Week #10: U-M to Continue Outdoor Season at UCLA Rafer Johnson Invite

April 4, 2011


Thu-Sat., April 7-9 -- at Rafer Johnson Invite (Westwood, Calif.), 10 a.m./11 a.m./Noon PDT
Live Results | Meet Information

The University of Michigan men's track and field team continues its outdoor season this weekend at the UCLA Rafer Johnson Invitational, beginning on Thursday (April 7) and running through Saturday (April 9) at Drake Stadium in Westwood, Calif.

The competition begins on Thursday, with the first five events of the decathlon starting at 9:45 a.m. Friday's events start at 10 a.m., with Saturday's action commencing at noon.

Heading to the UCLA Rafer Johnson Invitational this weekend are Ali Arastu, Erik Braun, Justin Clarke, Matthew Campbell, Austin DeWildt, Herman Washington, Aaron Taylor, David St. Amant, Cody Riffle, Robert Peddlar, Nick Thomas, Erick Gavin, Eric Oliver, Jack Greenlee, Nick Neuman, Nick McCampbell, Troy Sneller, Nick Kern, Taylor Voice and Zach Ornelas, as well as decathletes Kurt Reichenbach, Frank Shotwell and Joe Strizich.

(All times are tentative and local to site)

Thursday, April 7
Decathlon (Events 1-5)
9:45 a.m. - 100-meter Dash
10:30 a.m. - Long Jump
11:45 a.m. - Shot Put
12:45 p.m. - High Jump
2:30 p.m. - 400-meter Dash

Friday, April 8
Decathlon (Events 6-10)
11:30 a.m. - 110-meter Hurdles
12:15 p.m. - Discus
1:30 p.m. - Pole Vault
3:30 p.m. - Javelin
4:25 p.m. - 1,500-meter Run

11 a.m. - Pole Vault (Open)
3:10 p.m. - 1,500-meter Run (Open)
3:30 p.m. - 200-meter Dash (Open)
4:05 p.m. - 5,000-meter Run (Open)

Saturday, April 9
11:45 a.m. - Hammer Throw
Noon - Shot Put
12:25 p.m. - 4x100-meter Relay
12:35 p.m. - 110-meter Hurdles
12:45 p.m. - Long Jump (Invite)
12:50 p.m. - 400-meter Dash
1 p.m. - 100-meter Dash
1:25 p.m. - Pole Vault
1:30 p.m. - 400-meter Hurdles
1:45 p.m. - Discus
2 p.m. - Triple Jump
2:20 p.m. - 200-meter Dash (Invite)
2:40 p.m. - 4x400-meter Relay (Invite)

Joining Michigan at the UCLA Rafer Johnson Invitational are Cal State-Los Angeles, Cal State-Northridge, Monmouth, Loyola Marymount, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, Azusa Pacific, San Francisco, San Francisco State, Hawai'i, San Diego State and UNLV.

TOP TIMES/MARKS (Outdoor Only)
100-meter Dash: 10.95, Justin Clarke
200-meter Dash: 21.92, Matthew Campbell
400-meter Dash: 47.43, Nick Neuman
1,500-meter Run: 3:55.67, Nick Kern
5,000-meter Run: 13:59.53, Craig Forys
10,000-meter Run: 29:53.57, Bobby Aprill
110-meter Hurdles: 14.40, Nick McCampbell
400-meter Hurdles: 52.13, Ali Arastu
3,000-meter Steeplechase: 9:19.94, Zach Ornelas
4x400-meter Relay: 3:11.30, Nick Neuman, David St. Amant, Eric Oliver, Matthew Campbell
High Jump: 1.90 meters, Joe Strizich
Pole Vault: 4.95 meters, Austin DeWildt
Long Jump: 7.17 meters, Robert Peddlar
Triple Jump: 14.21 meters, Erik Braun
Discus: 52.00 meters, Cody Riffle
Hammer: 50.18 meters, Ethan Dennis
Javelin: 55.23 meters, Joe Strizich

• The following events have not been contested yet: 800-meter run, Mile run, 3,000-meter run, 4x100-meter relay, shot put, and the decathlon.
• Michigan has had only one weekend of outdoor competition so far this season.

The Wolverines opened up the outdoor season two weeks ago, as the team split up for competition on opposite sides of the country. Three distance runners were at the Stanford Invitational, but the majority of the team competed at the FSU Relays, held March 25-26 in Tallahassee, Fla.

Among the winners at the two-day event were sophomore Austin DeWildt (Wyoming, Mich./Catholic Central) in the pole vault, junior Nick Neuman (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) in the 400-meter dash, freshman Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville) in the 400-meter hurdles and sophomore Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge) in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The 4x400-meter relay team of Neuman, senior David St. Amant (Livonia, Mich./Churchill), freshman Eric Oliver (Berkeley, Calif./Homewood-Flossmoor [Ill.]) and junior Matthew Campbell (Rochester, Mich./Rochester) closed out the meet with a victory as well, crossing the finish line in 3:11.30.

[ Recaps: MGoBlue (FSU Relays) | MGoBlue (Stanford Invitational) | Michigan Daily ]

This weekend's competition marks the return of the decathlon, the 10-event competition only contested during the outdoor season; by comparison, the heptathlon is a seven-event competition during indoor season only. The three men that Michigan will send into the competition -- Frank Shotwell, Joe Strizich and Kurt Reichenbach -- hold three of the top five total-point scores in school history. Shotwell is the school-record holder (7,379 points, 2010), while Reichenbach and Strizich hold the fourth- and fifth-best marks (6,728 points and 6,711 points, both in 2010), respectively. Shotwell is also the only individual in the history of the program to ever win a Big Ten title in the decathlon, accomplishing the feat in 2008.

