This weekend, Adam Harris sprinted faster than any Wolverine has ever sprinted.
Harris, a sophomore from Wheaton, Ill., broke the school’s 60-meter record with a time of 6.71 seconds at the non-scoring Red Simmons/Jack Harvey Invitational in Ann Arbor. His time was good enough to earn him an NCAA provisional mark, giving him a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Championships. Harris missed tying the Big Ten Indoor Championship record – set last year by Demi Omole of Wisconsin – by .01 seconds. “That’s a school record,” coach Ron Warhurst said. “That’s just fantastic. He has to get it in his mind that he can win races. He has lots of upside.”
Harris’s record-breaking performance got the crowd sizzling. And they needed to be ready when Lex Williams stepped onto the track.
Williams, a sophomore distance runner, was nearly on pace to run a sub-eight minute 3,000-meter, a very difficult feat to accomplish. The crowd was roaring, and the fans were cheering at the top of their lungs
During the final laps, the intensity of the crowd followed Williams at every turn. As the crowd’s encouragement got bigger and bigger so did Williams’s once slim lead over Eastern Michigan’s Corey Nowitzke.
When Williams turned the final corner, Nowitzke wasn’t even in sight. The last 50 meters were an all-out sprint by Williams, who bent over in pure exhaustion after crossing the finish line.
Williams, an Ann Arbor native, didn’t break the eight-minute mark, but still won, and his time of 8:02.36 was nearly four seconds better than the NCAA provisional mark.
“He can qualify for the NCAA Tournament,” Warhust said. “He did this on his own, we helped him through the mile, but he took it over at the mile.”
Harris and Williams had great races, but it was the other Wolverines that made the day a complete success.
Michael Whitehead, a senior captain, took first place in the triple jump by leaping 15.56 meters in his first triple jump of the season. It was just enough to give him an NCAA provisional mark.
Paul Sarantos, a fifth-year senior, had personal bests in the shot put and weight throw with distances of 17.12 meters and 17.42 meters, respectively. He took third place in both events.
In the 400-meter dash, Michigan had two great performances. Stann Waithe (48.63) and Andre Barnes (48.91) took first and second place. They also teamed with Dan Harmsen and John D’Arcy, to win the 4 X 400 meter relay.
All in all Warhurst was pleased with his team’s performance.
“There were no injuries,” Warhurst said. “You always have your fingers crossed when we are sprinting this early in the season. But we are fine and in good position.”
Warhurst said that when the team lightens up on its training regimen, he will be interested to see if Harris can break the record once again.