U-M Men Set Six PRs in Final Week Before Big Tens

U-M Men Set Six PRs in Final Week Before Big Tens

Provided by U of M

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (U-M Indoor Track Building)/South Bend, Ind. (Loftus Center)

Event: Silverston Invitational/Alex Wilson Invitational

U-M Team Result: No team scoring

Next U-M Event: Fri-Sat., Feb. 27-28 -- at Big Ten Indoor Championships (Geneva, Ohio; SPIRE Institute), 10 a.m.

The University of Michigan men's track and field Team completed its 2015 indoor regular season on Saturday (Feb. 21) at the Silverston Invitational inside of the U-M Indoor Track Building. The Wolverines also sent select competitors to Notre Dame's Alex Wilson Invitational, establishing six new personal bests while recording a half-dozen top-three performances.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- At its second and final home meet of the yeay -- the Silverston Invitational -- U-M's lone victory came in the pole vault, where both Wolverine vaulters set new personal-best marks. Sophomore Michael Hovater won the event vault when he cleared a collegiate-best 15-9 ft. (4.80m), while freshman Kaj Althaus came in fourth and established a personal-best mark of his own, clearing 14-9 ft. (4.50m).

Michigan athletes accounted for six of the eight competitors in the shot put, which was ultimately won by volunteer assistant throws coach Stephen Saenz with his mark of 63-4.25 ft. (19.31m). Senior/junior Derek Sievers led the half-dozen Wolverines competing in the event, finishing runner-up to Saenz with his throw of 59-5.50 ft. (18.12m).

Also earning top-five finishes for U-M in the shot put were fifth-year senior Justin Gaumer (55-8.25 ft.; 16.97m), who finished third, and sophomore/freshman Grant Cartwright (55-2.25ft.; 16.82m), who took fourth.

In the mile race, sophomore/freshman Connor Mora led Michigan and set a new PR with his time of 4:13.37. Junior/sophomore Scotty Albaugh also set a new personal-best time for the event (4:19.34).

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- U-M sent a pair of athletes to compete in Notre Dame's Alex Wilson Invitational: senior/junior Philip Washington III and fifth-year senior Mark Beams, competing in different events.

Washington placed 10th in the 400m race, crossing at 49.70 seconds, while Beams claimed sixth in the 3,000m race (8:17.78).

The Maize and Blue will begin the championship phase of the indoor season with the Big Ten Championships next weekend (Feb. 27-28) in Geneva, Ohio. U-M returns to the SPIRE Institute, where they competed last weekend (Feb. 13-14), for the conference meet.


• Altogether, athletes in Maize and Blue set six personal-best marks during today's action. The Wolverines claimed one event title and recorded six top-three finishes in all.

• Because U-M will compete at the Big Ten Indoor Championships next weekend (Feb. 27-28), several of Michigan's athletes who will compete in that meet did not compete in the Silverston Invitational as they continue to train and prepare for the conference meet. Today's action provided an opportunity for select Wolverines to get in one more tune-up meet before Big Tens and allowed many younger student-athletes to compete in front of a home crowd, including many unattached competitors.

• Personal records observed above do not include unattached competitors, or athletes making their event debut.


Steven Bastien -- Shot Put (39-8ft.; 12.09m)

Connor Mora -- Mile (4:13.37)

Scotty Albaugh -- Mile (4:19.34)

Michael Hovater -- Pole Vault (15-9 ft.; 4.80m)

Kaj Althaus -- Pole Vault (14-9 ft.; 4.50m)

Austin Brenner -- Long Jump (19-11 ft.; 6.07m)


Michigan Head Coach Jerry Clayton

On preparing the team for the Big Ten Championships ... "The team is coming around. We went out to Iowa State (last weekend) and had a pretty good performance there. We have got to get into the mix and see what it's like with some of the better teams in the conference and around the nation. Everybody is really focused going into Big Tens and training has been really positive. We are excited and the team is trying to go there and accomplish the goals they set at the beginning of the year. We went through those goals again at the beginning of January. We're very excited to getting to the Big Ten championships and see what we can do."

On the decisions involved in choosing which athletes to compete in a meet like today's ... "Most of the programs do it like we're doing it. Normally the week before a Big Ten Championship and a conference week, they'll take off their elite-level athletes. Basically, in this type of meet we are trying to give other people opportunities to try to take that trip -- to get a performance that will get them to the Big Ten meet. There are other athletes that need a final tune-up. We were trying to work some of that out as well today. The majority of the athletes we did hold out so they can rest and have a great performance at the Big Ten Championships."

On the final preparations leading up to the Big Ten Championships ... "Right now and next week, we're basically trying to put finishing touches on the rhythm of what these athletes need. If they're in a field event, most of the hard work and that type of training is over. Now it's just fine-tuning. The biggest thing is that they're mentally ready to perform."

Communications Contact: Chad Shepard