Michigan has two student-athletes on its roster from the state of California. Freshman sprinter Eric Oliver is originally from Berkeley, though he graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Chicago, Ill. Joe Strizich is a San Francisco native. The Wolverines bring in one more from the state next season in hammer thrower Brad Bolton, who is from San Diego.

Michigan's dual meet with Ohio State, originally scheduled for Saturday, April 16, has been moved back one day to Sunday, April 17, due to the spring football game and a home baseball game against Illinois. The meet will also start one hour sooner at 11 a.m. at Ferry Field.

Michigan finished ninth at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, held Feb. 26-27 at The Armory in Champaign, Ill. Robert Peddlar was the team's highest point-scorer, finishing fifth in the long jump and seventh in the triple jump. Michigan did not send any competitors to the NCAA Championships.

Beginning with the 2011 indoor season, USTFCCCA All-America honors will be assigned into first and second teams for all events, both individual and relays. Those individuals and relays that score any portion of a team point at the NCAA Championships will earn USTFCCCA first team All-America honors. The individuals and relays that place between nine and 16 overall will earn USTFCCCA second team All-America honors. Those who participate in at least a round of the finals site for an NCAA Championship will be listed as honorable mention All-America.

For the second 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.


The track and field team returns to permanent captains for the outdoor season but will continue to pick Captains of the Week, as it did during the indoor season. The permanent captains, as selected by team vote, are Carl Buchanon (South Bend, Ind./Clay), Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck), Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys) and Frank Shotwell (Medina, Ohio/Medina).

The captains of the week for the UCLA Rafer Johnson Invitational this weekend are junior Joe Strizich and sophomore Zach Ornelas.

2011 Captains
Jan. 8 - David St. Amant, Erik Braun
Jan. 15 - Robert Peddlar, Craig Forys
Jan. 22 - Nick McCampbell, Taylor Voice
Feb. 5 - Jack Greenlee, Matthew Campbell
Feb. 11 - Brendon Blacklaws, Kurt Reichenbach
Feb. 19 - Austin DeWildt, Troy Sneller
Feb. 26 - Carl Buchanon, Nick McCampbell, David St. Amant

Permanent Team Captains: Carl Buchanon, Craig Forys, Robert Peddlar, Frank Shotwell
March 25 - Ethan Dennis, Aaron Taylor
April 7 - Zach Ornelas, Joe Strizich

Each week, the coaching staff will select a few student-athletes who performed the best as "Wolverines of the Week":

Jan. 8 (Eastern Michigan Invitational): Erik Braun, Justin Clarke, Ed Hur, Bradley James, Cody Riffle
Jan. 15 ("The Dual" at Ohio State): Ethan Dennis, Jack Greenlee, Craig Forys, Carl Buchanon
Jan. 22 (Simmons-Harvey Invitational): Erik Braun, Justin Clarke
Feb. 4-5 (ND Meyo Invitational): Robert Peddlar, Ali Arastu, Erick Gavin
Feb. 11-12 (GVSU Big Meet): Austin DeWildt, Nick McCampbell, Matthew Campbell
Feb. 19 (Silverston Invitational): Troy Sneller, Herman Washington, Erik Braun

March 25 (FSU Relays, Stanford Invitational): Ali Arastu, Nick Neuman, Nick Kern

Michigan has an abundance of youth on the 2011 roster. Out of the 48 student-athletes on this year's track and field roster, 38 of them are three or more years of eligibility remaining, giving the Wolverines one of the youngest rosters in the country. Here's a look at the roster, broken down by class:

Freshmen: 24
Sophomores: 14
Juniors: 6
Seniors: 4

On Feb. 15, head coach Fred LaPlante announced the signings of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2011-12 season. The signees include throwers Brad Bolton (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro) and Derek Sievers (Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center), distance runner Scott Albaugh (Waterford, Mich./Waterford Mott) and sprinter Philip Washington III (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield).

Bolton is ranked as the nation's top hammer thrower, while Sievers, Albaugh and Washington III are all Michigan state champions.

[ Signing Day Release (Feb. 15) ]

On March 16, the University of Michigan men's track and field coaching staff announced that eight former track and field greats will be inducted into the school's Men's Track and Field Hall of Fame in May. The inductees are Nelson Kellogg (1901-04), John Landowski (1922), Holly Campbell (1927-30), Ralph Schwarzkopf (1938-40), John Ross (1952-54), Dan Heikkinen (1977-81), Jon Royce (1993-96) and head coach Keene Fitzpatrick (1901-11).

[ Michigan Announces Eight-Member Hall of Fame Class (March 16) ]

Head coach Fred LaPlante is in his third season at the helm of the Wolverines and is joined by two new assistant coaches and three new volunteer assistants. Alex Gibby, the head coach of the men's cross country team, will oversee the distance runners. Gibby was hired this summer from William & Mary to replace former men's track and field head coach Ron Warhurst, who retired after an illustrious 36-year coaching career at Michigan. The other assistant is Mohamad Saatara, who will oversee the field events in his first year after being hired from Northern Arizona.

Volunteer assistants Christo Landry and Colin Leak, former distance runners under Gibby at William & Mary, will work under Gibby in the distance group. Shean Conlon (pole vault) is also new to the staff, while former volunteer assistant Tiberia Patterson re-joins the staff and will assist LaPlante with the sprints/hurdles group.


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TRACK TALK WITH Frank Shotwell
He's back! Fifth-year senior decathlete Frank Shotwell will once again be blogging during the season for MGoBlue.com. Check back to the site towards the end of each week to see what goes on inside the Michigan men's track and field team from one of its most experienced competitors!

For the second year in a row, 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.

[ 2010-11 Men's Track & Field Yearbook ]

Sunday, April 17 -- "The Dual" vs. Ohio State (Ferry Field), 11 a.m.

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423