The field events have led the Michigan men’s track team recently, with the throwers especially finding success. This past weekend was no different, as the Wolverines traveled to Auburn, Ala., to compete in the Tiger Track Classic.
Junior thrower Grant Cartwright continued to shine in the field events by setting a new personal record in the shot put with a throw of 18.44 meters. The throw placed him in second for the event.
Being at the top of the leaderboard is something Cartwright has gotten used to since the outdoor season began. He suffered an injury in December and spent a majority of the indoor season trying to get ready for the outdoor season.
“As we’ve moved outdoors, he’s been able to train a lot differently,” said Michigan coach Jerry Clayton. “We had to cut some things out to get (Cartwright’s injury) calmed down. So now he’s back into training and getting really consistent, which is what we’re looking for this time of year.”
Not to be outdone by Cartwright’s success, senior decathlete Steven Bastien separated from the rest of his team to compete in the Bulldog Decathlon/Heptathlon meet in Athens, Ga., on Thursday. Not only did Bastien finish in the top 10, but he also set a school record in the decathlon and posted the ninth-best national score in the event this year.
The meet marked the first time Bastien had ever competed in the decathlon for the Wolverines. However, the senior has been training for the event for a while.
“Coach Clayton has had it all planned out pretty well,” Bastien said. “I think it’s been planned out since the beginning of the season, even. We just throw a little bit every week. We do jumping and pole vaulting every week. I run two times a week, one day a (400-meter) workout and the other day is more of a (1,000-meter) or (1,500-meter) workout.
“I guess the training is designed to make it so you keep in touch with each of the events and are able to build on things you’ve worked on in prior weeks.”
In addition to Clayton’s help in preparing for the decathlon, Bastien could also turn to his previous coach. His father, Gary Bastien, not only coached Steven, but also ran the decathlon in college with Eastern Michigan. In fact, according to decathlon historian Frank Zarnowski, the father-son combined score of Gary and Steven is the highest such score of all time.
“Since I’ve gotten to Michigan, (my dad) has really let Coach Clayton do whatever and coach me entirely,” Bastien said. “I wouldn’t say he’s (like) any parent, because he knows so much about it. But his role as a coach isn’t as much as it used to be.”
Despite the success of Bastien and Cartwright, the team still has work to do before it reaches the postseason tournaments. According to Clayton, though, this weekend was a step in the right direction.
“What we did in the first two (outdoor) meets, those were scoring situations very similar to what you get at the conference meet, the preliminary rounds and the NCAA Championships,” Clayton said. “Now we will focus on getting marks that will advance them to the preliminary rounds, which is the top 48 in the region.”
Though the team can revel in the building success with each passing meet, its focus is firmly on the future, and more specifically, the end of the season.