U of M Men - Wolverines Win Notre Dame Invitational
Provided by U of M
What You Need to Know
» The Wolverines won their first scored meet under head coach Jerry Clayton with an 8.5-point margin of victory to top Louisville, Michigan State, Notre Dame and DePaul.
» The Wolverines secured their win by scoring in 14 events, led by 20 points in the 3K race, 19 points in the mile run and 16 points in the 600-meter race.
» Taylor McLaughlin (400 meters), Nate Chapman (600 meters) and Brennan Munley (600 meters) recorded top-10 all-time performances for the Wolverines.
• Complete Results
Site: South Bend, Ind. (Loftus Sports Center)
Event: Notre Dame Invitational
U-M Team Result: 1st Place of 5 Teams (130 points)
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sat., Jan. 29-30 -- at Jets Pizza Invitational (University Center, Mich.) and Vanderbilt Open (Nashville, Tenn.)
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- It was a fight until the end, but the University of Michigan men's track and field team won the Notre Dame Invitational on Saturday (Jan. 23) at the Loftus Sports Center. U-M's eight-and a half-point margin of victory came on the strength of event titles in the 60-meter dash and 400-, 600- and 3,000-meter races. The team's strong 1-2-5 finish in the 3K race helped seal victory in one of the day's final events.
Athletes set collegiate PRs across nine events, totaling 16 new collegiate-best times or marks, while many athletes making their collegiate event debuts. The Wolverines totaled 59 middle-distance and distance points, 34 points in sprints, hurdles and relays and 37 points in field events.
Head Coach Jerry Clayton saw a number of positive takeaways from this weekend, but was particularly proud of his athletes' desire to compete at a high level.
"Overall, it was a good day," said Clayton. "We had a lot of PRs. The big thing coming into this meet was to compete. Today was more about placing than times and PR's, and that is where we really stepped it up. There were some critical times in races where our guys were definitely challenged and tried to make a move to win races, and that is what it's all about -- preparation for the conference meet. The times are sort of irrelevant once we meet the conference meet; it's about scoring points and putting people behind you. I thought we did a really good job of that today."
U-M had a 1-2-5-7 finish in the 3K race, led by fifth-year senior co-captain Mason Ferlic, who won the race in 8:05.82, just ahead of junior Connor Mora, who recorded a PR time of 8:06.23. Both those times would rank top-10 nationally entering the weekend.
Ferlic and Mora both felt today's race was a good championship simulation.
"The race was pretty good for all of the guys involved," said Ferlic. "It was a really crowded field so things were a bit rough at the start with lots of pushing and jostling. We had to do a lot of work early ton fighting for good position."
"Today was really about going into the race prepared for anything," said Mora. "It was a good day to get in a tactical race and get the feeling of what it's going to be like in a few weeks. There was a lot to take out of the day for all of us."
"We just raced to compete," said Ferlic, "Pacing was slow up front so time goals went out the window. Ben (Flanagan) and (Connor) Mora were up front, and with 800 to go I took the lead and made a push for home, which accelerated the pace. Those guys followed and at the end Connor closed really well to finish second."
Junior co-captain Ben Flanagan also scored, finishing fifth with a new PR in 8:09.24, and Micah Beller and Will Burke set their own new collegiate bests.
Senior Nate Chapman (PR 1:18.27) and sophomore Brennan Munley (1:18.40) ran to a one-three finish in the 600-meter run, scoring big with Chapman building on the early-season PR that won him Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week back in December. For Munley, it marks his first race at 600 meters, and the duo now ranks fourth and fifth on U-M's all-time 600-meter performance list.
The Wolverine milers had another strong weekend, scoring 19 points with a 2-3-4-6 finish led by sophomore/freshman Chase Barnett in 4:08.07. Senior/junior Aaron Baumgarten (third) and senior Alex Moran (fourth) also stayed under the 4:10 mark, with a PR for Baumgarten, while freshman Kevin Hall (4:13.64) closed the scoring in his U-M mile debut.
Freshman Jordy Hewitt scored in his U-M debut, placing third in the 800-meter run.
