With just one week before the Big Ten Championships, the men”s track team fine-tuned its performances Saturday at the Harold Silverston Invitational.
Although the meet was non-scoring, Michigan won nine of the 15 events, with senior Charles DeWildt and junior Ike Okenwa leading the Wolverines.
DeWildt”s effort of 17-5 in the pole vault was a “tremendous jump”, according to coach Ron Warhurst. It put DeWildt well over the NCAA provisional qualifying standard of 17-2 3/4.
“Ron told me I wasn”t going to go to Big Tens if I didn”t jump 17 feet this week,” DeWildt said, jokingly.
But DeWildt not only plans on traveling to the conference meet this weekend he wants to win the pole vault. His No. 1 competition is Paul Terek from Michigan State, an athlete who isn”t very consistent DeWildt says.
“I”m feeling really good about my stance,” DeWildt said. “It doesn”t matter how high you jump, it”s how you compete.”
Another Wolverine who will enter Big Tens with the intention to win his event is Okenwa. Okenwa won the 60-meter dash in 6.93 seconds, almost .5 seconds faster than the rest of the competition.
Okenwa said the Silverston Invite was a chance to work out some technical kinks in a short race, such as his start, but overall he said he felt “rested and ready to go next week” for the Big Ten meet.
“My goal is to win and I think I”ve got a pretty realistic shot at it,” Okenwa said.
While DeWildt and Okenwa have their sights set on winning their respective conference titles, other Wolverines showed Saturday that they can also contribute to the team”s overall performance in upcoming meets.
Freshman Terrence Rindler won the one-mile run in 4:15.25, while freshman Brian Turner led the 3,000-meter run and beat teammate Steve Lawrence by one second, clocking 8:18.28. Junior Kevin Lamb ran 22.39 to win the 200-meter dash, while junior Rob Arnold won the high jump with 6-8 3/4.
“We had some pretty good performances this week,” Warhurst said. “But we”re going to have to have max performances out of everybody next week in every event hopefully everybody”s legs are underneath them.”