Weekly #5: Michigan Men Ready for Two-Day SPIRE Invitational

Weekly #5: Michigan Men Ready for Two-Day SPIRE Invitational

Provided by U of M


Fri-Sat., Feb. 10-11 -- at SPIRE Invitational (Geneva, Ohio), 2 p.m./10 a.m.

The University of Michigan men's track and field team will compete in the SPIRE Invitational on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 10-11) at the GaREAT Sports Complex in Geneva, Ohio. The first day of competition, which will feature only running and multi-events, will kick off at 2 p.m. on Friday with action resuming on Saturday with field events at 10 a.m. and the remainder of the running events at 11 a.m.

Competing Teams: No. 23 Auburn, East Carolina, No. 6 Florida State, George Mason, Georgetown, No. 12 Indiana, Michigan State, Syracuse, Guelph, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, No. 4 Texas, No. 9 Virginia Tech, Wichita State, Western Kentucky.


Setting the Scene -- This will mark the first time the SPIRE Institute is hosting the event. The SPIRE Institute was built in Geneva, Ohio, in 2008 to provide a centralized location to host various athletic events on all levels, including five collegiate track and field meets this year. The GaREAT Sports Complex is the nation's largest track and field center and features an eight-lane 300-meter Beynon track with two full 150-meter straightaways.

The Wolverines will be joined by 16 other teams from around the country, including five USTFCCCA top-25 squads. Michigan will also be one of three Big Ten schools competing, including No. 12 Indiana and Michigan State.

Wolverines of the Week -- Each week throughout the season, the track and field coaching staff will select up to five members of the team as Wolverines of the Week. "The team recognition is based on personal accomplishments that enhance team objectives and examples of competitive focus," said head coach Fred LaPlante.

This week's Wolverines of the Week are junior pole vaulter Jack Greenlee (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier HS) and the members of Michigan's distance medley relay from the Meyo Invitational. The relay team consisted of sophomore Nathan Karr (Ann Arbor, Mich. (Pioneer HS) in the 1,200-meter run, freshman Brian Snyder (Northfield, Ill./New Trier) running the 400-meter dash, freshman Dan Martin (Plymouth, Mich./Salem) in the 800-meter run and sophomore/freshman James Yau (Troy, Mich./Troy) in the mile. Greenlee recorded a personal-best vault of 5.16 meters (16-11.00) to finish fifth in the pole vault, while the DMR finished second with a season-best time of 9:54.66.

Personal Improvement -- At the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational, six Michigan student-athletes recorded personal-best marks. With four meets crossed of the 2012 schedule, 27 Wolverines have set new PRs in at least one event, with four improving in two or more events.

Last Time on the Track -- In two days of competition at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational, Michigan tallied six top-10 performances. Junior Jack Greenlee (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier HS) highlighted the field events, finishing fifth in the pole vault with a lifetime-best height of 5.16 meters (16-11.00). The Wolverines' distance medley relay recorded a runner-up finish, less than one second behind first-place Indiana in a season-best time of 9:54.66. Sophomore Herman Washington (Blacklick, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln) qualified for the 60-meter hurdle finals on the first day and used a personal-best time of 8.00 to place fifth overall. [ Recaps: Day One | Day Two | Michigan Daily ]

National Notables -- Michigan has two student-athletes ranked in the top 20 in the nation in their respective events. Junior/sophomore Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville HS) ranks 16th in the weight throw (66-10 1/2), while fifth-year senior Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) ranks 12th nationally in the 5,000-meter run. Forys clocked his nationally ranked time of 14:11.00 in his only competition of the season so far. [ NCAA Division I Indoor Rankings ]

Among The Big Ten's Best

Several Michigan track and field athletes rank among the best in the Big Ten through the early season (# - Converted mark)

Name Event Time/Mark Rank

Matthew Campbell (Sr.) 200m Dash 21.57 # 8

Brendon Blacklaws (Jr.) Mile Run 4:04.48 9

Craig Forys (5th) 5,000m Run 14:11.00 5

Mark Beams (R-Fr.) 5,000m Run 14:42.00 10

Herman Washington (So.) 60m Hurdles 8.00 6

Campbell, Taylor, P. Washington, Arastu 4x400m Relay 3:14.34 7

Bradley James (R-So.) High Jump 7-1 1/2 feet 2

Jack Greenlee (Jr.) Pole Vault 16-11 feet 4

Patrick Cochran (So.) Triple Jump 48-6 1/4 feet 9

Ethan Dennis (R-So.) 35-lb. Weight Throw 66-10 1/2 feet 5

Qualifying Standards for NCAA Championships -- For the second straight year, provisional standards are no longer part of the qualifying process. Championship fields will first be filled with those who declare for their events with automatic status. Then, the remainder of the field will be filled by the highest-remaining ranked performances. [ Indoor Qualifying Standards ]


Michigan men's track and field is on Facebook. Connect with the program, alumni and fans by clicking the "Like" button at facebook.com/michiganmenstrack. Also, be sure to follow the team on Twitter (@umichtrack) for up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond.


Saturday, Feb. 18 -- host Silverston Invitational (U-M Indoor Track Building), 10 a.m.

Fri-Sat., Feb. 24-25 -- at Big Ten Indoor Championships (Lincoln, Neb.), 10 a.m. CST