Week 13: Wolverines Ready for Historic Penn Relays
MGOBLUE Ethan Dennis
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Ethan Dennis
MGOBLUE

April 23, 2013

THIS WEEKEND
Thu-Sat., April 25-27 -- at Penn Relays (Philadelphia, Pa.), 10 a.m./9 a.m./9 a.m.
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The University of Michigan men's track and field team will travel to Philadelphia, Pa., this weekend to compete in the historic Penn Relays -- the longest uninterrupted collegiate track meet in the country. The three-day event will run from Thursday to Saturday (April 25-27). Action will begin on Thursday at 10 a.m. and resume again on Friday and Saturday at 9 a.m. at the University of Pennsylvania's Franklin Field. NBC will televise the Penn Relays live on Saturday (April 27) from 1-3 p.m., while NBC Universal will continue the live broadcast from 3-5 p.m.

WOLVERINES IN ACTION
Scotty Albaugh, Bobby Aprill, Brendon Blacklaws, Stephen Burk, Matthew Campbell, Nate Chapman, Patrick Cochran, Ethan Dennis, Jack Greenlee, Bradley James, Nathan Karr, Cody Riffle, Derek Sievers, Troy Sneller, Aaron Taylor, Herman Washington, Philip Washington.

MICHIGAN SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Thursday, April 26
10:55 p.m. -- Scotty Albaugh, 10,000m (championship)

Friday, April 27
9 a.m. -- Troy Sneller, 400m Hurdles
10 a.m. -- Bradley James, High Jump (college)
10 a.m. -- Jack Greenlee, Pole Vault (college)
10 a.m. -- Cody Riffle, Shot Put (championship)
11:15 a.m. -- Derek Sievers, Shot Put (college)
2:25 p.m. -- Distance Medley Relay
2:45 p.m. -- Cody Riffle, Derek Sievers, Discus (college)
3:50 p.m. -- Herman Washington, 110m Hurdles (prelims)
4:15 p.m. -- 4x400m Relay (prelims)
6:25 p.m. -- Sprint Medley Relay

Saturday, April 28
9 a.m. -- Patrick Cochran, Triple Jump (college)
11 a.m. -- Ethan Dennis, Hammer Throw (championship)
12:30 p.m. -- Stephen Burk, Javelin Throw (college)
3:20 p.m. -- Herman Washington, 110m Hurdles (finals)
6 p.m. -- 4x400m Relay (finals)

WOLVERINE BITES

Michigan at the Penn Relays [ Michigan Penn Relays History ]
• Michigan's men's track and field has a storied history of competing in the Penn Relays, dating back to the early 1900s. The Wolverines are currently third with 43 College Division Relay Championships behind first-place Villanova (88) and second-place Penn (54.5). The Wolverines have also recorded 59 individual titles at the Penn Relays.

• Michigan's first relay title came in 1903 when the mile relay ran a time of 18:39.80 to finish first. The Wolverines' most-recent relay victory came in 2005 when U-M won the distance medley-, the 4xMile- and the 4x800-meter relays.

• Sophomore Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) and sophomore Brad Bolton (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro), who is currently redshirting this season, are the only current Wolverines with a Penn Relays title. Riffle won the collegiate discus in 2011, while Bolton claimed the 2012 collegiate hammer throw title. Riffle will compete in the collegiate discus again on Friday (April 26).

• Michigan will compete in the distance medley relay, which is not an event contested at championship meets. At the 2012 Penn Relays, the Wolverines finished runner-up in the college division DMR. Senior Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College) will be the only returning member of that relay, running the third leg.

• Michigan will also participate in the sprint medley relay, which is not a championship contested event. The relay consists of two 200-meter legs, a 400-meter leg and ends with an 800-meter leg.

• Senior/junior Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) improved upon his own school record in the hammer throw last weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays (April 19) with his toss of 64.98 meters (213-2). That mark currently ranks third in the Big Ten and 13th in the nation. Dennis had owned the Michigan hammer-throw record since April 13, 2012, when he threw 205-10.5 feet at the Spec Towns National Team Invitational. Dennis will compete in the championship section of the hammer throw on Saturday (April 28).

