This weekend, the University of Michigan men's track and field team returns to Ann Arbor for its only home outdoor meet of the season, the U-M Len Paddock Invitational at Ferry Field.
Competition will begin at 11 a.m. on Friday (May 7) with the hammer throw, javelin, pole vault and triple jump, and two running events (400-meter hurdles, 1,500-meter run) at 6:30 p.m. The rest of the events will take place on Saturday (May 8), beginning with field events at 10 a.m. and track events at 12:30 p.m.
Only Time at Ferry Field
The outdoor home event for the Wolverines is finally here with the Len Paddock Invitational at Ferry Field this weekend (Fri-Sat., May 7-8). Teaming up with the women, both teams will be raising cancer awareness by wearing different colored shirts. The men will be wearing blue shirts to promote getting screened for prostate cancer, while the women will be sporting pink in honor of breast cancer awareness.
What Do You Say, Seniors?
This Saturday (May 8), the track and field team will host their annual banquet at the Junge Center, which will honor both the graduating seniors and the Hall of Fame Class of 2010.
The seniors that will be recognized are: Chris Baldwin (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview), Peter Christmas (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer), Mike Dobmeier (East Amherst, N.Y./Williamsville North), Brandon Fellows (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island), John Kipf (Monroe, Mich./St. Mary's Catholic Central), Brendan Lodge (Narragansett, R.I./Bishop Hendricken), Sean McNamara (Elmhurst, Ill./York), Jeff Merrill (Lodi, Calif./Lodi), Tony Nalli (Ann Arbor, Mich./Dexter), Sean Pruitt (Cato, Wis./Valders), Kyle Terpak (Riverview, Mich./Riverview), Grant Till (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills), Matt Wheeler (Atherton, Calif./Menlo-Atherton) and Lex Williams (Ann Arbor, Mich./Dexter). Team manager Kyle Chin will also be recognized.
Welcome to the Hall
The Hall of Fame Class of 2010 includes one former student-athlete from each decade, as well as a coach of the century. This year's selection of entries include: 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 ] [ Hall of Fame ]
U-M Top 2010 Outdoor Times and Marks
100-meter Dash: 11.00 -- Matthew Campbell (4/17 at EMU Invitational)
200-meter Dash: 21.86 -- Aaron Taylor (4/10 at "The Dual")
400-meter Dash: 47.98 -- Nicholas Neuman (4/2 at Duke Invitational)
800-meter Run: 1:53.04 -- Dallas Bowden (4/10 at "The Dual")
Mile Run: 4:07.02 -- Brendon Blacklaws (4/16 at EMU Invitational)
1,500-meter Run: 3:45.54 -- Lex Williams (4/10 at "The Dual")
3,000-meter Run: 8:24.09 -- Lex Williams (4/10 at "The Dual")
5,000-meter Run: 13:56.21 -- Lex Williams (5/1 at Stanford-Jordan Invitational)
10,000-meter Run: 28:34.28 -- Lex Williams (3/27 at Stanford Invitational)
110-meter Hurdles: 14.61 -- Nick McCampbell (4/3 at Duke Invitational)
400-meter Hurdles: 51.66 -- Carl Buchanon (5/1 at Stanford-Jordan Invitational)
3,000-meter Steeplechase: 9:00.60 -- Craig Forys (4/10 at "The Dual")
4x100-meter Relay: 41.35 -- Neuman, Terpak, McCampbell, Taylor (4/10 at "The Dual")
4x400-meter Relay: 3:09.31 -- Neuman, Buchanon, Taylor, Campbell (4/24 at Drake Relays)
4x800-meter Relay: 7:34.16 -- Blacklaws, Fellows, Williams, Bowden (4/24 at Penn Relays)
Distance Medley Relay: 9:35.24 -- Blacklaws, St. Amant, Bowden, Williams (4/23 at Penn Relays)
Mile Relay: 16:20.56 -- Fellows, Bowden, Blacklaws, Williams (4/24 at Penn Relays)
High Jump: 1.95m (6-4 3/4) -- John Kipf (3/28 at Victor Lopez/Bayou Classic)
Pole Vault: 4.80m (15-9) -- Austin DeWildt (4/10 at "The Dual")
Long Jump: 7.43m (24-4 1/2) -- Robert Peddlar (3/28 at Victor Lopez/Bayou Classic)
Triple Jump: 14.66m (48-1 1/4) -- Robert Peddlar (4/2 at Duke Invitational)
Shot Put: 17.42m (57-2) -- Sean Pruitt (3/28 at Victor Lopez/Bayou Classic)
Discus: 54.45m (178-8) -- Sean Pruitt (4/10 at "The Dual")
Hammer: 59.26m (194-5) -- Brendan Lodge (4/16 at EMU Invitational)
Javelin: 59.11m (193-11) -- Joe Strizich (4/10 at "The Dual")
Decathlon: 6,728 -- Kurt Reichenbach (4/22 at Drake Relays)
Big Ten Championships on Big Ten Network
The 2010 Big Ten Championships are rapidly approaching. The three-day event, held May 14-16 in Bloomington, Ind., will be televised to a national audience on tape-delay on Saturday, May 22, at 4 p.m.
Last Time Out
Michigan split the squad up last weekend, sending a group of athletes to the Stanford-Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., on Saturday (May 1) while sending the rest to the OSU Jesse Owens Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday (April 30) and Saturday (May 1).
At the Stanford-Jordan Invitational, junior Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys) and freshman Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College) won the long jump and 1,500-meter run, respectively. Every sprinter that ran a race scored a top-10 finish. Junior Carl Buchanon (South Bend, Ind./Clay) took second in the 400-meter hurdles, setting a new season-best time by three-hundredths of a second.
