Just days after Eastern Michigan canceled its meet due to an October flooding, the Michigan men’s track and field team made a flood of its own last Friday at the Chippewa Open in Mount Pleasant.

The Wolverines won five events and earned second place or better in 9-of-11. Michigan swept the top four positions in the 400-meter dash against Central Michigan.

“For the first time out, we had some pretty darn good performances,” Michigan coach Ron Warhurst said. “Hopefully, it’s a sign of good things to come.”

Senior captain Jeff Porter started the season well, winning the 60-meter hurdles (7.95). The All-American’s run was just 0.18 seconds off his personal best in the event.

Michigan showed great raw talent throughout the meet as 10 Wolverines with sophomore eligibility placed in the top three of their respective events. Freshman Frank Shotwell took first in the high jump, making his final mark at 6 foot 2. Freshman Andrew Schrotenboer and redshirt freshman John Kipf rounded out the top three in the event with marks of 6-foot-0.

Fifth year senior Paul Sarantos kicked off the 2007 season well, throwing 53 feet, 8.25 inches in the shot put. The toss was better than last season’s best measurement by five-and-a-half inches. Since becoming a Wolverine, Sarantos has improved his shot put by four-and-a-half feet. He also made his debut in the weight throw, earning second behind redshirt freshman Brendan Lodge.

With great performances all around, Warhurst said he is optimistic that Michigan will be in the top pack when the Big Ten Indoor Championships come around.

“Our goal is to finish in the top three in the Big Ten,” Warhurst said. “It would be great to be second. We have to have a lot of stellar performances to win the Big Ten and Wisconsin not to have a good meet. But you know, it’s not likely that that’ll happen, but it’s real likely we can be in the top two in the Big Ten, which would be a great team performance for us. I think our team goal is top three; the potential’s there to be in the top three.”

The Wolverines have started well out of the gate. Sophomore Adam Harris clocked a 60-meter dash of 6.78 seconds, just one hundredth off his personal best. Warhurst sees this as a preview of good things to come, citing that Harris and Porter did not run this fast until a month into last season.

Michigan must be careful not to max out too early. But with 15-of-16 scorers from last year’s Big Ten Championships returning, combining with a great fall, Warhust said he is optimistic the season will turn out well.

“Everybody’s been knuckling down and training very well,” Warhurst said. “(Associate head) coach Fred LaPannte has done a great job with his kids. (Assistant coach David) Kaiser’s done a great job with his people. And we’ll see if I did a good job with the distance people next week.”

The distance runners will seek to redeem themselves this weekend at the Red Simmons/Jack Harvey Invitational after their disappointing end to the cross-country season. The team will also debut its new scoreboard next week at the Indoor Track Building.

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