Weekly #10: Wolverines to Compete at Penn Relays, Triton Invite
George Kelly

April 22, 2014

Thu-Sat., April 24-26 -- at Penn Relays (Philadelphia, Pa.), 9 a.m.
Meet Schedule/Live Results | Live Stream (flotrack)
Saturday, April 26 -- at Triton Invitational (San Diego, Calif.), 11 a.m. PDT
Meet Schedule PDF | Live Results

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The University of Michigan men's track and field team will divide its squad for the second straight weekend, sending members of the team to the historic Penn Relays from Thursday-Saturday, April 24-26, as well as the Triton Invitational on Saturday (April 26). Seven distance runners as well as three hurdlers will represent U-M at the Penn Relays at Franklin Field, where action will begin each day at 9 a.m. The Triton Invitational, hosted by UC San Diego at Triton Track & Field Stadium, will start at 11 a.m. PDT and feature Wolverine sprinters, jumpers and throwers.

Penn Relays: Mason Ferlic, George Kelly, August Pappas, Michael Parker Jr., Nick Renberg, Troy Sneller, Morsi Rayyan, Jeff Sattler, Herman Washington, James Yau
Triton Invitational: Brad Bolton, Stephen Burk, Patrick Cochran, Ethan Dennis, Justin Gaumer, Erick Gavin, Bradley James, Chris Maye, Codie Nolan, Derek Sievers, Stephen Sykes

Ethan Dennis increased his own school hammer throw record last weekend at the Kentucky Relays with his toss of 66.36 meters (217-8). He originally set the school hammer throw record in 2013 (64.97m, 213-2), before topping that mark by four-and-a-half feet. His mark ranks third in the Big Ten and seventh in the NCAA East Region.

• Michigan will compete in two non-traditional relays that are not contested at the championship level on Saturday (April 26) at the Penn Relays. Mason Ferlic, Morsi Rayyan and Jeff Sattler will each be members of the 4xmile and 4x800-meter relays, while George Kelly and James Yau will complete the quartets, respectively.

• Senior/junior James Yau (Troy, Mich./Troy) and sophomore/freshman George Kelly (Lincroft, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy), who are new to the 3,000-meter steeplechase this year, both ran new personal-best times last weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays. Yau ran 9:05.12, which was more than a 19-second PR, while Kelly shaved more than 12 seconds off his personal best, running 9:06.75. Yau will compete in the college championship division of the steeple at the Penn Relays, while Kelly will participate in the Olympic Development section.

Outdoor Advantages
• Several new events are contested during the outdoor season that were not during the indoor season. The 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles are replaced by the 100-meter dash and 110-meter hurdles; the mile run is replaced by the 1,500-meter run; and the weight throw is 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, are also 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 2013 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. He opened up the season in the steeplechase at the Cal-Virginia tri-meet, clocking a time of 8:47.91, which ranks first in the Big Ten and 11th in the nation. Ferlic was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week for the second time in his career on April 9, for his season-opening performance.

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. Beams opened the season at the Cal-Virginia tri-meet in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 14:20.83, and made his season debut in the 10,000-meter run at the Mt. SAC Relays, running 29:59.65. Albaugh currently owns a season-best 10,000-meter time of 30:00.97.

Fifth-year senior Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) and junior/sophomore Brad Bolton (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro) compete for U-M in the hammer throw during the outdoor season. Dennis is the school record holder in the hammer throw (66.36m, 217-8) 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 of 60.73 meters (199-3) that he recorded at the season-opening North Florida Invitational (March 28-29).

Sophomore/freshman Stephen Burk (Parsippany, N.J./Parsippany), who only competes for the Wolverines during outdoor season in the javelin, returned to action for the first time since the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships at the North Florida Invitational (March 28-29). He won the javelin at UNF with a mark of 68.10 meters (223-5), which moved him into second on U-M's all-time performance list. He currently ranks third in the Big Ten and 19th in the NCAA East Region. He also won the javelin at the tri-meet versus Cal and Virginia with a toss of 64.40 meters (211-3).

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. He competed in the 400-meter dash last weekend at the Beach Invitational, where he ran a career-best time of 49.79.

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 (March 28) with a mark of 7.54 meters (24-9), which ranks second in the Big Ten and 10th on U-M's all-time performance list. His mark was more than a two-foot personal record.

• Junior/sophomore Derek Sievers (Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center) made big strides for the Wolverines during the 2014 indoor season, where he finished eighth in the shot put at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Sievers owns U-M's best shot put (17.69m, 58-0.5) and discus (51.72m, 169-8) marks so far this season, which rank eighth and 10th, respectively, on Michigan's all-time top 10 performance list. Sievers' career-best shot put mark -- which he recorded last weekend at the Kentucky Relays -- also ranks eighth in the Big Ten this season.

• 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 make his outdoor season debut this Saturday at the Kentucky Relays. This will mark Riffle's first competition since the indoor season opener on Jan. 18 at the Simmons-Harvey Invitational. He is the school record holder in the shot put (18.80m, 61-8.25) and a returning All-America second teamer.

Michigan Among the Big Ten
With three weeks remaining in the regular season, Michigan has seven 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).

Mason Ferlic5,000m13:55.123
Morsi Rayyan5,000m14:00.778
Nick Posada10,000m29:57.848
Mason Ferlic3,000m Steeplechase8:47.911
Patrick CochranLong Jump7.54m (24-9)2
Derek SieversShot Put17.69m (58-0.5)8
Ethan DennisHammer Throw66.36m (217-8)3
Stephen BurkJavelin68.10m (223-5)3

Eleven 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 in at least one event:


NameEventRankTime/Mark (Year)
Mason Ferlic3,000m steeplechase6th8:41.83 (2013)
Mason Ferlic5,000m10th 13:55.12
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)
Derek SieversShot Put8th58 1/2 (2014)
 Discus10th169-8 (2014)
Justin GaumerShot Put10th56-1 1/4 (2014)
Ethan DennisHammer1st217-8 (2014)
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 (66.36m, 217-8) 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.

Saturday, May 3 -- at Indiana Billy Hayes Invitational (Bloomington, Ind.), 11 a.m.
Friday, May 9 -- at Toledo Invitational (Toledo, Ohio), 9 a.m.

Contact: Whitney Dixon (whitdix@umich.edu)