Week 7: Four Wolverines Set for Last-Chance Meet at Notre Dame
Provided by U of M
Fri-Sat., March 1-2 -- at Notre Dame Alex Wilson Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 6 p.m./11 a.m. [ Event Schedule ]
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The University of Michigan men's track and field team will send four student-athletes to compete in the Notre Dame Alex Wilson Invitational on Friday and Saturday (March 1-2) in an attempt to secure their spots at the NCAA Championships on March 8-9 in Fayetteville, Ark. Competition will begin on Friday at 6 p.m. and resume again on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Loftus Sports Center.
MICHIGAN COMPETITION SCHEUDLE
Friday, March 1
6 p.m. -- Pole Vault (Jack Greenlee)
Saturday, March 2
11 a.m. -- Shot Put (Cody Riffle, Derek Sievers)
12 p.m. -- High Jump (Bradley James)
• Qualifying Standards for NCAA Championships -- There are no qualifying standards for the championships season. Qualification to the championships is based on descending-order list for the season. For each individual event contested, the top 16 declared student-athletes will be accepted into the competition. For each relay event contested, the top 12 declared relay teams will be accepted into the competition. [ USTFCCCA Selection Criteria ]
Jack Greenlee • Pole Vault
Greenlee cleared a season-best height of 5.22 meters (17-1.50) to finish fourth at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. He currently ranks 47th in the NCAA. His career-best vault is 5.24 meters (17-2.25). Greenlee won the 2012 Big Ten outdoor pole vault title and is the only current Wolverine with a conference title, indoor or outdoor.
Bradley James • High Jump
James cleared a height of 2.14m (7-0.25) to finish fourth at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in one of the deepest fields at the conference meet. He currently ranks 42nd in the NCAA. His lifetime-best jump is 2.17 meters (7-1.50).
Cody Riffle • Shot Put
After redshirting during the 2012 season, Riffle returned to finish fourth at the Big Ten Indoor Championships with a throw of 18.40 meters (60-4.50). He currently holds the U-M school record with a mark of 19.25 meters (63-2).
Derek Sievers • Shot Put
In his debut at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, Sievers finished 11th in the shot put with a mark of 17.28m (56-8.50). His career-best throw of 17.55 meters (57-7) currently ranks 68th in the NCAA.
• Dan Lowry and Bobby Aprill will not compete in a last-chance meet as they continue to train for the NCAA Championships. The pair currently ranks 12th and 14th, respectively, in the 5,000-meter run. Ethan Dennis is also preparing for NCAAs as he currently ranks ninth in the NCAA in the weight throw with a school-record holding mark of 21.20 meters (69-6.75).
• Michigan finished ninth at the Big Ten Indoor Championships last weekend with eight student-athletes, as well as its 4x400-meter relay recording points.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
East Lansing, Mich.
On finishing fourth at Big Tens ... "I talked to a lot of people and the general consensus that everyone told me, and that I told myself, was to forget anything else because it's Big Tens and all that matters is showing up and trying to do your best and competing to leave it all on the line for your team. I blocked out any external variables, I didn't care who I was competing against or the fact that those guys were all extremely talented high jumpers, I just went out there and did my best, and did what I knew I was capable of."
On carrying that mentality into the last-chance meet this weekend ... "The mark that it's going to take to get to nationals is similar to what the automatic qualifier has been in the last five or so years, which only about five guys hit. This year, we're in a field where we already have 12 guys that have hit it and there's probably going to be a few more. I have to block out the fact that it's a tough mark to hit and just focus on doing the little things right -- making sure I get my sleep this week and just trusting my technique and my training. I have to do my best whether it's going to be a qualifier or not."
On what he's working on technically with his jump ... "This might sound extremely obvious, but the hardest thing for me this year has been jumping vertical. I know with high jump it might be a given, obviously I'm jumping up and trying to get over a bar, but technically it's something that I need to focus on because I can't focus too much on jumping too much into the bar and into the pit and worrying about making it into the pit. I need to stay vertical and make sure I give myself time to get up over the higher bars, which is the most important thing as the bar starts to get higher in to the 7-2, 7-3, 7-4 range."
On competing individually to make it to NCAAs instead for the team at Big Tens ... "I try to keep my mindset the same going into this meet. I guess in a sense it's a little less pressure than I've had to deal with because I don't have the concern of letting my teammates down and not getting those points for the team, but at the same time there is a lot more pressure given the nature of the meet. They call it the last-chance meet because if you don't do it at this meet, then you're not going to nationals. I try and keep my mindset the same going into the event to keep myself calm and not put too much pressure on myself."
On having other teammates to feed off this weekend at Notre Dame ... "Having more teammates there is always better -- they support me, I support them. When you see someone else do well, it gets you going. And having someone there to cheer for you is a positive as well. It's definitely a unity thing to be able to take a larger group, especially to bigger meets. Last-chance meets aren't quite nationals, but it's going to be a higher level meet. Taking a bigger group to those meets sends a good message about the group as a whole."
A LOOK AHEAD
Fri-Sat., March 8-9 -- at NCAA Indoor Championships (Fayetteville, Ark.), 10 a.m./11 a.m. CST
Contact: Whitney Dixon