WOLVERINE IN THE RECORD BOOK
There are currently eight student-athletes and one relay that rank in the top five on Michigan's all-time outdoor performance list in at least one event.

Ethan Dennis (hammer throw, 213-2) and Cody Riffle (shot put, 61-3.5) each hold school records in their respective events. Dennis originally set the hammer record in 2012 (205-10.5) but increased it to 213-2 at the Mt. SAC Relays (April 19). Riffle snapped a 41-year-old record of 61-11.75, which was previously set by Steve Adams in 1972, at the tri-meet with California and Virginia (April 6).

NameEventRankTime/Mark
Herman Washington110m Hurdles5th13.82
Ali Arastu400m Hurdles2nd49.43
Jack GreenleePole Vault3rd17-3 ft.
Cody RiffleShot Put1st61-3.5 ft.
Cody RiffleDiscus5th179-6 ft.
Ethan DennisHammer Throw1st213-2 ft.
Brad BoltonHammer Throw3rd197-8 ft.
Stephen BurkJavelin3rd197-2 ft.
Kurt ReichenbachDecathlon3rd7,107 points
 4x400m Relay3rd3:06.15

• Fifth-year senior Bobby Aprill (Dexter, Mich./Dexter), senior Jack Greenlee (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) and junior Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville) are representing the Wolverines as tri-captains for the 2013 season. Each captain was chosen by the team and coaches to represent the different event areas -- Aprill (distance), Greenlee (field) and Arastu (sprints).

2012 in Review: Michigan finished ninth at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships a year ago and sent two student-athletes, as well as the 4x400-meter relay to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Recent graduate Craig Forys finished second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Ali Arastu placed ninth in the 400-meter hurdles and the relay finished 19th. Three members of that relay team returned this season, including Aaron Taylor, Matthew Campbell and Philip Washington.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

E. Dennis Ethan Dennis
Senior/Junior
Throws
Grand Rapids, Mich.

On continuing to improve after increasing his school record ... "You can't really be satisfied with your results in the middle of the season, especially before you're even done with your career. I truly believe that I haven't even come close to tapping my true potential yet. I always just go into meets with that mentality that I haven't thrown as far as I can and I'm just going to throw farther and farther every time I can."

On competing in the championship division at Penn Relays ... "It's cool because my freshman year I went to the Penn Relays and I didn't have a good performance. That's a factor that I'll be thinking about going in and I'll have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder -- it will be sort of a redemption meet to show everyone where I've come from. Mt. SAC was also an elite event like Penn Relays, so there will be that atmosphere again of a high level competition and I'm pretty excited."

On what things click what he has a good performance ... "I think especially with the throws, you can't be focused on how far you're actually going to throw, you have to go through the process of what you're doing. We've taken thousands of reps in practice, doing what we do, and all is takes in competition is to let that meet atmosphere take over and keep doing the process that you've been practicing so much."

On finishing up the winter semester of classes ... "I am fairly close to being done. I have two more exams to take for the semester. In my fifth year next year, I'm doing a semester exemption in the fall and then I have nine credits left to take in the winter semester next year -- one of those classes will be my senior design class for my engineering degree, but it shouldn't be too hard of a load. I'm pretty close to being done. Track is awesome when school is done. You don't have the stress of having to leave practice early to get to a meeting and you don't have huge assignments hanging over your head -- you can truly relax and give your sport 110 percent. It's a great time of year!"

On his summer plans ... "I'm still trying to figure out my plans for this summer. I'm planning on competing hopefully through the end of June, maybe into July. I'm probably staying around Ann Arbor for the summer. I'm still trying to line up an internship position (if anyone is reading this, it might be a good time to put a plug in!). There are still a few questions to be answered, but I think it's going to be a good summer to get a lot of work in for track so I can come in for my fifth year and really raise some eyebrows with my performances, and also hopefully get some good work experience."

A LOOK AHEAD
Thu-Fri., May 2-3
-- at Toledo Invitational (Toledo, Ohio), 1 p.m./11 a.m.
Fri-Sun., May 10-12 -- at Big Ten Championships (Columbus, Ohio)

Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423

   

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