U of M Men - PRs Abound in Nashville Amid Split-Squad Weekend

U of M Men - PRs Abound in Nashville Amid Split-Squad Weekend

Provided by U of M

What You Need to Know

» The Wolverines won three events (mile at Vanderbilt; shot put and 3K at Kent State) while setting 11 new collegiate bests.

» Seven Wolverines made their in-uniform debuts, including five true freshmen: five middle-distance and distance athletes (Micah Beller, Jason Ferrante, Garrett McPeek, Matthew Plowman and Keenan Rebera) and two sprinters (John Weeks, Blake Washington).

» U-M recorded top-10 all-time performances in the mile (Mason Ferlic; 9th), 400 (Taylor McLaughlin; 5th) and 800 meter (Brennan Munley; 5th, Nate Chapman; 8th) events.


• Complete Results PDF

Site: Nashville, Tenn. (Vanderbilt Multi-purpose Facility)

Event: Commodore Invitational (Day 2 of 2)

U-M Team Result: Non-scoring

Next U-M Event: Saturday, Jan. 23 -- at Notre Dame Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 11 a.m.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The University of Michigan men's track and field team won the mile run and recorded seven other top-five finishes in split-squad action on Saturday (Jan. 16) at the Commodore Invitational held at the Vanderbilt Multi-purpose Facility.

Head Coach Jerry Clayton was happy with the marks and times he saw this weekend, with the largest number of athletes in action so far this season. For U-M, these two meets marked a valuable measuring point for this juncture of the season.

"It was a real positive weekend overall. We got what we wanted to get out of this weekend and these meets, going down to Vanderbilt and at Kent State," said Clayton. "We're training hard right now, and this weekend was a good step for us against but it's just the beginning of us reaching our goals at the conference meet."


It was a day for personal bests as fifth-year senior Mason Ferlic led the charge for all seven milers to set new PRs with his historic time, running 4:01.39 to take the victory. Ferlic's time eclipsed the mark of 4:01.79 held by Lex Williams and is now the ninth-fastest indoor mile time in program history. It also takes over as the fastest time in the nation so far this year.

Junior/sophomore Connor Mora was the runner-up, finishing in 4:04.47, and freshman Chase Barnett, the fourth leg of yesterday's winning relay team, finished fourth. Running their first collegiate miles, junior co-captain Ben Flanagan was fifth and junior/sophomore Austin Benoit was sixth. Senior/junior Alex Moran finished eighth, just .15 seconds behind Benoit, and Micah Beller debuted in 11th.

Ferlic and Flanagan also paced the 3K race before dropping out, and the race ran fast and produced new PRs for senior/junior Tony Smoragiewicz and junior/sophomore Aaron Baumgarten. Smoragiewicz was runner-up in 8:02.62, the top collegiate competitor, and Baumgarten ran 8:07.40 for fourth place.

Still riding high off their 4x800-meter relay win on Friday (Jan. 15), sophomore Brennan Munley and senior Nate Chapman both set PRs in the 800 today to record a two-three finish for the Maize and Blue. Both recorded times that would rank in the top three nationally, pending results from around the nation, with Munley running 1:49.78, the fifth-fastest time in U-M history, and Chapman ranking eighth all-time at 1:50.34. Sophomore Ryan Wilkie, also part of that winning relay team from Friday, ran 1:54.60 to finish seventh overall.

For Munley, the positive momentum for the weekend began with the successful 4x800-meter relay team on Friday.

"The 4x8 was very good, starting with the time (7:39.60)," said Munley, "We went out there and everyone did as well or better than we expected and that carried us on to today. It got everyone a little hyped up."

Munley added that once the 800 runners had seen what the milers accomplished, it got them thinking, "What are we really capable of?"

"That got us really excited for what was about to come," said Munley. "(Nate) Chapman and I felt great around 400, about 52 seconds in, and we came in right behind a two-time All-American, so it felt great. It was an exciting day for Michigan all around.

Munley felt the team exceeded its own expectations for the meet, and he said the same about his own goals heading into the weekend.

"I came in hoping to run faster than 1:52," he said, "maybe the high 1:50s, low 1:51s, but to come back after the 4x8 and run 1:49 was super exciting."

Assistant coach Kevin Sullivan was pleasantly surprised with his team's excellent weekend in the mid-distance and distance events. U-M got what it came to Nashville for and then some.

"Part of what we wanted to do this weekend was to get some good competition and get guys back in race mode," said Sullivan. "I think we came down not completely knowing what to expect, but we were hoping for some solid results. You're never really sure with the first real tough meet of the year, so I felt we were very fortunate that just about every single person on the trip had an all-time or indoor PR. That says something about the focus that the guys came into the weekend with. It was a positive first weekend for us to open up with."

Sullivan credited the team's preparation over the winter holiday with leading to such a strong early-season showing.

"I think we came off the break, and certainly we had some guys look a little bit better than others over the past couple weeks, but everyone's in different training situations throughout the break, too," he said.

