Coming off its historic dual meet showdown with Ohio State, the Michigan men’s track and field team toned it down for the Harvey Simmons Invitational on Saturday.
The Wolverines hosted intra-state rivals Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan in the Indoor Track Building, but the usual tension between the schools was missing. The event was unscored.
Even junior Adam Harris, who set a Michigan indoor record for the 60-meter dash last week, did not compete in his trademark event.
Instead, he switched roles with junior Andre Barnes. Normally a 400-meter runner, Barnes fared well, placing second in the 60-meter dash and missing the winning time by a hundredth of a second.
“We figured we’d give Andre a chance to do some short sprinting in this meet,” Michigan associate head coach Fred LaPlante said. “He did better than I expected him to. We haven’t quite figured out what to do with him quite yet.”
Harris anchored the ‘A’ relay team in Barnes’s normal event, the 4×400-meter relay.
“I think Harris is really coming out of his shell and becoming something special,” Barnes said. “This team has the ability to go far this year.”
Another runner who emerged the past two weeks is sophomore Ricky Fleming, who won the 600 meters for the second time in a row Saturday.
“Winning these races the last two weeks have really done wonders for my confidence,” Fleming said.
Michigan won three events in the non-scoring meet. Harris won the long jump with a jump of 6.99 meters and redshirt sophomore Roger Billhardt won the 800 meters.
“I think we’ve done a pretty good job in the last two weeks,” said Barnes, “Obviously last week with the dual, the atmosphere was completely different but we like to take every meet we run in seriously.”
The Wolverines will return to action next weekend when they compete against athletes from across the nation in the Akron Open, which is one of the largest indoor events of the seasons.