U-M Men Finishes Day Two Strong to Claim Colonial Relays Title

U-M Men Finishes Day Two Strong to Claim Colonial Relays Title

Provided by U of M

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- The University of Michigan men's track and field team held on to its lead from the first day of competition to win the William & Mary Colonial Relays on Saturday (April 7) at Zable Stadium. Michigan tallied 167.0 points to finish 17 points ahead of second-place Bucknell (150.0). The Wolverines finished the two-day event with victories in three events, including the hammer throw, 400-meter hurdles and sprint medley relay.

On the final day of competition, Michigan finished in the top 10 in every event. In the Wolverines' first time running the sprint medley relay this season, they won the event in a time of 3:25.76. The relay consisted of sophomore Eric Oliver (Berkeley, Calif./Homewood-Flossmoor [Ill.]) running the 400-meter leg , senior Nick Neuman (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) and junior/sophomore Troy Sneller (Hamilton, Mich./Hamilton) in the middle 200-meter legs and junior Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College) finishing with the final 800 meters.

Michigan also competed in five other relays, finishing runner-up in each of them. It marked the first time this season U-M ran the 4x100-meter, distance medley, 4x200-meter, 4x1,500-meter and 4x400-meter relays.

In the 4x100-meter relay, fifth-year senior Robert Peddlar (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmer's Boys), junior Aaron Taylor (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams), sophomore Justin Clarke (Flint, Mich./Southwestern) and sophomore Erick Gavin (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) clocked a time of 41.70 -- just 0.6 seconds behind first-place Hampton.

Michigan's distance medley relay featured three freshmen and one fifth-year senior. The squad, which was comprised of sophomore/freshman James Yau (Troy, Mich./Troy), freshman Philip Washington (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield), freshman Scott Dvorak (Westmont, Ill./Westmont), and fifth-year senior Craig Forys (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck), took second in 9:52.99 -- 0.53 seconds behind first-place Virginia Tech.

The 4x200-meter relay team was made up of Philip Washington, sophomore Patrick Cochran (Erie, Pa./ McDowell), sophomore Herman Washington (Blacklick, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln) and Taylor and took second in a time of 1:25.63.

Later in the day, Blacklaws, Forys, Dvorak and Yau teamed up in the 4x1,500-meter relay, placing second in 15:50.92. In the 4x400-meter relay, Michigan finished second overall but was the top collegiate squad to cross the finish line. The relay consisted of Neuman, senior Matthew Campbell (Rochester, Mich./Rochester), Oliver and sophomore Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville).

After finishing first in the prelims and semifinals of the 100-meter dash on the opening day, Clarke placed fifth in the finals with a time of 11.81. His time of 10.59 in the prelims was a new personal record.

All three of Michigan's 110-meter hurdlers who qualified for today's final finished in the top eight of the event. Gavin led the trio, finishing third in 14.31, while Herman Washington (14.42) and Arastu (14.60) took fifth and eighth, respectively.

In the field, Cochran recorded a personal-best mark of 14.56 meters (47-9.25) to finish runner-up.

On Friday, junior/sophomore hammer thrower Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) and 400-meter hurdler Arastu started things off for the Wolverines, winning their events. Dennis recorded a personal-best toss of 61.33 meters (201-2.00), while Arastu ran a winning time of 51.41.

In the pole vault, fifth year senior Taylor Voice (Boyne City, Mich./Boyne City) finished runner up, clearing a height of 4.65 meters (15-3.00). Peddlar also finished second, leaping 7.34 meters (24-1.00) in the long jump.

In the 5,000-meter run, Forys (13:52.14) and sophomore Morsi Rayyan (Dewitt, Mich./St. Johns) recorded personal-best marks to finish third and seventh, respectively. Rayyan shaved more than 20 seconds off his pervious PR.

Michigan will be back in action next Friday and Saturday (April 13-14) at the Spec Townes National Team Invitational in Athens, Ga.

