U of M - Wolverine Men Defend 'Battle of the Blues' Team Trophy
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Wolverine Men Defend 'Battle of the Blues' Team Trophy
4/6/2018 9:38:00 PM
// Kyle Terwillegar
» Michigan defended its Battle of the Blues team title with a decisive victory over runner-up North Carolina and host Duke in the third-annual edition of the triangular meet.
» Joe Ellis and Taylor McLaughlin debuted in their signature events to great success, earning wins with their best-ever season openers in the hammer and 400-meter hurdles, respectively.
» The victory was the result of a full team effort, with nine wins and 24 career-best performances racked up by the Maize and Blue.
Site: Durham, N.C. (Morris Williams Stadium)
Event: Battle of the Blues
U-M Team Result: First place of three teams (91 points)
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sat., April 13-14 -- Texas Invitational (Austin, Texas)
DURHAM, N.C. -- From the All-Americans through the first-year collegians, nearly every member of the University of Michigan men's track and field team was firing on all cylinders as the Wolverines scored a decisive defense of its Battle of the Blues title over North Carolina and host Duke on Friday night (April 6).
Spearheaded by All-Americans Joe Ellis and Taylor McLaughlin posting their best season debuts in their signature events and supported by 24 collegiate career-best performances by their teammates, Michigan scored 91 points to take down second-place North Carolina with 69 and third-place Duke with 43.
Hammer thrower Ellis and 400-meter hurdler McLaughlin accounted for two of the eight Wolverine wins across a variety of disciplines in the 19-event program. Joining them atop the proverbial podium were Micah Beller at 3,000 meters, Anthony Berry at 1,500 meters, Nick Burkhalter in the pole vault, Manning Plater in the shot put, and Kevin Stephens Jr. in the long jump. McLaughlin's 4x400 relay team also closed out the night with a win.
The two-time outdoor All-American pair of Ellis and McLaughlin were particularly impressive, even by their own lofty standards.
Ellis entered the day with the Morris Williams Stadium hammer throw record at 66.34m (217 feet, 8 inches), and promptly surpassed it on all five of his measured throws. After opening with a 66.94m (219-7) on his first throw, he went on to throw four straight farther than 68 meters, highlighted by a 70.15m (230-2) mark on his fifth throw that is surpassed by only two other throws in his career.
This marked just the second time in his career he has topped 68 meters four times in the same meet, along with last year's NCAA Championships at which he took eighth overall for first-team All-America honors. Friday's performance put him right back on track, as he stands at No. 7 in the country based on the national descending order lists entering the weekend.
McLaughlin was also sensational in his signature-event debut, clocking 50.86 for a runaway win and the leading mark in a 1-2-3-4 sweep of the event for Michigan. The performance was a significant step forward over last year's season-opening performance of 51.48, and is well superior to the 52.11 he clocked in his 2016 collegiate debut en route to Big Ten champion, first-team All-America and IAAF World Junior silver medalist honors.
He came back in the meet finale 4x400 relay, breaking the race wide open with his third-leg 46.84 split and giving the Wolverines -- himself, Blake Washington, Alex Schwedt and Desmond Melson -- the cushion they needed to claim the win over North Carolina by just over a second in 3:11.09.
In total, the sprints crew accounted for 34 points across six different events.
The distance crew came through arguably the biggest of any of the disciplines, scoring 24 points in just four events, led by the individual wins from Beller and Berry.
Beller took the win with a final-lap surge to cross the line in 8:13.71, leading a 1-2-3 sweep with Billy Bund in 8:16.42 and Aaron Baumgarten in 8:17.41 -- the latter two earning career-best outdoor performances.
Earlier in the day at 1,500 meters, Berry and Connor Mora turned the screws on the field to come through in a career-best 3:47.78 and 3:48.19, respectively. Chase Barnett came through in fourth with a career best of his own in 3:50.81.
The field event crew showed up big as well, with wins coming in the throws, horizontal jumps and vertical jumps.
Plater notched a win in the discus and a pair of runner-up performances in the shot put and hammer throw for 11 points, with all coming in career-best fashion. He went 48.66m (159-8) in the discus for the win, and notched marks of 59.22m (194-3) and 16.33m (53-7) in the hammer and shot put, respectively. His hammer mark moved him to No. 9 in school history.
Stephens took the victory in the long jump with a career-best mark of 7.02m (23-0.5) (+1.5m/s) and doubled back later for a third-place effort in the long jump.
Burkhalter's pole vault win was among the more dramatic performances of the day, coming in a tiebreak at 4.78m (15-8.25). After a clutch third-attempt make at 4.68m (15-4.25) had him sitting third of three remaining jumpers, a first-try make at what would be his winning height put him back in the driver's seat as Liam Dixon of UNC needed two attempts at that bar. Neither man could make muster at 4.88m (16-0), with the victory awarded to Burkhalter on fewer misses at 4.78m.
