Michigan sprints through record-setting weekend
Steven Bastien said he doesn’t think about records too much, but at this weekend’s Akron Invitational, his record-breaking performance helped pave the way to a successful meet for the Michigan men’s track and field team.
The redshirt senior ran a 2:43.98 in the 1000-meter finale of the heptathlon, ensuring that he earned 5,843 points in the meet, which is 33 more points than his own school record from last year.
“I just like to go into practice everyday and get a little better everyday,” Bastien said. “And it’s been working, (and I'm) just enjoying the process.”
Wolverines’ coach Jerry Clayton said he was really pleased with Bastien’s performance, adding that part of his goal prior to the event was to ensure that Bastien achieved a high enough score to qualify him for the NCAA Championships in March.
“History has showed us that over 5,700 (points) has always made it,” Clayton said.
Clayton also pointed out that Bastien’s score over the weekend was greater than his score at the NCAA Championships last year.
The Saline, Mich. native has been one of the team’s most promising athletes since arriving in Ann Arbor, as he made the U.S. Olympic Trials last year and became Michigan’s first-ever All-American in both the heptathlon and decathlon.
“He’s really starting to come into his own,” Clayton added. “He’s kind of a quiet leader.”
Junior Joe Ellis added another solid performance for the Wolverines, nearly setting a record in the weight throw but finishing only one centimeter short. Ellis holds the current program record of 21.22 meters, which he set two weeks ago.
Sophomore Andrew Liskowitz set another career-best with a 17.26-meter throw that notched a victory in the shot put, which broke his previous career-best by 66 centimeters.
Michigan continued its record-setting performances at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational as well.
Senior Austin Benoit and sophomores Kevin Hall and Ben Hill all set career-bests in their respective races, while senior Connor Mora and graduate student Will Sheehan finished in sixth and seventh place, respectively, in the Meyo Mile. Both finished just seconds over the four-minute mark.
Perhaps the most impressive performance by the Wolverines came from redshirt junior Khoury Crenshaw, who finished in second place in the 60-meter race — just .001 seconds away from the title. The sprinter is currently tied for the fifth-fastest time in the event in program history.
“We’re really excited with what Khoury has accomplished so far,” Clayton said. “He’s just more focused, he seems to be on a mission, he’s had outstanding results."
As the season progresses, Michigan will look to build on these records, hoping to emulate this weekend’s performance.