Both the 4x100 and 4x400-meter relay teams scored top-15 finishes at the OSU Jesse Owens Invitational. Sophomore Matthew Campbell (Rochester, Mich./Rochester) and freshman Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge) were the highest individual finishers for the Wolverines. Campbell was 25th in the 400-meter dash (48.97) and Ornelas was 22nd in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:25.33). The meet will be shown on the Big Ten Network, airing on Saturday, May 8, at noon.
Recaps: [ MGoBlue - Stanford Invitational ] [ MGoBlue - OSU Jesse Owens Invitational ]
Last Season at U-M Len Paddock Invitational
Robert Peddlar (triple jump), Sean Pruitt (hammer throw) and Carl Buchanon (400-meter hurdles) picked up events wins on the first day of last year's U-M Len Paddock Invitational. Pruitt and Peddlar also picked up wins on the second day, as Pruitt won the shot put and Peddlar won the long jump. The other individual winner was former U-M star Adam Harris (200-meter dash). The 4x100 and 4x400 meter relay teams also came out victorious.
LaPlante Adds Four for 2010-11
On Monday (May 3), head coach Fred LaPlante announced the additions of four student-athletes to the 2010-11 recruiting class: Aliasghar Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville), Ed Hur (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Bloomfield Hills Andover), Justin Gaumer (Holly, Mich./Holly) and Michael Parker Jr. (Jackson, Mich./Michigan Center). Arastu and Parker Jr. are hurdlers, while Hur is a long jumper and Gaumer is a thrower.
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).
[ Spring Release ] [ Winter Release ]
Williams Among The Nation's Best
Lex Williams holds team-best times in the 1,500, 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000-meter runs. His performance in the 10,000-meter run at the Stanford Invitational on March 2) was the nation's best (28:34.28) through this weekend, until Sam Chelanga (Liberty) broke it (27:08.39).
Williams and David Brent of Eastern Michigan recently spoke with AnnArbor.com writer Pete Cunningham about their quest for a sub-four minute mile. [ AnnArbor.Com ]
Movin' On Up
At the Drake Relays, U-M sophomores Kurt Reichenbach (Brighton, Mich./Pinckney Community) and Joe Strizich (San Francisco, Calif./St. Ignatius College Prep) moved to fourth and fifth, respectively, on the school's all-time performance list for the decathlon with their 11th- and 12th-place finishes. Reichenbach passed Ryan Stevenson (6,466 points, 2001) for fourth, while Strizich overtook Brian Yonkoski (6,239 points, 1999) for fifth.
Junior Frank Shotwell (Medina, Ohio/Medina) held the decathlon lead after the first seven event but fell all the way to 14th after failing to record a height in the pole vault, the decathlon's eighth event. He is the school-record holder in the decathlon with 7,362 points, set in 2008. Former Wolverines Sean Clancy (7,147 points, 1993) and Dave Hall (7,034 points, 1985) are in second and third, respectively.
Relays in Real-Time
Michigan ran three relays for the first time this season at the Penn Relays and scored top-10 finishes in all three of them:
Brandon Fellows, Dallas Bowden, Brendon Blacklaws, Lex Williams (Third, 16:20.56)
A Freshman Emerges
Freshman Aaron Taylor (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams) has emerged as one of the team's best sprinters during the outdoor season. He holds the Wolverines' top time in the 200-meter dash (21.86) and the second-fastest time in the 100-meter dash (11.03). He also runs on both of Michigan's relay squads. At the Stanford-Jordan Invitational on Saturday, Taylor scored two more top-10 finishes, taking fourth place in the 200-meter dash and seventh in the 100-meter dash.
Sean Pruitt has been a force throughout the outdoor season. He has won the discus in each of the first three meets he competed in (with his throws improving in distance each time) and finished no lower than third in the discus, shot put or hammer throw.
Here's a summary of Pruitt's throws through 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)|
|Drake Relays (April 23-24)||53.29m (174-10) (3)||58.11m (190-8) (13)||FOUL|
The Record Breakers
Junior tri-captain Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) and Sean Pruitt set new meet records at "The Dual" on April 10. 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) 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 feet.
Strizich Steps Outside The Box
Joe Strizich specializes in multiple events but won the javelin at "The Dual" on April 10 with a personal-best throw of 193-11 feet. It shattered his previous career best by over 50 feet (141-10 feet).
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.).
Michigan finished eighth at the 2010 Big Ten Indoor Championships. Robert Peddlar won the Big Ten long jump title and was an All-Big Ten first team selection. Teammates Sean Pruitt, Brendon Blacklaws, freshman Dallas Bowden (Hastings, New Zealand/Nelson College), sophomore Nicholas Neuman (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) and Sean McNamara 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
Robert 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), Frank Shotwell 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 Joe Strizich, who finished third (with fifth-best point total in school history: 5,051 pts.), and Kurt Reichenbach, who took fourth.
Follow the Leader
Craig Forys, Frank Shotwell and Carl 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.
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:
Fifth-year seniors: 7
All Over The Country (And Beyond)
Over half of the student-athletes on the 2010 track & field roster hail from the state of Michigan. In addition, 11 states are represented on the outdoor track & field roster, as are two other countries. Find the complete list below:
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)
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 ]
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.
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.
With the finish line in sight, Michigan now prepares for the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, held on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., beginning on Friday (May 14). The three-day event runs through Sunday (May 16) at the Haugh Track & Field Complex. The Wolverines finished eighth at the Indoor Championships in February.