June 7, 2010
Wed-Fri., June 9-12 -- at NCAA Outdoor Championships (Eugene, Ore.), 6:45 p.m./10 a.m./10 a.m. PDT
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Senior Lex Williams (Ann Arbor, Mich./Dexter), junior Carl Buchanon (South Bend, Ind./Clay) and junior Frank Shotwell (Medina, Ohio/Medina) of the University of Michigan men's track and field team will compete in the NCAA Outdoor Championships, beginning Wednesday (June 9) in Eugene, Ore.
Buchanon will run the preliminaries of the 400-meter hurdles at 6:45 p.m. PDT on Wednesday to kick things off. If he finishes first or second in his heat, or records one of the next two fastest times overall, he qualifies for the finals on Friday (June 11) at 5:05 p.m. PDT.
Shotwell is in the decathlon, which begins with the first five events at 10 a.m. PDT on Thursday (June 10) and concludes Friday beginning at the same time.
Lastly, Williams will run the 10,000-meter run at 7:25 p.m. PDT on Thursday.
Michigan at NCAA Championships
As one of the most storied track and field programs in history, Michigan athletes have excelled on the national level with 45 total NCAA titles, 34 of which have come outdoors. Former Wolverine Andrew Ellerton (2004-07) was the last to wear the Maize and Blue and capture an individual crown at the NCAA Championships, winning the 800-meter run in 2007.
Michigan has a streak of getting at least one outdoor All-American since 2002:
• 2002 -- Nate Brannen (800m Run), Alan Webb (1,500m Run), Mike Wisniewski (10,000m Run)
• 2003 -- Nate Brannen (800m Run)
• 2004 -- Andrew Ellerton (800m Run)
• 2005 -- Andrew Ellerton (800m Run), Nick Willis (5,000m Run)
• 2006 -- Michael Whitehead (Triple Jump)
• 2007 -- Andrew Ellerton (800m Run), Jeff Porter (110m Hurdles),
• 2008 -- Andre Barnes (4x400m Relay), Andrew Wechter (4x400m Relay), Dan Harmsen (4x400m Relay), Stann Waithe (4x400m Relay)
• 2009 -- Adam Harris (100m Dash)
The Wolverines finished in a tie for 48th place at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships, getting two points from Adam Harris (2006-09) in the 100-meter dash (seventh place).
A Look Back at NCAA East Region Preliminaries
Both Buchanon and Williams qualified for the NCAA Championships at the NCAA East Region Preliminaries (May 27-29) in Greensboro, N.C. Both men needed to finish in the top 12 to qualify for nationals. Williams finished ninth in the 10,000-meter run (29:57.88) and Buchanon finished 10th in the 400-meter hurdles (50.66)
Shotwell qualified by virtue of his performance at the Big Ten Championships on May 14-15 in Bloomington, Ind. The decathlon is not contested at the Preliminary Round sites, meaning the athletes with the top 24 point totals automatically qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
[ May 28 - Buchanon Punches Ticket ] [ May 27 - Williams Qualifies in 10k ]
HOW THEY GOT THERE
Buchanon Back at NCAAs
Carl Buchanon is returning to the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the second year in a row but is looking for better results this time around. He finished in 23rd place in the 400-meter hurdles last season, the same event which he will be running on Wednesday. He battled a lower back injury throughout the outdoor season this year but still scored a top-10 finish in every hurdles race. He set career highs in the 400-meter hurdles and the 400-meter dash this season, running the latter for the first time in his collegiate career during the indoor season.
Buchanon was the 2009 Big Ten Champion in the 400-meter hurdles and was also an All-Big Ten first team selection.
Also in the field: Johnny Dutch (South Carolina) and Jeshua Anderson (Washington State) head into the 400-meter hurdles as the favorites. Dutch won the race at the NCAA East Region Preliminaries, while Anderson won at the West Region Preliminaries. The Big Ten is well represented in the field as well. Joining Buchanon will be Cody Wisslead (Illinois), Ray Varner (Iowa) and Keenan Michael (Michigan State).
Shotwell Bounces Back From Injury-Ridden 2009
Frank Shotwell qualified for the NCAA Championships by finishing second in the decathlon at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships (May 14-15) in Bloomington, Ind. Though he lost the overall title by just two points to R.J. McGinnis of Minnesota, Shotwell's overall score of 7,379 points broke his own University of Michigan school record by 17 points (7,362 points), which he previously set nearly two years ago to the day (May 17, 2008). Shotwell holds the school record in the decathlon and heptathlon but is searching to become the first athlete in U-M history to be an All-American in the decathlon.
Shotwell spent much of last season on the shelf after tearing his hamstring in February 2009, requiring a six-month rehab. The injury prevented Shotwell from being able to defend his Big Ten titles in the heptathlon (indoor) and decathlon, which he swept in 2008 as a sophomore. He also qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships that year, finishing 20th (6,641 points).
In addition to his two Big Ten titles (only U-M athlete in history to win both), Shotwell is a three-time All-Big Ten selection -- two first-team nods in 2008 (indoor - heptathlon; outdoor - decathlon) and a second-team selection in 2010 (outdoor - decathlon). This season, he was one of 10 U-M athletes to be named All-American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
[ June 4 - Shotwell Prepped and Ready for NCAAs ] [ Shotwell's Road to NCAAs (Blog) ]
Also in the field: Ashton Eaton (Oregon) will have the home crowd in his favor and enters the event this season looking to secure his third straight NCAA title after winning the event in 2008 and 2009. He also won the NCAA indoor heptathlon title earlier this season, breaking the old NCAA record, which stood for 17 years. Shotwell and McGinnis are the only two Big Ten decathletes in the field.
Williams Makes Long Strides Towards NCAAs
From March 26 to May 1, Lex Williams had the nation's fastest time in the 10,000-meter run. He won the race with a time of 28:34.28 at the Stanford Invitational on March 26, in what was just the second time he ran the race in his career (first of the season). Williams heads to the NCAA Championships for the second straight year, after finishing in 23rd in the 5,000-meter run in 2009.
Williams has had a distinguished career at Michigan. He was an NCAA Indoor All-American in 2007 (as part of the distance medley relay) and also won two Big Ten titles in the same year (distance medley relay, 5,000-meter run). He's a two-time All-Big Ten selection, earning first team honors in 2007 (indoor - DMR) and second team honors in 2009 (outdoor - 5,000-meter run, 10,000-meter run).
[ June 7 - Williams Hopes to Go The Distance In Final Race for U-M ]
Also in the field: The leader of the field is Sam Chelanga (Liberty), who broke Williams' nation-best time at the Stanford-Jordan Invitational on May 1. He ran that race in 27:08.39. The next closest runner is Chris Barnicle (New Mexico), who ran it in 28:10.59. The only other Big Ten runner in the field is Tyler McCandless (Penn State).
Below is a brief history of Michigan athletes' success in the three events that will be contested this week:
Champions: 2 -- Robert Osgood (1936), Neil Gardner (1997)
All-Americans: 6 -- Don Cooper (1928*), Robert Osgood (1936), Dick Cephas (1960, 1961*), Neil Gardner (1996, 1997)
* - Indicates 440-yard hurdles
Champions: 2 -- John Scherer (1988, 1989)
All-Americans: 8 --- Bill Donakowski (1978), Gerald Donakowski (1983), Chris Brewster (1987), John Scherer (1987, 1988, 1989), Brad Barquist (1991), Mike Wisniewski (2002)
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423