Top 10 Teams (Final)


2. Bucknell 150

3. Hampton 92

4. Virginia Tech 74

5. Rutgers 70

6. Villanova 42

7. Robert Morris 39

8. Virginia 38

8. Rider 38

10. Fordham 36

Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day 2)

Triple Jump

1. Kevin Bostick, Rutgers 14.95m (49-0.75)

2. Patrick Cochran, U-M 14.56m (47-9.25)

110m Hurdles (Final)

1. Adams Abdulrazaaq, Unattached 14.00

3. Erick Gavin, U-M 14.31

5. Herman Washington, U-M 14.42

8. Ali Arastu, U-M 14.60

100m Dash (Final)

1. Brien Berry, Hampton 10.76

5. Justin Clarke U-M 11.82

4x100m Relay

1. Hampton 'A' 41.10

2. MICHIGAN 'A' 41.70

(Robert Peddlar, Aaron Taylor,

Justin Clarke, Erick Gavin)

Distance Medley Relay

1. Virginia Tech 'A' 9:52.46

2. MICHIGAN 'A' 9:52.99

(James Yau, Philip Washington,

Scott Dvorak, Craig Forys)

Sprint Medley Relay

1. MICHIGAN 'A' 3:25.76

(Eric Oliver, Nick Neuman,

Troy Sneller, Brendon Blacklaws)

4x200m Relay

1. Hampton 'A' 1:25.09

2. MICHIGAN 'A' 1:25.63

(Philip Washington, Patrick Cochran,

Herman Washington, Aaron Taylor)

4x1,500m Relay

1. William and Mary 'A' 15:49.33

2. MICHIGAN 'A' 15:50.92

(Brendon Blacklaws, Craig Forys,

Scott Dvorak, James Yau)

4x400m Relay

1. Pierce Sports 'A' 3:11.98

2. MICHIGAN 'A' 3:12.13

(Nick Neuman, Matthew Campbell,

Eric Oliver, Ali Arastu)

• Day 1 Results


Name Event Mark

Patrick Cochran Triple Jump 14.56m (47-9.25)


Michigan Head Coach Fred LaPlante

On winning the meet ... "If there's a meet that's scored, your hope is that you're going to come out on top. We didn't plug our guys in certain areas specifically to get the most points we could; we put guys in areas where we felt that needed to be for this time of year. Whatever the situation they were in, they knew the point scoring and I think that adds a little motivation to it. It was nice to win the meet. It was the first time we've competed in the Colonial Relays when there was team scoring and we got first."

On the different between the Colonial Relays and the USC Invite ... "I think the meet served a few purposes for us -- it gave us the opportunity to compete and also get a volume of work in without really missing any training, so it was a real positive for us. The quantity of the quality at this meet wasn't the same as it was at USC, but there were more people competing here. We had people in every opportunity that had to compete well and I think that's what you want to have happen. Because there were so many teams, individually each team may not have been great, but when you put all those teams together, we always had competition."

On running several different relays ... "There were a lot of relays here that aren't at the national championships. They have the 4x1 and 4x4 relays at the Big Ten and national championships. Here they had a 4x2, a distance medley, a sprint medley, a 4x1,500 meters and we participated in all of those. We tried to divide our team up where pretty much everyone who was in a running event found themselves in a relay, often times with someone they've never run relays with before. It's kind of a neat feeling when you're on the same team and you're trying to help your teammates out in that particular event to finish as high as they can. I thought that was a really good think. We won one relay and took second in five others, which was good. The competition was good, but we were right in there on all those. It gave a lot of guys an opportunity to feel competition and get to help their teammates succeed. I think the number of relay events was a real positive for us."

On other performances he was pleased with ... "Ali's (Arastu) 400-meter hurdles was another step forward for him and a good mark for him this time of year. Brendon Blacklaws in the 1,500 meter was an outstanding mark. And then in the 5,000, Craig Forys ran well, but I think the surprise for us was Morsi Rayyan. I think he had almost a 30 second personal best. His time is very credible -- it's an outstanding mark for him in the 5K. Justin Clarke was our disappointment of the meet. He ran very well yesterday in the 100, he ran a fast time and certainly was a favorite in the meet and he pulled up in the 100, so he's got a little tweak there. His performances on Friday were really impressive, he really stepped it up a notch. Ethan Dennis had a lifetime best in the hammer throw, so that was a great mark for him."

U-M Sophomore Morsi Rayyan

On running a 23-second PR in the 5K ... "I can relate it a lot to how I felt in my breakout race last year at Stanford when I ran 14:20. Everything came together. I felt good, my legs felt good, my breathing was under control and I was focused. With 800 to go, I saw Craig 10 meters in front of me, which kind of caught me off guard. I kept my composure and finished the race.

On his improvement from cross country to track ... "In track we do a lot more speed work on the track instead of just long, drawn out workouts like in cross country. That plays in my favor with my running style and body type. I think I've made a lot of improvements in strength and fitness with the more track oriented workouts that we've been doing."

On his confidence and goals moving forward ... "It was a big threshold to break 14 minutes. It pretty much guarantees a regional qualifying time in the 5K, so I think we're just going to look at the 10K now and try to get another qualifying time. I hope to just keep moving up."