U of M - Arastu Takes Fourth in Hurdles to Become NCAA All-American

U of M - Arastu Takes Fourth in Hurdles to Become NCAA All-American

Provided by U of M

June 7, 2013

Site: Eugene, Ore. (Hayward Field)

Event: NCAA Outdoor Championships (Day 3 of 4)

U-M Team Standing: Tie-33rd Place (5 points) after Day 3

Next U-M Event: Season Complete

EUGENE, Ore. -- Junior Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville) of the University of Michigan men's track and field team finished fourth in the 400-meter hurdle final on the third day of the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Friday (June 7) at the University of Oregon's historic Hayward Field.

Arastu ran a career-best time of 49.37, edging the fifth-place finisher by .02 seconds to finish fourth and score five points for the Wolverines. With his performance, he became the sixth All-America first team member in the 400-meter hurdles in program history and first since 1997 when former Wolverine Neil Gardner also recorded a fourth-place finish.

Arastu wraps up the 2013 season for the Wolverines, as U-M will not have any student-athletes in action on the final day of NCAA Outdoors.

Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day 3)

400-meter Hurdles (Finals)

1. Reggie Wyatt, USC 48.58

4. Ali Arastu, U-M 49.37

• Previous Results: Day 2 | Day 1


U-M Junior Ali Arastu

On his race execution ... "Usually when I run that fast I don't even remember the race, which is a good thing, as Coach LaPlante always says. The main thing I've been working on is getting out hard, because I always get out a little slower -- I had to compete with these guys. I knew what I had to do. I got out hard, but those guys were still right on my tail. I knew I had a strong finish, and I could just compete the last 100 meters and give everything I had. I finished fourth, so I couldn't be happier."

On being the first U-M All-America first teamer in the 400m hurdles since 1997 ... "It's a huge accomplishment for me and for Michigan. I want to get this program back to another level, and it starts with baby steps. Hopefully, I can show some of the other guys the level we need to be competing at. This was an individual goal of mine, and I know others on the team are working hard to get to this level as well."

On finishing fourth after just missing finals last year ... "It's awesome. It still hasn't really hit me yet, but when I go back to Michigan and see all my friends and teammates, that's when it's going to really hit me. The best thing I love about running and competing is my teammates and the support system I have coming to congratulate me afterwards -- if I didn't have that, there is no way I could have made it to this point. The last two years I was happy and still competed at a high level, but I picked it up a notch this year and hopefully I can do that again next year and take it to another level."

On capping his junior year in Eugene ... "This is definitely an awesome city. Everyone always talks about running in Eugene, but you don't realize how great it is until you get here and you see the love of track and field in this city. The stands were full and people you don't even know were congratulating you. You usually don't get this with track and that really built into the energy I had during the race and helped me finish where I did."

Contact: Whitney Dixon