The men’s and women’s track and field teams came away with quite a few victories along with some disappointing performances at this weekend’s Power Five Invitational.
The Wolverines hosted nine teams at the new Michigan Indoor Track Building during the two-day event.
The men started off strong Friday, doing particularly well in the preliminary heats of the 60-meter hurdle event. Junior Roland Amarteifio led the pack with a career-best time of 8.01 seconds. Three of the other four Michigan athletes in the race qualified for the final and ended up taking the third, fourth, sixth and seventh places.
The Wolverines also had success in the men’s 60-meter dash. Freshman Asani Hampton took the top spot with a time of 6.77 seconds, his new career best. The next day, Hampton outpaced much of the competition en route to a second place finish.
Michigan was no stranger to broken records this weekend with a total of 34 career-bests set between the men and the women.
While the men excelled in the short races, the women found better results in the mid-distance runs, particularly the 400, 600, and 800-meter events.
Junior Jade Harrison and sophomore Chloe Foster secured first and second place, respectively, separated by a mere .26 seconds in the deceivingly long 400-meter race.
“400 (meters) doesn’t seem very long but it is,” Harrison said. “Finishing strong is definitely a hard part that I’m going to try to work on.”
The women’s 600-meter event went just as well for the Wolverines, who earned four of the top-eight times. Foster came in first, adding to her successful 400-meter performance.
In the 800-meter race, Michigan again claimed four of the top-eight places, with freshman Aurora Rynda leading the pack in second place.
“I think we really focused on getting out hard and getting into a good position,” Rynda said. “Shannon just told me ‘lets do it’ so I was really excited to push myself and see how fast I could go.”
After Rynda’s strong performance this weekend, she is ranked 12th in the nation, but the freshman isn’t settling for top-15. She knows she can do more.
“I think there’s a lot of room for improvement,” Rydna said. “I need to get stronger for sure. I’ve just been having good workouts and (assistant coach Mike McGuire) has been awesome.”
The women had trouble repeating this level of success in the field events. Constantly falling somewhere between fourth and ninth place, the Wolverines had trouble breaking into the top three spots. Weight throwing duo Kayla Deering and Bailey Baker finished eighth and ninth respectively, both finishing just shy of half a meter below the back-to-back school records set earlier this year at the Wolverine Invitational.
In contrast, the men had a series of strong performances in the field events with senior Andrew Liskowitz placing first in the shot put and sophomore Daniel Butael coming in second on the triple jump. Graduate student Joe Ellis, who holds the school record in both the weight and hammer throw events, placed second in the weight throw event.
This event precedes the Big Ten Indoor Championships which will be held in Ann Arbor later this month.