ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan men's track and field head coach Fred LaPlante and U-M head cross country coach Ron Warhurst have announced theadditionof 13 student-athletes for the 2009-10 season. Brendon Blacklaws(Wellington, New Zealand), Dallas (Bowden) North(Hastings New Zealand/Hastings College), Davis Craw(Monroe, Conn./Masuk High School), Ethan Dennis(Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville), Austin DeWildt(Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Catholic Central), Andrew Evans(Portage, Mich./Portage Northern), John (Jack) Greenlee(Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier), Robert Bradley James(Haslett, Mich./Haslett), Michael Joiner-Hill(Detroit, Mich./UD Jesuit), Jeff Kline(Flushing, Mich./Flushing), Zach Ornelas(Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge), Joe Reynolds(Rochester, Mich./Rochester Adams) and Aaron Taylor(Rochester, Mich./Rochester Adams) will join the Wolverines for the upcoming season.
"We are very pleased with the young men that will matriculate to the University of Michigan next fall," said LaPlante. "Our staff did a great job of identifying those who can compete at the Big Ten level and fit our academic standards as well."
Blacklaws, a middle distance standout from Wellington, New Zealand, brings depth and experience to Michigan in the 800- and 1500-meter events. Blacklaws has current personal bests of 1:51.61 at 800 meters, 3:51.80 at 1500 meters and 8:24.6 at 3,000 meters.
A fellow New Zealand countryman of Blacklaws, Bowden hails from Nelson College in Hastings, New Zealand, where he runs for the Tasman Track Club under the direction of Coach Greg Lautenslager. Bowden comes to Michigan with international experience in the 800- and 1500-meter events. He was a member of the New Zealand World Youth Team in 2007 when he finished 11th in the 1500-meter run. He has current personal bests of 1:51.66 at 800 meters, 3:46.8 at 1500 meters and 8:21.09 at 3,000 meters.
Craw, a speedster from Masuk High School in Connecticut, was a Connecticut Post All-Star last season in track. Craw won the 100-meter race at the Class L State Championships last season in a time of 10.88 and was sixth at the State Open. He also won the 200 meters at the SWC Championships with a time of 22.72 and was second at the Class L meet with a time of 22.52. Craw has earned several accolades, including all-SWC and all-state distinctions.
Dennis is a thrower from Grand Rapids, Mich., where he competes for Grandville High School and coach Justin Scott. An all-conference performer in track and field, as well as football, Dennis is very powerful thrower with great size and strength. Ethan has personal bests of 57-3 in the shot put and 163-0 in the discus.
DeWildt, a pole vaulter from Grand Rapids, Mich., jumps for coach Dan Wilkerson at Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School. Dewildt comes to Michigan with the state's highest indoor performance in 2009, a mark of 15-3, and he was the runner-up at this year's indoor state meet. The DeWildt family is no stranger to U-M as Austin's brother, Charles, still ranks as the second-best vaulter in school history.
Evans is a versatile and athletic thrower from Portage Northern High School, where he throws for Coach Tony Moon. He brings great length and athletic ability to the Michigan throws with the potential to throw the shot put, discus, hammer and javelin. Evans has received numerous all-state and all-conference honors in track and field, as well as football. He currently holds personal bests of 61-3 in the shot put and 192-7 in the discus.
Greenlee, who stands about 6' 2", is a pole vaulter from Cincinnati, Ohio, who jumps for coach Oliver Mason at St. Xavier High School. He is the 2008 Ohio State runner-up in the vault with a jump of 15-1. He is looking towards a business major and continuing the family tradition at Michigan as Greenlee's mother and father both attended Michigan.
James comes to Michigan after competing as a high jumper at Haslett High School in Haslett, Mich. He claims the highest jump in the state of Michigan during the 2009 outdoor season with a clearance of 6-10 and was the 2009 Michigan indoor state runner-up in the event. Although primarily a high jumper, James will look to add some depth to the Wolverines triple jump event as well.
Joiner-Hill is a jumper from UD Jesuit High school in Detroit, Mich., where he is coached by Joe Beldyga. He is the 2008 Michigan state runner-up in the long jump and has a personal best of 22-7. Joiner-Hill will also look to add depth to the Wolverines in the sprints and triple.
Kline is a jumper and multi-event prospect from Flushing High School in Flushing, Mich., where he competes for coach Mike Lintz. The 2009 Michigan indoor champ in the long jump, Kline has jumped over 23-4, and he has ran 48.90 in the 400 meters, 22.16 in the 200 meters and 10.86 in the 100 meters. An 11-time all-conference performer in track and field, he also received similar honors in basketball and football during his high school career.
Ornelas is a versatile distance runner from Vista Ridge High School in Cedar Park, Texas, where he is coached by David Hilsentges. He has impressive personal bests, including 4:13 in the 1600 meters, 8:48.81 in the 3,000 meters, 9:28.34 in the 3,200 meters and 5:58.88 in the 2,000-meter steeplechase. Ornelas currently leads the nation in the steeplechase event.
Reynolds, a middle distance star from Rochester Adams High School in Rochester, Mich., is coached by Gary Inman. He will look to defend his state title in the 800 meters in 2009 after winning the DI championships in 2008 with a time of 1:53.0. Reynolds has split 48+ in the 1600-meter relay and plans to add the mile to his repertoire this outdoor season. A standout three-sport athlete (football and basketball), Reynolds is an outstanding wide receiver and defensive back who will give football a try in the fall.
Taylor is a teammate of Reynolds at Rochester Adams High School in Rochester, Mich., where he competes as a sprinter for coach Gary Inman. Taylor competes in summer and indoor track with Maximum Output Track Club under the guidance of U-M football/track alum Stan Edwards. A state finalist in both the 100- and 200-meter dash as a junior, Taylor had a stellar indoor campaign running 22.01 in the 200 meters, the 16th-best indoor performance in the nation by a senior. He has posted times of 10.7 in the 100 meters and 21.4 in the 200 meters during the 2009 outdoor season.
Contact: Joe Arancio (734) 763-4423