Week 17: Five Wolverines to Wrap Up Season at NCAAs
MGOBLUE Ethan Dennis
MGOBLUE
Ethan Dennis
MGOBLUE

June 4, 2013

THIS WEEKEND
Wed-Sat., June 5-8 -- at NCAA Outdoor Championships (Eugene, Ore.), Noon/11 a.m./12:30 p.m./12:30 p.m. PDT

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The University of Michigan men's track and field team will represented by junior Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville) in the 400-meter hurdles, senior/junior Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) in the hammer throw, sophomore/freshman Mason Ferlic (St. Paul, Minn./Mounds Park Academy) in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, fifth-year senior Kurt Reichenbach (Brighton, Mich./Pinckney Community) in the decathlon and junior/sophomore Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) in the shot put at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which run from June 5-8 at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

Twelve competitors from the east and west regions in each individual event and 12 teams from each relay event advanced from the preliminary championship competitions to the NCAA Championships.

WOLVERINES IN ACTION

Mason Ferlic -- 3,000m Steeplechase (12, 8:41.83)
Semifinals (Wednesday, June 5, at 6:45 p.m. PDT); Finals (Friday, June 7, at 5:40 p.m. PDT)

Ali Arastu -- 400m Hurdles (15, 51.17)
Semifinals (Wednesday, June 5, at 6:15 p.m. PDT); Finals (Friday, June 7, at 4:40 p.m. PDT)

Cody Riffle -- Shot Put (15, 18.48m)
Trials/Finals (Wednesday, June 5, at 5:30 p.m. PDT)

Ethan Dennis -- Hammer Throw (13, 64.29m)
Trials/Finals (Thursday, June 6, at 1:30 p.m. PDT)

Kurt Reichenbach -- Decathlon (22, 7,412 points)
Wednesday, June 5, at noon PDT; Thursday, June 6, at 11 a.m. PDT

WOLVERINE BITES

• This year, Michigan will be represented in two more events than it was a year ago at the national meet. In 2012, the Wolverines competed in the 400-meter hurdles, 3,000-meter steeplechase and 4x400-meter relay.

• Michigan has had one student-athlete compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Championships in each of the last three years. Craig Forys finished ninth in 2011 and second in 2012, while Mason Ferlic will represent U-M at this year's national meet.

• Michigan has had one student-athlete compete in the 400-meter hurdles at the national meet in each of the last five years. Former Wolverine Carl Buchanon represented Michigan in 2009 and 2010, while Ali Arastu will make his third consecutive appearance in the event this week.

• Hammer thrower Ethan Dennis and shot putter Cody Riffle will each make their career debuts at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, snapping more than a 10-year absence at the national outdoor meet for Michigan throws.

Kurt Reichenbach is Michigan's first decathlete to compete in the NCAA Championships since former Wolverine Frank Shotwell finished 14th in 2010. Shotwell also represented U-M in the decathlon at the NCAA Championships in 2008.

ATHLETE BREAKDOWN

Ali Arastu • Junior • 400m Hurdles • Northville, Mich./Northville
Arastu will be making his third straight trip to the NCAA Championships in the 400-meter hurdles. He finished just outside scoring position a year ago in ninth place, earning All-America second team honors. In his NCAA Outdoor Championship debut in 2011, he placed 24th.

Ethan Dennis • Senior/Junior • Hammer Throw • Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville
Dennis, a two-time NCAA Indoor Championships participant, will be making his first career appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the hammer throw. He finished fifth at the 2013 NCAA East Preliminaries to advance to Eugene. A year ago at the NCAA East Preliminaries, he finished one place shy of qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 13th place. He currently owns the school record in the hammer throw with a mark of 62.75 meters (213-2).

Mason FerlicSophomore/Freshmen 3,000m Steeplechase St. Paul, Minn./Mounds Park Academy
Ferlic will be making his NCAA Championships debut, as he redshirted during the 2012 season. He is one of three freshmen to qualify for the meet in the steeplechase and the highest ranked freshman at No. 12. His career-best time of 8:41.83 was the second-fastest time clocked at the NCAA East Preliminaries (May 24), where he ran just the third steeplechase race of his career.

Cody RiffleJunior/Sophomore Shot Put Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit
Riffle, who made his NCAA Championships debut at the 2013 national indoor meet, will be making his first career appearance at the outdoor national meet in the shot put. He finished seventh in the shot at the NCAA East Preliminaries to advance to Eugene. Riffle owns the school record with a mark of 18.80 meters (61-8.25).

Kurt ReichenbachFifth-Year Senior Decathlon Brighton, Mich./Pinckney Community
With his third-place finish and school-record setting performance at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, Reichenbach 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.

WOLVERINE IN THE RECORD BOOK
Three of Michigan's student-athletes who will compete at the NCAA Championships currently hold school records in their respective events.

Ethan Dennis (hammer throw, 213-2), Cody Riffle (shot put, 61-8.25) and Kurt Reichenbach (decathlon, 7,412 points) each hold school records -- 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).

Ali Arastu also ranks second in program history in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 49.43, which he clocked at the 2012 Big Ten Outdoor Championships to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

NameEventRankTime/Mark
Cody RiffleShot Put1st61-8.25 ft.
Ethan DennisHammer Throw1st213-2 ft.
Kurt ReichenbachDecathlon1st7,412 points
Ali Arastu400m Hurdles2nd49.43

2012 NCAA Championships in Review: Michigan sent two student-athletes, as well as the 4x400-meter relay, to the 2012 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.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

K. Reichenbach Kurt Reichenbach
Fifth-Year Senior
Multi-Events
Brighton, Mich.

On being the first decathlete to qualify for NCAAs since 2010 ... "It's good to get Michigan back to this level in the decathlon. Frank Shotwell went in 2010 which was pretty sweet to see. It was great to beat his school record and know that we're still doing well in the decathlon after things weren't going so well before that."

On how things have been going since Big Tens ... "Training has been going pretty well, but I've been resting up more than anything. I was pretty beat up after the last decathlon at Big Tens, but that's pretty normal with this event. I've been focused on the hurdles and the throw -- throws are my weak point so I've been getting ready for those events."

On his last trip as a collegiate athlete ... "Eugene is pretty much the best place in the country to run track, so to have your last meet here, my first trip here ever and be at the national championships is the best of all worlds. We have five guys here competing for Michigan, which is the most we've had here in a couple years. It's good to have some support here -- when you're out here by yourself it's hard, so it's nice to have some other guys here to support each other. We're also looking forward to hanging out and having some fun here in Eugene."

On the favorite moment of his collegiate career ... "My favorite meet would have to be Big Tens this year, setting the school record and having such an awesome meet. Even though it was in the rain, it was probably the best moment of my career. Another favorite meet was my sophomore year at Iowa, when I scored at Big Tens, which was a big goal of mine at the time. That was another really rainy meet, so I've had some pretty good luck in the rain."

On what he'll take away from being a student-athlete at Michigan ... "The biggest thing I've learned is that it's great to be a Michigan Wolverine. Another big one is just being there for your teammates and having some good guys that you can look up to and know that they'll also compete really well. The whole experience has been great. This is one of the best universities in the world and I don't have any complaints from my time here."

Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423