Weekly Release #14: at EMU Invitational

April 13, 2010

Fri-Sat., April 16-17 -- at Eastern Michigan Invitational (Ypsilanti, Mich.), 3 p.m./10 a.m.
Meet Information/Schedule of Events

This week, the University of Michigan men's track and field team makes the short drive across Washtenaw County to participate in the Eastern Michigan Invitational, held at Rynearson Stadium on the Olds/Marshall Track and beginning on Friday (April 16) in Ypsilanti, Mich.

Field events on Friday will begin at 3 p.m., with track events starting at 5:30 p.m. On Saturday, the field events will begin at 10 a.m., with track events following at 12:10 p.m.

Last Time Out
Michigan fell to Ohio State in the outdoor version of"The Dual" 116-84 last Saturday (April 10) in Columbus, Ohio. With the win, Ohio State swept both meetings of"The Dual" this season, also winning 92-70 in Ann Arbor back in January.

[ Recaps: MGoBlue.com | Michigan Daily ]

U-M at EMU Invitational
This weekend's meet marks the second time this season that the Wolverines have competed at Eastern Michigan. They kicked off the season at the indoor version of the EMU Invitational back on Jan. 9. Juniors Carl Buchanon (South Bend, Ind./Clay) and David St. Amant (Livonia, Mich./Churchill) won events; Buchanon won the 60-meter hurdles and St. Amant won the 400-meter dash.

[ MGoBlue.com Recap ]

Last Year at EMU Invitational
Four Wolverines won events at the 2009 Eastern Michigan Invitational. Fifth-year senior Lex Williams (Ann Arbor, Mich./Dexter) won the 1,500-meter run and Buchanon won the 110-meter hurdles, joining former Wolverines Andre Barnes (200-meter dash) and Dan Harmsen (400-meter hurdles) as the other winners.


The Nation's Fastest
Lex Williams continues to be one of the nation's top distance runners. His performance in the 10,000-meter run at the Stanford Invitational (March 26) still ranks as the nation's best (28:34.28). He is among the nation's fastest in three events. In addition to his top time in the 10K, Williams is ranked 17th in the 3,000-meter run (8:24.09) and 27th in the 1,500-meter run (3:45.54).

Amazing Start
Senior thrower Sean Pruitt (Cato, Wis./Valders) has been a force throughout the outdoor season. He has won the discus in each of the first three meets he has competed in -- with his throws improving in distance each time -- and has finished no lower than third in the discus, shot put or hammer throw. Here's a summary of Pruitt's throws through the first three weeks of the outdoor season (place in bold):

Event Discus Hammer Throw Shot Put
Victor Lopez/Bayou Classic (March 27) 52.77m (173-1) (1) 58.43m (191-8) (2) 17.42m (57-2) (2)
Duke Invitational (April 2-3) 53.76m (176-4) (1) 59.12m (193-11) (2) 17.11m (56-1 3/4) (2)
"The Dual" (April 10) 54.45m (178-8) (1) 58.37m (191-6) (1) 16.71m (54-10) (3)

The Record Breakers
Junior tri-captain Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) and Pruitt set new meet records at"The Dual." Forys, running the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the first time in his collegiate career, crossed the finish line at 9:00.60, breaking the old record set by Ian Connor (Ohio State) back in 1999.

Pruitt broke Matt DeChant's (Ohio State) year-old record in the discus with his winning throw of 178-8 feet. DeChant had the previous mark at 168-4.

Strizich Steps Outside The Box
Sophomore decathlete Joe Strizich (San Francisco, Calif./St. Ignatius College Prep) won the javelin at"The Dual" on Saturday with a personal-best throw of 193-11. It shattered his previous career best by over 50 feet (141-10).

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

Welcome to the Hall
On 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: 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. [ Full Release ]

Simon Says
The Wolverines have one addition for the outdoor season. Freshman Simon Wenet (Seattle, Wash./Seattle Academy) is a javelin 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 javelin throw in school history at the 2009 Washington State Outdoor Meet (173-3 ft.). Welcome, Simon!


Indoor Recap

Michigan finished eighth at the 2010 Big Ten Indoor Championships. Junior Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys) won the Big Ten long jump title and was an All-Big Ten first team selection. Teammates Pruitt, 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 taking second in the distance medley relay at Big Tens. The Wolverines did not send anyone to the NCAA Championships.

Peddlar Wins Big Ten Long Jump
Peddlar became the sixth Michigan field athlete to win the Big Ten Indoor long jump crown last Saturday (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 Korbin Smith (Ohio State) 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 points 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 Strizich, who finished third (with fifth-best point total in school history: 5,051 pts.), and sophomore Kurt Reichenbach (Brighton, Mich./Pinckney Community), who took fourth.


Follow the Leader

Forys, Shotwell and 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.

Youth Movement
After a senior-laden group 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 track and field roster, as are two other countries.

Michigan (22): Bobby Aprill (Dexter), Chris Baldwin (Battle Creek), Erik Braun (Pinckney, Mich.), 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 (1): Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park)
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)

Michigan Inks Five for 2011
On Feb. 17, LaPlante announced the signings of five prep student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2010-2011 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). [ Full Release ]

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 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. [ More Information ]

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 & Field Hall of Fame last year.


Stay Connected

Michigan track & 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 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.

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 athletics. 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.

Up Next...
Michigan splits the squad up next weekend, as it prepares for the Penn Relays (in Philadelphia, Pa.) and the Drake Relays (in Des Moines, Iowa). Both events are three days and will begin on Thursday, April 22.