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Men's field events at Silverston Invitational bring in the gold

By Isabella Achenbach, Daily Sports Writer
Published February 19, 2012

After five hours of competition in sprints, vaults and jumps, the Michigan men’s track and field team triumphed at the Silverston Invitational on Saturday afternoon.

Many of the team’s best runners were resting during this event in preparation for the Big Ten Indoor Championship this weekend, but the Wolverines still excelled in the field. Michigan set many new personal records, and won first place in nearly every field event that they competed in.

The meet started off with the men’s weight throw. Junior Ethan Dennis was one of two Michigan athletes competing in this event, and he set a personal record with his winning distance of 21.07 meters.

“It actually moves him up in the national rankings, so it puts him in a good spot to make it to the NCAA Championships. So that was terrific,” said Michigan coach Fred LaPlante.

“(The personal record) was kind of bitter sweet, because it was a nice PR but it was like an inch-and-a-half under the school record,” Dennis added. “But it was definitely good to come out on top of the Michigan State guys.”

Dennis will also be competing in the upcoming Big Ten Indoor Championship.

The next event was the pole vault, which the Wolverines dominated. Michigan had five vaulters in the lineup and ended with three in the top-five. Junior Jack Greenlee won the event overall, clearing a height of 5.15 meters and just nearly missing his personal record of 5.18 meters. Junior Austin DeWildt came in second after clearing his personal-best of 5.15 meters. All of the vaulters will be going to the Big Ten Indoor Championship.

On the long jump, sophomore Ed Hur’s 6.66 meter jump was just half an inch short of second place, and he ended in third.

The men’s high jump, triple jump, and shot put had few or no Michigan athletes competing, so the competition took to the track. The only victory came from sophomore Erick Gavin on the 60 meter hurdles. Gavin finished in 8.07 seconds, significantly better than the other runners.

A few personal records were set on the track, though, with freshman Ben Reed finishing the 800 meter run in 1:58:13, and freshman Dan Tyler finishing the 600 meter race in 1:23:78.

Looking ahead to next week’s Big Ten meet, LaPlante is trying to boost the confidence of the team.

“Every person that we take has the opportunity to have an impact on how we do,” LaPlante said. “Of course, you’re not gonna have 32 guys all with lifetime-best performances, but as they get on that plane, every guy has the potential to do that.

“The thing about the sport of track and field is that there’s no defense. There’s nobody there that can stop you from doing what you’re doing other than yourself.”