The Wolverines will be splitting up for much of the remaining regular season ahead of May's Big Ten Championships, beginning next weekend with the Texas Invitational.
U-M CAREER BESTS AT THE BATTLE OF THE BLUES
Jack Aho -- 3:50.86 / 1500m
Roland Amarteifio -- 14.23 (+0.5m/s) / 110m Hurdles
Roland Amarteifio -- 52.41 / 400m Hurdles
Chase Barnett -- 3:50.81 / 1500m
Aaron Baumgarten -- 8:17.41 / 3000m
Josiah Carpenter -- 21.74 (+0.5m/s) / 200m
Josiah Carpenter -- 49.33 / 400m *
Noah Caudy -- 14.73 (+0.5m/s) / 110m Hurdles
Noah Caudy -- 52.89 / 400m Hurdles
Isaac Harding -- 8:32.12 / 3000m (0) *
Sierra Hendrix-Williams -- 14.37 (+0.5m/s) / 110m Hurdles *
Christian Hubaker -- 8:20.58 / 3000m
Jacob Lee -- 8:20.89 / 3000m *
Andrew Lorant -- 9:08.26 / Steeplechase *
Sean Marshall -- 14.68 (+0.5m/s) / 110m Hurdles *
Sean Marshall -- 53.21 / 400m Hurdles *
Desmond Melson -- 47.92 / 400m
Desmond Nicholas -- 10.64 (+0.4m/s) / 100m
Joost Plaetinck -- 8:50.49 / 3000m *
Manning Plater -- 16.33m (53-7) / Shot Put
Manning Plater -- 48.66m (159-8) / Discus
Manning Plater -- 59.22m (194-3) / Hammer Throw
Kevin Stephens Jr. -- 7.02m (23-0.5) (+1.5m/s) / Long Jump
Blake Washington -- 48.43 / 400m
* = U-M debut in event
FULL MICHIGAN RESULTS BY EVENT
w = wind-aided (greater than 2.0 meter-per-second [m/s] wind; marks with wind up to 4.0m/s are allowable for NCAA Preliminaries qualifying purposes)
2. Desmond Nicholas / 10.64 (+0.4m/s)
4. Stephen Hagen / 11.00 (+0.4m/s)
3. Desmond Nicholas / 21.62 (+0.5m/s)
4. Josiah Carpenter / 21.74 (+0.5m/s)
4. Desmond Melson / 47.92
5. Alex Schwedt / 48.3
6. Blake Washington / 48.43
7. Josiah Carpenter / 49.33
4. Matt Plowman / 1:52.37
5. Ryan Wilkie / 1:53.48
6. Tanner Schwannecke / 1:54.38
7. Jordy Hewitt / 1:54.53
1. Anthony Berry / 3:47.78
2. Connor Mora / 3:48.19
4. Chase Barnett / 3:50.81
5. Jack Aho / 3:50.86
1. Micah Beller / 8:13.71
2. Billy Bund / 8:16.42
3. Aaron Baumgarten / 8:17.41
5. Christian Hubaker / 8:20.58
6. Jacob Lee / 8:20.89
10. Isaac Harding / 8:32.12
13. Joost Plaetinck / 8:50.49
2. Roland Amarteifio / 14.23 (+0.5m/s)
3. Sierra Hendrix-Williams / 14.37 (+0.5m/s)
4. Sean Marshall / 14.68 (+0.5m/s)
5. Noah Caudy / 14.73 (+0.5m/s)
1. Taylor McLaughlin / 50.86
2. Roland Amarteifio / 52.41
3. Noah Caudy / 52.89
4. Sean Marshall / 53.21
2. Andrew Lorant / 9:08.26
4. Austin Benoit / 9:14.50
5. Kevin Hall / 9:22.86
2. Carpenter, Washington, Nicholas, Hagen / 41.35
1. Schwedt, Melson, McLaughlin, Hartman / 3:11.09
2. Alex Klemm / 2.04m (6-8.25)
3. Brandon Piwinski / 2.04m (6-8.25)
5. Max Wagner / 1.96m (6-5)
1. Nick Burkhalter / 4.78m (15-8.25)
5. Kevin Haughn / 4.53m (14-10.25)
1. Kevin Stephens / 7.02m (23-0.5) (+1.5m/s)
4. Daniel Butael / 6.54m (21-5.5) (+0.3m/s)
2. Manning Plater / 16.33m (53-7)
1. Manning Plater / 48.66m (159-8)
1. Joe Ellis / 70.15m (230-2)
2. Manning Plater / 59.22m (194-3)