Weekly #9: U-M Men to Divide Team in Half for Three Competitions

Weekly #9: U-M Men to Divide Team in Half for Three Competitions

Provided by U of M

After a week off from competition, the University of Michigan men's track and field team will divide its squad in half for three different meets this week. Select distance runners, sprinters and hurdlers will travel to California to compete in the Mt. SAC Relays (Thu-Sat., April 17-19) in Walnut, Calif., and the Beach Invitational (Saturday, April 19) in Norwalk, Calif. The Wolverine field event athletes as well as select middle-distance runners and sprinters will compete in the Kentucky Relays on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. CDT.


Mt. SAC Relays: Scotty Albaugh, Mark Beams, Mason Ferlic, Erick Gavin, George Kelly, Chris Maye, Codie Nolan, August Pappas, Michael Parker Jr., Nick Posada, Tony Smoragiewicz, Troy Sneller, Morsi Rayyan, Herman Washington, James Yau

Beach Invitational: Erick Gavin, George Kelly, Chris Maye, Codie Nolan, Michael Parker Jr., Troy Sneller, James Yau

Kentucky Relays: Brandon Alfond, Brad Bolton, Stephen Burk, Patrick Cochran, Ethan Dennis, Justin Gaumer, Bradley James, Louis Lamberti, Joshua Nance, Ben Reed, Nick Renberg, Cody Riffle, Jeff Sattler, Derek Sievers, Stephen Sykes, James Vincent


• Mason Ferlic was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week on April 9, after clocking the top 3,000-meter steeplechase time in the Big Ten and fourth-best mark in the nation this season. His time of 8:47.91 won the steeplechase at the tri-meet against California and Virginia by more than 27 seconds. It marked Ferlic's second career Big Ten weekly track and field honor.

• Mark Beams and August Pappas will make their season debut in the 10,000-meter run on Thursday night(April 17) . Pappas opened the season in the 5,000-meter run at the Raleigh Relays, where he finished eighth in Section B (14:23.97), while Beams made his season debut in the 5,000-meter run in the tri-meet against Cal and Virginia, taking fifth in 14:20.83.

• Several Wolverines will have busy lineups this weekend, as they will compete in both the Mt. SAC Relays and Beach Invitational. Sprinters sophomore/freshman Chris Maye (Union City, Mich./Union City) and junior/sophomore Codie Nolan (Morenci, Mich./Adrian) will both compete in the 100- and 200-meter dash at Mt. SAC and at the Beach Invitational and will also run on the 4x100-meter relay at Mt. SAC. Senior/junior Michael Parker Jr. (Jackson, Mich./Michigan Center) will also be a member of the 4x100-meter relay, in addition to doubling in the 400-meter hurdles at Mt. SAC and the Beach Invitational. Fifth-year senior Troy Sneller (Hamilton, Mich./Hamilton) will run the 400-meter hurdles at Mt. SAC and return to run the 400m hurdles and 400-meter dash at the Beach Invitational. Senior Erick Gavin (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) will participate in the 110-meter hurdles at both events.

Outdoor Advantages

• Several new events will be contested during the outdoor season that were not during the indoor season. The 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles will be replaced by the 100-meter dash and 110-meter hurdles; the mile run will be replaced by the 1,500-meter run; and the weight throw will be replaced with the hammer throw. The 400-meter hurdles, 3,000-meter steeplechase, 10,000-meter run, javelin and discus, as well as the 4x100-meter relay, will also be added to the list of events.

Michigan will benefit from several of the different outdoor events added to the outdoor lineup:

Junior/sophomore Mason Ferlic (St. Paul, Minn./Mounds Park Academy) is a returning Second Team All-American in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, as he finished 13th at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Competing in the steeplechase for the first time just one meet prior to the 2013 Big Ten Championships, Ferlic excelled quickly and contributed immediately, finishing fourth at the conference meet. He opened up the season in the steeplechase at the Cal-Virginia tri-meet, clocking a time of 8:47.91, which ranks first in the Big Ten and fourth in the nation. Ferlic was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week for the second time in his career on April 9, for his season-opening performance.

