The Michigan men’s track and field team ended the indoor season with a positive outlook on things to come.
The Wolverines brought their top weight thrower, junior Ethan Dennis, and relay team, composed of sophomores Michael Parker Jr. and Ali Arastu, junior Aaron Taylor and senior Nick Neuman, to compete in the NCAA Division I indoor championships.
Though Michigan scored no points for weight throwing or the 4×400-meter relay, Michigan coach Fred LaPlante saw a lot that he liked.
“Going into any championship, a lot of people assume that everyone is going to throw a personal best, but that is not the case,” LaPlante said. “You never know how you are going to do because it depends on everyone else. All you can really do is be ready to give your best.”
Dennis committed fouls on his first two throws, but followed up with a 19.36-meter throw on his last try to make him a second-team All-American — Michigan’s first ever in the weight throw.
“It feels really good,” Dennis said.
The first two throws proved costly for Dennis.
“I dug myself into a real hole,” Dennis said. “I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself with those first two throws, because now I don’t only have to worry about distance, but also getting that last on mark.”
Despite his personal success on the season, Dennis couldn’t help but wish that he had ended on a better note.
“It was a little disappointing that I couldn’t pull one out, but I am looking forward to the outdoor season, and I think I can improve and do a lot better.”
The Wolverines saw their relay team finish 10th with a time of 3:11.20. The relay team also made the All-American second team.
The season was a bit of a disappointment, but LaPlante feels that the team can accomplish a lot in the upcoming outdoor season.
“We are really close to getting to where we want to be,” LaPlante said. “The actual result was not that good, but I was definitely encouraged. I saw that we are a resilient team.”
Michigan will begin its outdoor season competition with the USC Invitational on March 23-24.