Clayton was especially pleased with the strong effort from the middle-distance and distance athletes, who collected some pivotal points for the Maize and Blue.
"The Mile, the 600 and 3K were critical races for us where we scored some big points," said Clayton.
"It's good to go into a meet like this, competing against four pretty good teams, and come out winning," he added. "That sets the stage for where we are at, and it was great to see the men and women both win today."
Freshman Taylor McLaughlin recorded the nation's No. 7 time at 400 meters, winning the event in 47.44. Aside from adding a crucial 10 points to U-M's total, he replaced his own time from last weekend (47.55) as the sixth fastest in U-M history.
Fifth-year senior Philip Washington III and freshman Blake Washington ran to a 1-2 finish in the first heat.
Senior Chris Maye recorded a season-best 6.84 to win the 60-meter dash and also set a new PR in the 200-meter race, placing third in 22.15.
Senior/junior multi-event athlete Steven Bastien set a .13-second PR in the 60 hurdle finals, opening up with an 8.56 in the prelims, before he tore through an 8.38-second run in the final, placing third overall.
The 4x400-meter relay team of Washington, Chapman, Munley and Washington III ran 3:15.18 to score by placing third.
Sophomore/freshman Joe Ellis set the No. 3 all-time mark in the weight throw, placing fourth at 20.03 meters (65-8.5 ft.). Senior/junior co-captain Grant Cartwright also scored in the event, setting his own new personal best at 18.75 meters (61-6.25 ft.) to update his sixth-place ranking on U-M's all-time performance list.
In the shot put, fifth-year senior Derek Sievers was the runner-up.
Bastien was the runner-up in the long jump, jumping nearly 24 feet on his final attempt (7.24 meters; 23-9 ft.), but he ultimately fell just short of Louisville's Ollie Newport, who won the event on his final attempt at 7.26 meters.
Junior/sophomore Kevin Stephens Jr. set a collegiate PR in the triple jump, jumping 14.72 meters (48-3.5 ft.) to claim third place, just one-and-a-half feet shy of the runner-up. Stephens also scored in the long jump, placing fifth (6.73 meters, 22-1 ft.) to come within two feet of his collegiate PR (6.78 meters).
Sophomore Ben Hester set a collegiate-best for the second straight week, this time in the high jump.
Junior Michael Hovater and freshman Kevin Haughn both scored in the pole vault, placing third and fifth, respectively, with Hovater recording a new PR. He cleared 4.90 meters (16-0.75 ft.) on his third try to secure his final standing.
While the meet was a success overall, Clayton knows there is more work to be done.
"It was a great first step that is very positive for the team," he said afterwards, "but we have a lot of work to do. We have to improve and get better every day, and we know we have a lot of work ahead of us to achieve our goals at the conference meet."
U-M will split its squad next weekend, with athletes at an in-state meet and one on the road. Some of the team will return to Nashville, Tennessee, for the Vanderbilt Open, while other Wolverines will travel to University Center, Michigan, for the Jets Pizza Invitational hosted by Saginaw Valley State University. Friday events in Nashville begin at 4 p.m. CST, while the first day of action at SVSU gets underway at 4:30 p.m. EST.
COLLEGIATE PERSONAL BESTS
Chris Maye -- 22.15
Taylor McLaughlin -- 47.44
Nate Chapman -- 1:18.27
Brennan Munley -- 1:18.40
Ryan Wilkie -- 1:53.23
Aaron Baumgarten -- 4:08.37
Kevin Hall -- 4:13.64
Connor Mora -- 8:06.23
Ben Flanagan -- 8:09.24
Micah Beller -- 8:12.88
Will Burke -- 8:19.89
Steven Bastien -- 7.38
Ben Hester -- 9.09
Joe Ellis -- 20.03 meters (65-8.5 ft.)
Grant Cartwright -- 18.75 meters (61-6.25 ft.)
Ben Hester -- 1.85 meters (6-0.75 ft.)
Kevin Stephens Jr. -- 14.72 meters (48-3.5 ft.)
Michael Hovater -- 4.90 meters (16-0.75 ft.)
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Communications Contact: Chad Shepard