Week #13: Michigan to Head to Historic Penn Relays

April 25, 2011

Thu-Sat., April 28-30 -- at Penn Relays (Philadelphia, Pa.), 9 a.m.
Schedule of Events | Meet Info

The outdoor season continues this week for the University of Michigan men's track and field team at the historic Penn Relays, running from Thursday (April 28) to Saturday (April 30) in Philadelphia, Pa. The three-day competition will be held at Franklin Field and begin at 9 a.m. each day.

The University of Michigan men's track and field team has a long history of competing in the Penn Relays, representing the Maize and Blue since the early 1900s. The Wolverines are currently third with 43 College Division relay championships behind only Villanova, which is first with 88, and host Penn, which is second with 54.5.

Michigan's first relay title at the Penn Relays came in 1903 in the mile relay and its first individual champion came one year later in 1904 when Ralph Rose finished first in the shot put. In all, Michigan holds 57 individual titles to go along with its 43 relay titles. The last Penn Relay title won by a Michigan athlete was in 2006 when Andrew Bauer (2004-06) won the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The last relay titles came in 2005 when the Wolverines won the distance medley, the 4xMile and the 4x800-meter relays.

[ History ]

Former Wolverine track and field great Ergas Leps (1960-62) will be inducted into the Penn Relays Wall of Fame on Saturday. While at Michigan, Leps anchored six winning relay teams -- three successful four-mile relay wins, a distance medley relay and a pair of two-mile relays.

The Wall of Fame began in 1994 during the 100th Celebration of the Carnival. The Class of 2011, the 18th group of inductees, brings the total number of individuals selected to 87, with 77 relay teams having been chosen.

Leps joins Ralph Rose (inducted in 2005) and Fritz Nilsson (inducted in 2009) as the only Michigan track and field athletes to be given the honor at the Penn Relays.

Zach Ornelas (3,000m Steeplechase), Bobby Aprill (5,000m), Morsi Rayyan (5,000m), Craig Forys (5,000m), Nick McCampbell (110m Hurdles), Carl Buchanon (400m Hurdles), Ali Arastu (400m Hurdles), Bradley James (high jump), Jack Greenlee (pole vault), Austin DeWildt (pole vault), Robert Peddlar (long jump, triple jump), Erik Braun (triple jump), Cody Riffle (shot put, discus), and Ethan Dennis (hammer throw).

Michigan will also have the following relay teams: 4x100, 4x400, 4xMile, Distance Medley Relay, and Shuttle Hurdles.

[ Team Page ]

TOP TIMES/MARKS (Outdoor Only)
100-meter Dash: 10.54, Matthew Campbell
200-meter Dash: 21.28, Matthew Campbell
400-meter Dash: 47.43, Nick Neuman
800-meter Run: 1:56.68, Dallas Bowden
1,500-meter Run: 3:54.43, Nick Thomas
3,000-meter Run: 8:31.52, Bobby Aprill
5,000-meter Run: 13:59.53, Craig Forys
10,000-meter Run: 29:53.57, Bobby Aprill
110-meter Hurdles: 14.17, Nick McCampbell
400-meter Hurdles: 51.73, Ali Arastu
3,000-meter Steeplechase: 9:08.52, Craig Forys
4x100-meter Relay: 41.16, Robert Peddlar, Matthew Campbell, Aaron Taylor, Nick Neuman
4x400-meter Relay: 3:11.30, Nick Neuman, David St. Amant, Eric Oliver, Matthew Campbell
High Jump: 2.08 meters, Bradley James
Pole Vault: 5.20 meters, Austin DeWildt
Long Jump: 7.36 meters, Robert Peddlar
Triple Jump: 14.52 meters, Erik Braun
Shot Put: 18.40 meters, Cody Riffle
Discus: 54.71 meters, Cody Riffle
Hammer: 54.19 meters, Ethan Dennis
Javelin: 55.23 meters, Joe Strizich
Decathlon: 6,774 points, Kurt Reichenbach

[ Outdoor Team Bests ]

With the Big Ten Outdoor Championships coming up in less than three weeks, here are the following Michigan athletes rank who rank among the top 10 on the outdoor performance lists for their event(s):

