May 21, 2013
The University of Michigan men's track and field team will represented by 10 individuals, as well as its 4x100-meter relay, at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, which will be hosted by North Carolina A&T State University from Thursday to Saturday (May 23-25). Action will begin each at 10 a.m. at Irwin Belk Track.
The top 48 athletes in both the east and west regions in each event (in descending order), as well as the top 24 relays from each region, qualified for the meet. The athletes 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. This year's national meet will be held from June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore.
WOLVERINES IN ACTION
Name -- Event (Seed, Time/Mark)
Mason Ferlic -- 3,000m Steeplechase (9, 8:51.55)
Bobby Aprill -- 5,000m (6, 13:49.67)
Mark Beams -- 10,000m (27, 29:36.49)
Scotty Albaugh -- 10,000m (46, 29:48.77)
Herman Washington -- 110m Hurdles (11, 13.82)
Erick Gavin -- 110m Hurdles (46, 14.13)
Ali Arastu -- 400m Hurdles (1, 50.27)
Troy Sneller -- 400m Hurdles (39, 52.45)
Cody Riffle -- Shot Put (10, 18.80m)
Ethan Dennis -- Hammer Throw (8, 64.98m)
4x100m Relay -- (19, 40:25)
Five other teams from the Big Ten Conference will join Michigan at the East Preliminary Rounds, including two that are ranked in the USTFCCCA Division I top 25 -- No. 14 Penn State and No. 23 Ohio State. Indiana, Michigan State and Purdue round out the Big Ten schools in the region.
With his third-place finish and school-record setting performance at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, fifth-year senior Kurt Reichenbach (Brighton, Mich./Pinckney Community) automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships, as the decathlon is not contested at the regional level due to the grueling nature of the event. Reichenbach is seeded No. 22 out of 24 competitors with 7,412 points.
Scotty Albaugh Sophomore/Freshman 10,000m Waterford, Mich./Waterford Mott
Albaugh will make his first career appearance at the NCAA East Prelims, as he redshirted last year. He became one of just three freshmen to earn a spot in the 10,000-meter run at the regional meet, after clocking a career-best time of 29:48.77 at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, where he finished ninth.
Bobby Aprill Fifth-Year Senior 5,000m Dexter, Mich./Dexter
Aprill qualified for the NCAA East Prelims for the fourth time in his career and first time in the 5,000-meter run, as he competed in the 10,000-meter run in 2010 and 2011. However, due to a foot injury suffered in practice this week, Aprill will be unable to participate in the regional meet.
Ali Arastu Junior 400m Hurdles Northville, Mich./Northville
Arastu will be making his third straight trip to the NCAA East Prelims in the 400-meter hurdles and currently owns the top time in the east region this season at 50.27. He finished sixth in the east region a year ago before placing ninth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, earning All-America second team honors. He finished runner-up at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships in 2012 and 2013, securing All-Big Ten first team recognition on both occasions. His career-best time of 49.43 came at the 2012 conference meet and met the U.S. Olympic Trials 'A' automatic standard.
Mark Beams Junior/Sophomore 10,000m Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg
Beams will be making his NCAA East Prelims debut in the 10,000-meter run. He finished eighth at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships in 29:45.51 -- just nine seconds off his career best of 29:36.49, which he recorded at the Mt. SAC Relays (April 18).
Ethan Dennis Senior/Junior Hammer Throw Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville
Dennis will be making his third consecutive appearance at the NCAA East Prelims in the hammer throw. A year ago, he finished one place shy of qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 13th place. He finished third at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships and currently owns the school record in the hammer throw with a mark of 62.75 meters (213-2).
Mason Ferlic Sophomore/Freshmen 3,000m Steeplechase St. Paul, Minn./Mounds Park Academy
Ferlic will be making his NCAA East Prelims debut, as he redshirted during the 2012 season. He is one of eight freshmen to qualify for the meet in the steeplechase and the second-highest ranked freshman at No. 9, behind top-ranked Zak Seddon from Florida State. He finished fourth at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships in just his second career steeple race. His career-best time of 8:51.55 came in his collegiate steeple debut at the Toledo Invitational (May 3).
Erick Gavin Junior 110m Hurdles Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic
Gavin will be making his first career appearance at the NCAA East Prelims in the 110-meter hurdles. He finished 11th at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships in a time of 14.44. His career-best time of 14.13, which he clocked at the tri-meet against Cal and Virginia, earned him the No. 46 spot in the east region.
Cody Riffle Junior/Sophomore Shot Put Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit
Riffle will be making his second trip to the regional meet, as he competed in the shot put and discus as a freshman but redshirted last year. He declared in only the shot put this year and owns the 10th-best mark in the east region at 18.80 meters (61-8.25), which is a U-M school record. Riffle most recently finished fourth in the shot put at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships.
