Herman Washington110m hurdles5th13.82 (2013)
Bradley JamesHigh Jump8th7-0 1/2 (2011)
Patrick CochranLong Jump10th24-9 (2014)
Cody RiffleShot Put1st61-3 1/2 (2013)
 Discus5th179-6 (2011)
Ethan Dennis Hammer1st213-2 (2013)
Brad BoltonHammer3rd199-3 (2014)
Stephen BurkJavelin2nd223-5 (2014)
Codie Nolan4x100m Relay3rd40.25 (2013)

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 accolades. 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 First Team All-American 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.

Thu-Sat., 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.)
Saturday, April 19 -- at Beach Invitational (Norwalk, Calif.)

Contact: Whitney Dixon (whitdix@umich.edu)