The Len Paddock Invitational took place at Michigan’s Ferry Field last weekend, showcasing the talent of the men’s track and field team before they travel to the Big Ten Championships at the University of Wisconsin.
The Invitational kicked off with the hammer throw on Thursday. Junior Ethan Dennis, one of the top five in the Big Ten for hammer throw, finished first with a throw of 62.18 meters — not far behind the school record of 62.75 meters he set about a month ago.
Dennis is aiming to beat that record, and with the Big Ten competition coming right up, he has the opportunity to do so.
As for the Big Ten Championships, he said he hopes to “have fun with it, and when all the dust settles, to sit high on the leader board.”
Sophomore Ali Arastu finished in first place in the men’s 400-meter dash (47.00 seconds), with Philip Washington finishing second (48.02 seconds) and Matthew Campbell finishing third (47.75 seconds).
Aratsu recorded a personal best this weekend, and is hoping to continue improving well into the postseason.
“My goal now is to win the Big Ten,” Aratsu said. “That’s been my goal since September. I’ve already made the regional mark, so my goal is to make it to Nationals. If I could get in the top eight and get All-American, that would be the icing on the top.”
Junior Troy Sneller also took second place in the men’s 400-meter hurdles, with a time of 53.13 seconds.
The men’s 4x100m relay snagged another second-place finish, recording a time of 41.23 seconds.
In the men’s 800-meter, freshman Scott Dvorak finished in seventh place with a time of 1 minute, 52.61 seconds.
Michigan coach Fred LaPlante was pleased with his team’s performance, especially with the upcoming Big Ten Outdoor Championships just around the corner.
“When you’re up and coming, I think it’s important to have a meet like this the week before,” LaPlante said. “A lot of guys can be happy and just keep their focus. We should be pretty excited about going into next week.”