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Field events a surprise to start track season

BY
BY PHIL KOFAHL
Daily Sports Writer
Published December 8, 2003

The feeling was relaxed, but bragging rights were on the line.
The Michigan men’s indoor track team was fighting for a
year’s worth of pride in the annual Maize and Blue Intrasquad
meet held Friday through Saturday in the Indoor Track Building. The
Maize squad defeated the Blue, 211-189.

The first competition of the year gave some good looks at some
of the new and also some of the improved runners. The thing that
may have stood out the most was the team’s newfound depth
across the board. The Wolverines haven’t had much of a punch
in the field events in the past few years, but this season may be
much different.

Junior Jeong-Hwan Kong highlighted the field events with his win
in the high jump for the Maize. His winning height of seven feet
was a personal record indoors and a great start to a promising
indoor season.

Senior Joe Baldwin and junior Brad Malonson led all long-jumpers
with leaps of 23’7” and 23’6” respectively.
Freshman Michael Whitehead won the triple jump for the Maize by
almost six feet with a 49’2” performance.

“It’s real promising,” coach Ron Warhurst
said. “It started off with the long jump, two guys over
23’6”. The triple jump at 49’2”, we
haven’t had jumpers before, we have, but they haven’t
been of this quality.”

Sophomore Brad Hoffman took top honors in the shot-put with a
winning throw of 47’9” for the Maize.

Another aspect of improvement has been the addition of Jeff
Porter, a top recruit out of New Jersey. In his first race for
Michigan competing for the Maize, Porter just missed the meet
record with a swift time of 8.22 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles.
Porter couldn’t be happier to be a Wolverine.

“I love it, they brought me in and it’s a family
here,” Porter said. “I don’t want to set any
limits. A lot is possible.”

Darnell Talbert’s 48.99 in the 400-meter dash highlighted
the sprints along with freshman Stann Waithe’s win in the
200-meter dash in 22.33 seconds.

Michigan’s traditional strength, mid and long distance,
showcased its deep lineup. With top runners Nate Brannen, Nick
Willis and Tom Greenless resting, the rest of the distance crew
showed what it could do.

Sophomore Rondell Ruff won the 800-meter run in a meet
record-tying time of 1:54.71 for the Blue. Sophomore Joe Schramski
finished in second place by just three-tenths of a second. Ruff was
happy about the race, but even more excited about what he can do
for his team.

“It felt real good,” Ruff said. “It’s
early, you just wanna go out and see how comfortable you can run.
My goals this year are really team-oriented. We’ve got the
Big Ten Championship at home this year. Hopefully, we can win it,
that’s my main goal: Get a Big Ten championship.”

Sophomore Andrew Ellerton, running for the Maize, captured the
1,200-meter run after a win in the 800 meters last year. The
Maize’s senior Nick Stanko’s surge at the end of
2,400-meter run edged out junior Sean Moore by four hundredths of a
second. The Wolverines take a break from competition over winter
break and will be back in action next year in the Jack Harvey
Invitational.