The hard work and dedication of four members of the Michigan men’s track and field team earned them the chance to perform on the grand stage at the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. In a weekend filled with stiff competition from the nation’s best runners and throwers, four Wolverines walked away as All-Americans.

On day one, the fifth-year senior duo of Dan Lowry and Bobby Aprill competed together in the 5,000 meter run, as they have all season, finishing 10th and 14th, respectively. In a tight race, Lowry finished with a time of 13:54.41, while Aprill followed in at 14:10.96. The times were enough to earn both of these veterans All-America second-team honors.

“It’s been a long time since someone qualified for nationals in distance,” Aprill said. “We have showed the younger guys that we should be sending people to this meet every year — that we should have guys being All-American every year.”

That same day, redshirt sophomore Cody Riffle placed 12th in the shot put with a throw of 18.09 meters. Like his counterparts on the track, Riffle’s effort earned him a place on the All-America second team.

The lone Wolverine to perform on day two of the meet was redshirt junior Ethan Dennis, who made his second consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championships in the weight throw. He placed ninth, with a heave of 20.53 meters. The effort allowed Denis, who broke a Michigan record earlier this year, to claim his place as a second-team All-American for the second-straight year.

“I was much more relaxed going into this meet compared to last year,” Dennis said. “It’s a bit unfortunate that I finished one slot away from first-team All-American, but overall I feel I did well.”

With the conclusion of the indoor NCAA Championships, the four Wolverines, along with the rest of their team, set their sights on the approaching outdoor season. The Big Ten is one of the nation’s strongest conferences when it comes to track and field, and Michigan’s experience this weekend helped it realize the hard work it needs to put in to succeed.

“I need to get back to basic mileage, build my fitness back up, and get back to equilibrium,” Aprill said. “I want to be a couple places better, a couple seconds better by the time championships come in June.”

With the new season comes several new opportunities for records to be broken and championships to be won. Those are goals that the Wolverines look forward to accomplishing, and they are using their successes at this weekend’s NCAA Championships as motivation.

“I’m looking to increase my school records and get some that last a long time,” Dennis said. “It would be great to get a couple Big Ten championships and some more high finishes at nationals.”

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