"Part of the reason for having the early-season meet was to see where guys were at after winter break training. Obviously, a lot of guys did their homework over the break, and it's great momentum as we head into Notre Dame next week."


After earning a top-five finish in his U-M debut, the 200-meter race yesterday, freshman Taylor McLaughlin won his heat and finished second overall in the 400 -meter race today. McLaughlin ran 47.55, the sixth-fastest time in program history. Senior Philip Washington III ran 50.31 to finish 15th overall.

Senior Chris Maye finished 13th overall as the lone Wolverine to compete in the 60-meter dash. He recorded a time of 6.954 to finish as the runner-up in the fourth preliminary heat.

Clayton noted the performances of Ferlic, McLaughlin, Chapman and Munley for joining U-M's all-time indoor performance lists.

"For us to have three individuals join top-10 lists in those events (400, 800-meters, Mile) is special because those lists are difficult to be a part of," said Clayton. "You're taking about three events which have a long history at Michigan with excellent athletes on them already, so those are some great highlights to have from this weekend."

"For Taylor to do what he did in his first meet as a freshman was very impressive," added Clayton, "so we are very excited about that performance and where he is headed."

• Day 1 Results


Site: Kent, Ohio (Kent State University Field House)

Event: Doug Raymond Invitational

U-M Team Result: Non-scoring

Next U-M Event: Saturday, Jan. 23 -- at Notre Dame Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 11 a.m.

KENT, Ohio -- The University of Michigan men's track and field team won the shot put and 3K amidst 11 top-three finishes overall during indoor action at Kent State's Doug Raymond Invitational on Saturday (Jan. 16).

Athletes from a number of disciplines, but mainly field events, competed at the Golden Flashes' Kent State University Fieldhouse, boasting a pair of new PRs in the shot put and pole vault. Five athletes also made their in-uniform debuts at the meet, including four true freshmen.


In the shot put, fifth-year senior Derek Sievers earned the win, throwing 18.32 meters (60-1.25 ft.) on his first attempt in the event final. Senior/junior Steven Bastien also threw shot, registering a new PR and placing fifth.

In the weight throw, three Wolverines competed, led by sophomore/freshman Joe Ellis as the runner-up. Ellis threw 19.39 meters (63-7.50 ft.) on his second attempt, while junior/sophomore co-captain Grant Cartwright was third at 17.86 meters (58-7.25 ft.). Senior Brad Bolton placed fourth, cracking the 17-meter mark on his second to last attempt to set a new collegiate best? (17.17 meters; 56-4 ft.).


U-M boasted a one-two finish in the 3K race, with a pair of freshmen putting on an impressive performance. Keenan Rebera won the event in his Wolverine debut with a time of 8:32.54, with Kevin Hall in 8:35.20.

Freshman Matthew Plowman and sophomore Will Burke recorded a pair of top-five finishes in the mile run, with just a .13-second difference between them. In his U-M debut, Plowman placed third in 4:16.17, while Burke ran 4:16.30 for fourth.

Freshmen Garrett McPeek (third) and Jason Ferrante (fifth) made their in-uniform debuts this afternoon in the 800-meter race. McPeek clocked 1:56.38, and Ferrante's time was 1:58.25.


Bastien placed third in 8.70, with DeJonge in fourth at 8.78. Sophomore Ben Hester finished seventh in 9.29.

Freshman Blake Washington competed in his first race as a Wolverine and was the third-place finisher in the 400-meter race at 49.68, with sophomore/freshman John Weeks in fifth, running 51.36. Weeks also competed in the 200-meter race, running 23.49 for fourth.


U-M had four athletes in the pole vault, led by sophomore Michael Hovater as the runner-up. Hovater set a new PR when he cleared 4.75 meters (15-7 ft.) on his second attempt to earn the second-place finish. Sophomore Kevin Haughn was next in third place at 4.60 meters (15-1 ft.) with Bastien and freshman Nicholas Burkhalter both clearing 4.45 meters (14-7.25 ft.).


Hester also competed in the long jump, landing in fourth place after jumping 6.51 meters (21-4.25 ft.)

In the triple jump, junior/sophomore Kevin Stephens Jr. jumped 14.50 meters (47-7 ft.) to place fifth.

The Wolverines will travel to South Bend, Indiana, next weekend for their most important met of the indoor season so far, as they compete in the Notre Dame Invitational. Events are slated for an 11 a.m. start at Notre Dame's Loftus Sports Center.


Track Events

800-meter run

Brennan Munley -- 1:49.78

Nate Chapman -- 1:50.34

Mile Run

Mason Ferlic -- 4:01.39

Connor Mora -- 4:04.47

Chase Barnett -- 4:06.91

Ben Flanagan -- 4:07.05

Austin Benoit -- 4:07.91

Alex Moran -- 4:08.07

Micah Beller -- 4:11.73

Field Events

Shot Put

Steven Bastien -- 12.25 meters (40-2.25 ft.)

Pole Vault

Michael Hovater -- 4.75 meters (15-7 ft.)

Communications Contact: Chad Shepard