April 3, 2012
Coach LaPlante Interview (Facebook)
After a week off from competition, the University of Michigan men's track and field team will participate in its first scored meet of the outdoor season on Friday and Saturday (April 6-7) at the William & Mary Colonial Relays. Competition will begin at 9 a.m. each day at Zable Stadium.
The 47th Annual Colonial Relays will mark Michigan's first time competing in the meet.
Catch the Action Live -- Live video will be available for select portions of the meet. The cost to sign-up to watch one day will be $5.95, and both days $9.95. On Friday, the coverage will run roughly 10:40-2:30 p.m., and cover the following track events: 400m dash, 100/110m hurdles, 800m run, and 100m dash semifinals. On Saturday, the coverage will run roughly 2-5 p.m., and cover the following track events: Sprint Medley Relay, 100m dash finals, 4x200m relay, 4x1,500m relay, and 4x400m relay. Field events may be shown if time permits.
Athletes in Action this Weekend -- Ali Arastu, Mark Beams, Brad Bolton, Erik Braun, Matthew Campbell, Justin Clarke, Patrick Cochran, Ethan Dennis, Austin DeWildt, Scott Dvorak, Craig Forys, Justin Gaumer, Erick Gavin, Jack Greenlee, Nick Neuman, Eric Oliver, Zach Ornelas, Michael Parker Jr., Robert Peddlar, Morsi Rayyan, Troy Sneller, Joe Strizich, Aaron Taylor, Taylor Voice, Herman Washington, Philip Washington and James Yau.
Returning to Familiar Territory -- Second-year assistant coach Alex Gibby, who works primarily with Michigan's mid-distance and distance runners, spent eight years at the helm of William & Mary's men's cross country and track and field programs prior to coming to U-M in 2010. He was a seven-time CAA Cross Country Coach of the Year recipient during his time there. Gibby led the Tribe to three NCAA Southeast Region and seven Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) cross country titles, as well as a CAA track and field championship in 2004.
Fresh Faces -- Michigan added 22 new student-athletes to the roster this season. Of those 22, seven competed for the Wolverines during the indoor track and field season. Philip Washington (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield) was the only freshman on the 4x400-meter relay team at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, which finished fourth, and was an alternate on the relay at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Three Wolverine freshmen made their collegiate outdoor debuts at the Trojan Invitational -- Brad Bolton (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro), Scott Dvorak (Westmont, Ill./Westmont) and Philip Washington (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield). Redshirt freshmen Justin Gaumer (Holly, Mich./Holly) and James Yau (Troy, Mich./Troy) all competed for U-M in their first collegiate outdoor meet at USC.
Last Time on the Track: Michigan opened the 2012 outdoor track and field season at the USC Trojan Invitational (March 30-31). Seven Wolverines recorded top-five performances in the two-day event, including three in the top two. Junior Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge) led U-M with a win in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, clocking a personal-best time of 8:59.57. Sophomore Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville) finished runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles, while fifth-year senior Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys) also took second in the long jump. [ MGoBlue Recaps: Day One | Day Two :: Michigan Daily ]
Among the Big Ten's Best
Several Michigan track and field athletes rank among the best in the Big Ten through the early season.
|Aaron Taylor (Jr.)||400m Dash||48.17||9|
|Herman Washington (So.)||110m Hurdles||14.46||5|
|Erick Gavin (So.)||110m Hurdles||14.53||7|
|Ali Arastu (So.)||400m Hurdles||51.74||6|
|Michael Parker Jr. (R-Fr.)||400m Hurdles||52.86||4|
|Zach Ornelas (Jr.)||3,000m Steeple||8:59.57||3|
|Nick Neuman, Ali Arastu, Aaron Taylor, Michael Parker Jr.||4x400m Relay||3:10.89||2|
|Robert Peddlar (R-Sr.)||Long Jump||23-8.00 ft.||10|
|Patrick Cochran (So.)||Triple Jump||47-7.75 ft.||9|
|Joe Strizich (Sr.)||Javelin||188-0.00 ft.||7|
Peddlar Returns for Final Season -- Fifth-year senior Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys), who exhausted his indoor track and field eligibility in 2011 and could not compete indoor in 2012, returned to the field for his final outdoor season at the USC Trojan Invitational (March 31). He finished second in the long jump in his outdoor season debut. Peddlar is the only current Wolverine to have won an individual Big Ten title as he won the Big Ten indoor long jump in 2010.
DeWildt Family Traditions -- Junior pole vaulter Austin DeWildt (Wyoming, Mich./Catholic Central) was named the team's Most Improved Athlete in 2011. He tied for third at the 2011 Big Ten Outdoor Championships and went on to finish 13th at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds. Austin's older brother, Charles DeWildt, was the last Michigan pole vaulter to win a Big Ten outdoor pole vault title in 2000. Charles ranks second on U-M's all-time outdoor performers list with a vault of 17-4.75, which he cleared in 2000. Their father, Charles Sr., was a pole vaulter at Western Michigan.
2011 Outdoor Rewind -- Michigan finished ninth at the 2011 Big Ten Outdoor Championships and was represented by Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) at the NCAA Championships. Forys qualified for the finals in the 3,000-meter steeplechase where he finished ninth to earn All-America second team honors.
2012 NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING -- For the third consecutive season, the East and West Preliminary Championship competition 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 held at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.
Michigan men's track and field is on Facebook. Connect with the program, alumni and fans by clicking the "Like" button at facebook.com/michiganmenstrack. Also, be sure to follow the team on Twitter (@umichtrack) for up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond.
A LOOK AHEAD
Fri-Sat., April 13-14 -- at Georgia Spec Townes Invitational (Athens, Ga.), 11 a.m.
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423