Jeff Porter wasn’t the only one putting up gaudy numbers at this past weekend’s NCAA Indoor Championships.
Porter won the 60-meter hurdle national championship, beating runner-up Alleyne Lett (LSU) by .06 seconds. The senior broke the school record for the event (7.64 seconds), surpassing the record-breaking time he posted last week (7.70 seconds) at the Alex Wilson Invitational.
But the Michigan track and field team as a whole posted even more eye-boggling numbers.
Seven All-American performances – with just six performers.
And a sixth-place team finish – despite entering the championships ranked 18th in the nation.
“The kids themselves are my trophies,” Michigan coach Ron Warhurst said. “What the kids did was fantastic.”
Despite not qualifying as a team, the Wolverines were able to put up 23 points. They beat out traditional track powerhouses Tennessee (No. 4), Louisiana State (t-No. 9) and Baylor (t-No. 9). No. 1 Wisconsin won the team title (40 points).
Andrew Ellerton had a lot to do with Michigan’s great finish. The fifth-year senior put up two All-American performances this weekend, and contributed in 11 of the Wolverines’ 23 points. On the competition’s first day, Ellerton – along with sophomores Justin Switzer, Andre Barnes and Lex Williams – finished sixth (three points) in the distance medley relay.
But the highlight for Ellerton came on Saturday, when he finished second (1:48.55) in the 800-meter run, just .15 seconds behind Ryan Brown (Washington).
“What’s really great is that Ellerton wasn’t even supposed to be in the meet on Monday,” Warhurst said. “We put him on a petition and he ended up in second.”
With his strong showing at the Randal Tyson Track Center (Arkansas), the fifth-year senior moved into third place of career All-American track honors received at Michigan. Four-time NCAA Champion Kevin Sullivan (10) and three-time NCAA Champion Nate Brannen (eight) are the lone Wolverines who have earned the honor on more occasions. With the outdoor season approaching, the Sudbury, Ont., native has a chance to threaten the record.
The final Wolverine to score for Michigan was Michael Whitehead, who contributed two points with his seventh-place showing in the triple jump.
“We ended up having a great meet,” Warhurst said. “It was a great effort from everyone.”