Troy Sneller Senior/Junior 400m Hurdles Hamilton, Mich./Hamilton
Sneller will be making his first career trip to the NCAA East Prelims in the 400-meter hurdles. He finished eighth in the 400m hurdle finals at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships after running a career-best time of 52.45 in the prelims.
Herman Washington Junior 110m Hurdles Blacklick, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln
Washington will be making his third straight appearance at the NCAA East Prelims in the 110-meter hurdles. He did not place at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships as he did not finish the race after falling over a hurdle. His personal-best time of 13.82, which he clocked at the UNC Joe Hilton Invitational (April 13), ranks 11th in the east region.
Michigan's 4x100-meter relay team will consist of sophomore/freshman Codie Nolan (Morenci, Mich./Adrian), senior Aaron Taylor (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams), junior Justin Clarke (Flint, Mich./Southwestern) and freshman Antonio Whitfield (Canal Winchester, Ohio/Canal Winchester). Sophomore Philip Washington (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield) will also make the trip to North Carolina as an alternate. Whitfield replaced fifth-year senior Matthew Campbell (Rochester, Mich./Rochester) for the Big Ten Championship 4x100-meter relay finals after Campbell tore his Achillies tendon in the 200-meter prelims. The relay clocked the third-fastest time in program history at 40.25 at the Toledo Invitational (May 3).
WOLVERINE IN THE RECORD BOOK
There are currently seven 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), Cody Riffle (shot put, 61-8.25) and Kurt Reichenbach (decathlon, 7,412 points) 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 60-11.75, which was previously set by Steve Adams in 1972, at the tri-meet with California and Virginia (April 6). Reichenbach set a new school standard of 7,412 points to finish in third place in the decathlon at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships (May 11).
|Herman Washington||110m Hurdles||5th||13.82|
|Ali Arastu||400m Hurdles||2nd||49.43|
|Cody Riffle||Shot Put||1st||61-8.25 ft.|
|Cody Riffle||Discus||5th||179-6 ft.|
|Ethan Dennis||Hammer Throw||1st||213-2 ft.|
|Brad Bolton||Hammer Throw||3rd||197-8 ft.|
|Stephen Burk||Javelin||3rd||197-2 ft.|
|Kurt Reichenbach||Decathlon||1st||7,412 points|
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
| Cody Riffle
On how he's grown since regionals his freshman year ... "I don't think I can even measure how much I've grown. My freshman year was so weird -- I had some pretty good marks that year, but I don't think I was mentally ready to take that challenge on. Now, I feel like I'm more confident competing at bigger meets against big name athletes. I have the confidence to go into meets and know that I have a chance to win the whole thing and advance to the next round, whereas before I don't think I was even close to the same mindset."
On adjustments made since the Big Ten meet ... "I actually qualified for discus as well, but I just declared for shot put because we wanted to focus more on shot put, knowing that I'd have a better shot at that to advance and be an All-America, which is our goal. Sometimes I feel like discus gets in the way of that so we decided to leave it to the summer and practice more then for competitions next year. I try not to let it affect me during the season, but naturally your body starts doing things that you wouldn't want it to do when you start throwing discus and shot put at the same time. It's a big relief knowing that I only have to practice one thing because my body will naturally start doing movements that I would otherwise have to make it do."
On having a strong Michigan presence at regionals ... "That's one of the things I've always talked about -- the difference that a group of guys makes, rather than just having one guy. When you're by yourself, there is no energy for you or your teammates and it's hard to feel like you're facing your competition by yourself. When you have a group of guys there it's great -- especially Ethan (Dennis) because we usually room together anyways, so it will be like any other meet. It's going to make a world of difference having people there to support you and cheer for you."
On building off his performance at indoor nationals ... "I've had an okay outdoor season -- I've been more consistent and had good marks, but nothing huge yet. I'm hoping that those big marks come within the next few weeks. Something I've been striving to do all year is to get to the national meet outdoors and make something happen -- my goal is to be a First Team All-American, but right now it's all about getting there. I get really excited this time of year -- Big Tens was a taste of that and it will only get better in the next few weeks."
On his summer plans after competition ends ... "I'm taking spring and summer classes this year while I stay in Ann Arbor to train. I'm also trying to get a job in Ann Arbor to bring in a few extra bucks. I'm a communications and sociology major so I'm going to try and expand a get some more experience this summer in addition to my training."
A LOOK AHEAD
Wed-Sat., June 5-8 -- at NCAA Championships (Eugene, Ore.), Noon/11 a.m./12:30 p.m./12:30 p.m. PDT
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423