Senior/junior Mark Beams (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg) and junior/sophomore Scotty Albaugh (Waterford, Mich./Waterford Mott) finished eighth and ninth, respectively, in the 10,000-meter run at the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships and also qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds. Albaugh currently ranks seventh in the Big Ten in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 30:00.97. Beams opened the season at the Cal-Virginia tri-meet in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 14:20.83. He will make his season debut in the 10,000-meter run at the Mt. SAC Relays this weekend.

Fifth-year senior Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) and junior/sophomore Brad Bolton (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro) compete for U-M in the hammer throw during the outdoor season. Dennis is the school record holder in the hammer throw (62.75m, 213-2) and a returning All-America honorable mention. Bolton redshirted during the 2013 outdoor season following an impressive freshman campaign that saw him finish ninth at the 2012 Big Ten Indoor Championships and qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds. Bolton currently ranks third on U-M's all-time performance list with his throw of 60.73 meters (199-3) that he recorded at the season-opening North Florida Invitational (March 28-29).

Sophomore/freshman Stephen Burk (Parsippany, N.J./Parsippany), who only competes for the Wolverines during outdoor season in the javelin, returned to action for the first time since the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships at the North Florida Invitational (March 28-29). He won the javelin at UNF with a mark of 68.10 meters (223-5), which moved him into second on U-M's all-time performance list. He also won the javelin at the tri-meet versus Cal and Virginia with a toss of 64.40 meters (211-3).

Fifth-year senior Troy Sneller (Hamilton, Mich./Hamilton), who finished eighth at the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships and qualified for the 2013 NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in the 400-meter hurdles, returned for his final season in Maize and Blue. Sneller, who competed in the 600-meter run indoors, excels more in the 400-meter hurdles outdoors.

Other Key Wolverines

• Senior/junior Patrick Cochran (Erie, Pa./McDowell), who redshirted the 2014 indoor season, returned to compete for the Wolverines during the outdoor season opener. In his first competition since the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, Cochran finished runner-up in the long jump at the North Florida Invitational (March 28) with a mark of 7.54 meters (24-9), which ranks second in the Big Ten and 10th on U-M's all-time performance list. His mark was more than a two-foot personal record.

• Junior/sophomore Derek Sievers (Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center) made big strides for the Wolverines during the 2014 indoor season, where he finished eighth in the shot put at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Sievers owns U-M's best shot put (17.23m, 56-6.5) and discus (51.72m, 169-8) marks so far this season, which rank eighth and 10th, respectively, on Michigan's all-time top 10 performance list.

• Senior/junior shot putter Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit), who missed the majority of the indoor season due to a hand injury will make his outdoor season debut this Saturday at the Kentucky Relays. This will mark Riffle's first competition since the indoor season-opener on Jan. 18 at the Simmons-Harvey Invitational. He is the school record holder in the shot put (18.80m, 61-8.25) and a returning Second Team All-American.

Michigan Among the Big Ten

• After two weeks of competition, Michigan has six student-athletes, as well as its 4x400-meter relay, ranked in the top eight in the Big Ten (the top eight score at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships).

Name Event Time/Mark Rank

Nick Posada 10,000m 29:57.84 6

Scotty Albaugh 10,000m 30:00.97 7

Mason Ferlic 3,000m Steeplechase 8:47.91 1

4x100m Relay 41.72 8

Patrick Cochran Long Jump 7.54m (24-9) 2

Ethan Dennis Hammer Throw 64.60m (211-11) 4

Stephen Burk Javelin 68.10m (223-5) 3


• Eleven student-athlete who will compete in uniform for U-M this outdoor season are currently ranked on the program's all-time top-10 outdoor performance list:

Name Event RankTime/Mark (Year)

