U of M Men - Cartwright, Ellis Close Historic Season with All-America Honors

U of M Men - Cartwright, Ellis Close Historic Season with All-America Honors

Provided by U of M

» Runner-up Grant Cartwright and seventh-place Joe Ellis became the first top-eight weight throw finishers at the NCAA Indoor Championships in school history.

» Cartwright's runner-up finish is the program's highest in an NCAA Indoor Championships field event final since 1978.

» Steven Bastien was unable to follow up on a strong day-one performance with a no-height in the heptathlon pole vault.

Site: College Station, Texas (Gilliam Indoor Track and Field Stadium)

Event: NCAA Indoor Championships (Day 2)

U-M Team Result: Tie-22nd Place (10 Points)

Next U-M Event: Fri-Sat., March 24-25 -- at Pac-12 vs. Big Ten Challenge (Tempe, Ariz.)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- It was only fitting that the most historic season for the weight throw in University of Michigan men's track and field history should end Saturday (March 11) with one of the school's most historic NCAA Indoor Championships finishes.

Outperforming their national ranks as they have been all season long, Grant Cartwright claimed national runner-up honors -- the highest NCAA Championships field event finish for the Wolverines since Jim Stokes was second in the 1978 pole vault competition -- and Joe Ellis twice came through in the clutch to finish seventh as the duo became the first set of teammates from any school to score in the NCAA Championships weight throw since 2012.

Cartwright improved from his pre-meet fourth seed on the power of a 22.70m (74-5.75) heave on his third attempt, one of three throws 22 meters or farther on the day at the Gilliam Indoor Track and Field Stadium on Texas A&M's campus.

Ellis, meanwhile, twice fought off adversity to score his two points, ultimately throwing 21.73m (71-3.5) on his sixth and final attempt to move from ninth to seventh. The sophomore entered the Championships ranked eighth in the nation.

Their 10 points, good for a tie for 22nd place, marked the first time the Wolverines have scored double-digits at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the four-year Jerry Clayton era and the first time overall since 2009.

Combined, they were the first teammates to score in the weight throw since Virginia Tech's Marcel Lomnicky and Alexander Ziegler five years ago. It also marked the third time Clayton coached two teammates to top-eight weight throw finishes in the same NCAAs. He accomplished the feat twice at Auburn in 2006 and 2007 with Cory Martin and Jake Dunkleberger.

Right from the start Cartwright set the tone, avoiding the two-foul scenario that preceded his Big Ten-winning performance two weekends ago. A first-attempt mark of 21.79m (71-6) gave the junior the freedom to swing for the fences on his subsequent attempts.

With the rhythmic clapping of the Maize and Blue contingent feeding Cartwright's energy, he popped a 22.55m (73-11.75) mark on his second attempt.

After watching eventual national champion Johnnie Jackson of LSU go for a 22.88m (75-0.75) on his own second attempt, Cartwright then launched his best mark of the day on his third throw.

He added a mark of 22.00m (72-2.25) on his sixth try in an effort to overtake Jackson. The Bayou Bengal topped Cartwright by only 18 centimeters on a throw from the second round.

While Cartwright was out near the front from the word "go," Ellis had to scrap every step of the way for his result.

After opening with a mark of 20.91m (68-7.25) and a second-attempt foul, Ellis entered the ring on his third throw in 12th place needing a mark north of 21 meters to make the nine-man final.

Just as Cartwright did two weeks ago at Big Tens facing elimination, Ellis delivered with a 21.37m (70-1.5) to clinch the ninth and final spot.

Ninth is where he remained as he stepped into the cage on his sixth and final throw, needing once again to improve to break into the eight-man scoring podium. Again, the sophomore came through in crunch time with a 21.73m (71-3.5), moving up to his eventual final seventh-place position.

After a strong first day of the heptathlon, Steven Bastien came up short Saturday in his quest for three consecutive first team All-America honors. Following an opening 8.34 effort in the 60-meter hurdles, the senior from Saline, Michigan, was unable to make it over his opening height in the pole vault at 4.46m (14-7.5).

He ultimately wrapped up his indoor career with the Wolverines in 15th, scoring 4,119 points for USTFCCCA second team All-America honors.

Next up for the Wolverines is the 2017 outdoor season, which will begin March 24-25 at the Pac-12 vs. Big Ten Challenge, hosted by Arizona State in Tempe, Arizona. The next indoor competition for the Wolverines will take place in January 2018 at the brand new facility scheduled to open for next season.

Communications Contact: Kyle Terwillegar