U of M Men - Wolverines Help Big Ten Top Pac-12 in Tempe
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What You Need to Know
» U-M scored 19 points across middle-distance events to lead its scoring efforts on Saturday, helping the Big Ten defeat the Pac-12 in this weekend's conference showdown.
» After recording the No. 8 all-time hammer throw on Friday, junior/sophomore co-captain Grant Cartwright threw the No. 5 all-time shot put mark at 18.28 meters (59-11.75 ft.) to place runner-up and also scored sixth in the discus to add 11 points Michigan's contribution.
» Junior/sophomore Kevin Stephens Jr. jumped 15.10 meters (49-6.5 ft.) on his first attempt of the triple jump, landing the No. 8 mark in U-M outdoor history to place third overall.
» Freshman Brandon Piwinski made his Michigan debut and scored in the high jump, while Ben Hill, Jordy Hewitt and Matt Plowman made their outdoor debuts in middle-distance events.
• Complete Results PDF
Site: Tempe, Ariz. (Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium)
Event: Pac-12 vs. Big Ten Challenge (Day 2 of 2)
Final Score: Big Ten 378.25, Pac-12 346.75
Next U-M Event: Wed-Thu., March 30-31 -- at Texas Relays (Austin, Texas), 10:30 a.m./10 a.m. CDT
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The University of Michigan men's track and field team helped the Big Ten come out on top during a conference clash at Arizona State on Saturday (March 27), as U-M combined with Indiana, Penn State and Nebraska to outscore Arizona, Arizona State, Cal and Washington at the Pac-12 vs. Big Ten Challenge hosted by ASU at Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium.
Michigan's second day of competition was highlighted by steady scoring throughout the middle-distance races as well as a strong opener from junior/sophomore thrower Grant Cartwright in two events and an encouraging opening weekend in the jumps.
Head Coach Jerry Clayton felt his team responded well to an early-season competitive team setting.
"It's a great atmosphere here," said Clayton.
"I thought this meet was really good for us last year and this year it was a really good meet again. We had the whole team there together so we were able to have that experience this weekend and next weekend and I think that it's great to build that amongst the athletes. That's what we need later, going into the championship phase."
"We have to continue to improve on some things as we move into the season because we are looking to get our athletes the best seed marks they can get going into the conference meet. The goal is to get as many people as we can to set marks that will get them to the preliminary rounds."
On his final attempt during the first round of the shot put, Cartwright launched an 18.28-meter (59-11.75 ft.) throw, the fifth-furthest in U-M outdoor history, to improve his PR by more than two and a half feet and place runner-up. Cartwright also finished sixth in the discus, second among conference competitors, and landed a massive PR there as well. His first throw of the evening went 52.38 meters (171-10.25 ft.) and earned the Big Ten 11 points in all.
"It was a great overall meet," said Cartwright. The closeness the team is experiencing in training and outside the track and circle has translated into a healthy, competitive team environment that Cartwright says has the team feeling very optimistic about this outdoor season.
"We're really looking forward to the rest of the season. The culture in our locker room is really changing towards having the expectation to win and compete in everything we do. It's something that is instilled in a lot of the athletes we recruit. That's what we want to bring to Michigan, guys who want to represent the Block M and who are willing to compete and win to give their full effort into the task at hand. That's what a lot of guys we have are doing and that's who we want to bring into our program."
Cartwright was especially glad to see his throwing cohort perform so well this weekend, starting on Friday with the hammer throw.
"I'm incredibly proud of Joe and Brad's (Bolton) performances," Cartwright said. "Brad's lifetime best was a long time coming for him; he has been working really hard for that. Joe has been willing to do everything Coach Clayton's ever asked of him and it's a credit to the work that he's put in."
"I know our Javelin guys are taking positives away from this meet and that the deeper we get into this outdoor season things are only going to get better. I'm incredibly confident in both of them and overall I'm so proud and happy for what this throws crew is doing right now."
The Wolverines made much of their scoring contributions towards the Big Ten total in the middle-distance and distance events. After bringing in eight points in Friday night's 5K, U-M scored 19 points in the 800 and 1,500-meter runs on Saturday evening to continue the trend.
Fifth-year senior Mason Ferlic led the scoring effort at 1,500 meters, placing third in only his second race at that distance as a Wolverine. He shaved more than eight seconds off his time in the event from this meet in 2015, crossing at 3:44.67 in a photo finish behind Indiana's Rorey Hunter. Washington's Johnathan Stevens crossed at 3:43.70 for the win.
Sophomore Brennan Munley finished fifth in 3:47.35 and senior/junior Tony Smoragiewicz took seventh at 3:48.63, giving U-M 12 points in the event.
Freshman Jordy Hewitt led all U-M finishers at 800 meters, placing fourth in 1:50.93, not far off of his prep PR of 1:49.83. Junior/sophomore Aaron Baumgarten was next across the line in 1:52.29, placing seventh to give U-M two scorers among five entries.
Junior/sophomore Kevin Stephens Jr. -- a Frisco, Texas, native -- landed the No. 8 jump all-time at U-M when he went 15.10 meters (49-6.5 ft.) on his first attempt. Stephens placed third overall with that mark, which Clayton called "a really good start to the season for Kevin."
Freshman Brandon Piwinski made his first appearance wearing the 'Block M', and cleared 1.95 meters (6-4.75 ft.) on his first attempt. That mark landed him in a three-way tie for seventh place, earning him and the conference one point.
Fifth-year senior Phil Washington III led the scoring effort from the U-M sprinters, setting a .40-second PR at 200 meters (21.59) to finish runner-up in the second heat and score fifth in the event. He also turned in a solid 400-meter performance (48.16), just narrowly missing a scoring position, and Clayton added that he thought Washington turned in a good weekend overall.
Washington also timed a very good split in the 4x400-meter relay, running with senior/junior Alex Moran, freshman Ben Hill and Baumgarten to finish in 3:24.75. U-M's squad of sophomore Ryan Wilkie, Munley, freshman Jordy Hewitt and freshman Matthew Plowman scored in the second heat, timing 3:24.40.
Action picks back up early next week for U-M as select athletes will travel to the University of Texas for the Longhorns' Texas Relays (March 30-31). The majority of athletes will be in Durham, N.C. at the Battle of the Blues meet, where Michigan will face off with North Carolina and Duke in a two-day scored meet (Fri-Sat., April 1-2) while other athletes will run at the Stanford Invitational on the same days.
COLLEGIATE PERSONAL BESTS
Phil Washington III -- 21.59
Nate Chapman -- 49.73
Jordy Hewitt -- 1:50.95
Mason Ferlic -- 3:44.67
Brennan Munley -- 3:47.35
Tony Smoragiewicz -- 3:48.63
Grant Cartwright -- 52.38 meters (171-10.25 ft.)
Grant Cartwright -- 18.28 meters (59-11.75 ft.)
Kevin Stephens Jr. -- 15.10 meters (49-6.5 ft.)
Communications Contact: Chad Shepard