Mason Ferlic 3,000m steeplechase 6th 8:41.83 (2013)

Herman Washington 110m hurdles 5th 13.82 (2013)

Bradley James High Jump 8th 7-0 1/2 (2011)

Patrick Cochran Long Jump 10th 24-9 (2014)

Cody Riffle Shot Put 1st 61-3 1/2 (2013)

Discus 5th 179-6 (2011)

Ethan Dennis Hammer 1st 213-2 (2013)

Brad Bolton Hammer 3rd 199-3 (2014)

Stephen Burk Javelin 2nd 223-5 (2014)

Codie Nolan 4x100m Relay 3rd 40.25 (2013)


• Jerry Clayton is in his first year as Michigan's head coach, working primarily with U-M's field event athletes. Prior to moving to Ann Arbor, Clayton spent 15 seasons as an assistant head coach at Auburn. He has strong Big Ten ties, as he competed for Illinois and was two-time NCAA qualifier in the shot put, and returned to Illinois as an assistant coach from 1980-89. Clayton has produced several high-level national and international athletes, including 16 NCAA individual champions, 85 NCAA All-Americans, 39 international team competitors, 24 qualifiers for the U.S. Olympic Trials and 33 participants in Olympic Games and World Championship competition.

• Assistant coach Steven Rajewsky is in his first year as a member of U-M's coaching staff, working primarily with U-M's sprinters and hurdles. Prior to coming to Michigan, Rajewsky spent six years as an assistant coach at Kent State.

• Assistant coach Alex Gibby is in his fourth season as U-M's distance coach. In his first three seasons, he guided nine student-athletes to the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, two to the NCAA Indoor Championships and three to NCAA Outdoor Championship appearances. As the Wolverines' cross country head coach, he led his 2013 squad to the NCAA Great Lakes Region title and a runner-up finish at the Big Ten Championships.


• Team Captains: Senior Herman Washington, as well as senior/juniors Mark Beams and Cody Riffle were named tri-captains for the 2014 season. Each captain was chosen by the team and coaches to represent the different event areas-- Beams (distance), Riffle (field) and Washington (sprints).

• Returning All-Americans: The Wolverines return four student-athletes who earned All-America honors during the 2013 outdoor season. Senior/junior Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) placed ninth at the outdoor national championships, earning All-America second team recognition. Fifth-year senior Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) finished 20th in the hammer throw at the national outdoor event, garnering All-America honorable mention accolades. In his first year competing in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, junior/sophomore Mason Ferlic (St. Paul, Minn./Mounds Park Academy) ran to a 13th-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships to earn All-America second team honors. Senior Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville), who is redshirting the 2014 season, finished fourth in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, becoming U-M's only First Team All-American of the year.

• In the Record Book: Ethan Dennis owns Michigan's indoor weight throw (21.20m, 69-6 3/4) and outdoor hammer throw (62.75m, 213-2) records, while Cody Riffle has set new school records in the indoor (19.25m, 63-2) and outdoor (18.80m, 61-8.25) shot put. Both indoor records were set at the 2013 dual meet against Michigan State.



The 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championships will be hosted by Purdue University from May 16-18.


For the fifth consecutive season, the NCAA East and West Preliminary Rounds will be utilized to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Using a descending order list, the top-48 athletes in each event will participate in two rounds (first round and quarterfinals) during the Preliminary Round. Twelve competitors from each individual event and 12 teams from each relay event will advance from each Preliminary Championship competition to the NCAA Championships. There are no qualifying marks used during the outdoor season. This year's NCAA East Preliminary Round will be hosted by the University of North Florida from May 29-31, in Jacksonville, Fla.


Thu-Sat., April 24-26 -- at Penn Relays (Philadelphia, Pa.), 9 a.m.

Fri-Sat., April 25-26 -- at Triton Invitational (San Diego, Calif.), 11 a.m. PDT

Contact: Whitney Dixon