Event Big Ten Leader Michigan Athlete (Rank)
100m Dash 10.37 - Shane Crawford (Purdue) 10.54 - Matthew Campbell (7)
200m Dash 20.87 - Justin Austin (Iowa) 21.28 - Matthew Campbell (7)
400m Dash 45.81 - Thomas Murdaugh (Ohio State) 47.43 - Nick Neuman (10)
5,000m Run 13:44.98 - Mohammed Ahmed (Wisconsin) 13:59.53 - Craig Forys (4)
10,000m Run 28:43.34 - Elliot Krause (Wisconsin) 29:53.57 - Bobby Aprill (7)
110m Hurdles 13.61 - Andrew Riley (Illinois) 14.17 - Nick McCampbell (6)
400m Hurdles 51.05 - Ethan Holmes (Iowa) 51.73 - Ali Arastu (5)
3,000m Steeplechase 8:48.45 - Kyle Engnell (Illinois) 9:08.52 - Craig Forys (10)
4x100m Relay 39.84 - Indiana 41.16 (7)
4x400m Relay 3:07.13 - Ohio State 3:11.30 (5)
High Jump 7-3 3/4 ft. - Derek Drouin (Indiana) 6-9 3/4 ft. - Bradley James (10)
Pole Vault 17-7 3/4 ft. - Derek Peterson (Minnesota) 17-0 3/4 ft. - Austin DeWildt (T3)
Long Jump 25-11 1/2 ft. - Mike Hartfield (Ohio State) 24-1 3/4 ft. - Robert Peddlar (10)
Triple Jump 51-8 1/2 ft. - Hanif Johnson (Penn State) 47-7 3/4 ft. - Erik Braun (10)
Shot Put 62-0 1/2 ft. - Joe Kovacs (Penn State) 60-4 1/2 ft. - Cody Riffle (3)
Discus 192-5 ft. - Danny Block (Wisconsin) 179-6 ft. - Cody Riffle (4)
Javelin 245-8 ft. - Matt Byers (Iowa) 181-2 ft. - Joe Strizich (9)
Decathlon 7,384 points - Brock Spandl (Minnesota) 6,774 points - Kurt Reichenbach (6)
    6,738 points - Frank Shotwell (7)
    6,312 points - Joe Strizich (10)

[ Big Ten Top 10 (April 25) ]

Underclassmen stepped up for Michigan last weekend at the Eastern Michigan Twilight Invitational (April 23-24). Redshirt freshman Troy Sneller won the 400-meter hurdles (53.21), redshirt sophomore Matthew Campbell won the 400-meter dash (48.00), sophomore Aaron Taylor won the 200-meter dash (21.71) and freshman Cody Riffle won the discus (172-0 ft.).

Several others scores top-three finishes. Hurdlers Nick McCampbell and Herman Washington tied for second in the 110-meter hurdles (14.51), Ethan Dennis finished third in the hammer throw (179-3 ft.; career high), Bradley James finished third in the high jump (6-6 3/4 ft.) and Taylor Voice was second in the pole vault (15-9 ft.).

[ Recap ]

Buchanan Returns
Senior outdoor captain Carl Buchanon returned last weekend, finishing 14th in the 400-meter hurdles (56.02). It was Buchanon's first competition since the Simmons-Harvey Invitational on Jan. 22, a span of three months.

The 2011 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, running from May 13-15 in Iowa City, will be shown on the Big Ten Network on Sunday, May 22 at 1 p.m.

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, Craig Forys, Robert Peddlar and Frank Shotwell.

The four outdoor captains will handle responsibilities for the remainder of the outdoor season.

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
April 17 -- Bobby Aprill, Nick Neuman
April 22 -- Simon Wenet, Nick Thomas

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
April 7-9 (UCLA Rafer Johnson Invitational): Cody Riffle, Ali Arastu, 4x400 Relay Team (Arastu, Matthew Campbell, Aaron Taylor, Troy Sneller)
April 17 ("The Dual" vs. Ohio State): Austin DeWildt, Cody Riffle, Matthew Campbell, Brendon Blacklaws, Dallas Bowden
April 22-23 (EMU Twilight Invitational): Troy Sneller, Aaron Taylor

Michigan has an abundance of youth on the 2011 roster. Out of the 46 student-athletes on this year's track and field roster, 36 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: 23
Sophomores: 13
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).

Two more were added to the group on April 12, as head cross country coach and track assistant coach Alex Gibby announced the signings distance runners Mason Ferlic (Maplewood, Minn./Mounds Park Academy) and Jeff Sattler (Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center) to NLIs.

Bolton is ranked as the nation's top hammer thrower, while Sievers, Sattler, Albaugh and Washington III are all Michigan state champions, while Ferlic holds a Minnesota state championships in cross country.

[ Signing Day Release (Feb. 15) ] [ Two More Sign NLIs (April 12) ]

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).

The group will be honored at the men's track and field banquet on Saturday, May 7 after the conclusion of the UM Len Paddock Invitational.

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

Head coach Fred LaPlante begins 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 ]

Fri-Sat., May 6-7 -- host U-M Len Paddock Invitational (Ferry Field), 10 a.m.

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423