With the Big Ten Championships a week away, the Michigan men’s track and field team sharpened its game at the Harold Silverston Invitational Saturday in Ann Arbor.
The main goal for the Wolverines was to head into their conference championships healthy, while still putting up a strong showing in the non-scoring event.
And after seven first-place finishes without a single injury, consider the mission accomplished.
Several of Michigan’s top competitors were held out of the meet to make sure they were ready for next weekend.
The Wolverines dominated in the track events, claiming victory in six of the nine races and placing within the top three in all but two. Sophomore Justin Switzer recorded a season-best time in the mile run with a time of 4:07.
“We were very pleased with Switzer’s performance,” Michigan coach Ron Warhurst said. “He looked like his old self.”
Sophomore Stevann Waithe took the crown in the 400-meter run, followed closely by freshman teammate Kyle Terpak.
The 600-meter run was a showcase for Michigan runners, as a trio of Wolverines took top billing. Junior Andrew Wechter came out on top with a time of 1:20, with sophomore Dan Harmsen and senior Andrew Ellerton taking the second and third places, respectively.
The Wolverines continued their dominance in the 2,000-meter run, claiming the top four spots in the event. Freshman Brandon Fellows took top honors with a time of 5:20. Junior James Reichardt, freshman Tony Nalli and junior Seth Thibodeau followed their fellow Wolverine as they crossed the finish line in that order.
Michigan was also victorious in two more track events: Senior Jeff Porter won the 60-meter hurdles, and the team of Andrew Ellerton, Stevann Waithe, Kyle Terpak and freshman Ricky Fleming topped the competition in the 4×400-meter relay.
“As a team, we ran really well today in the hurdle and distance events,” Warhurst said. “The 600 and 2,000 were questionable because the distances can be tricky for the runners, but Fellows and Wechter ran well.”
The field events were just as friendly to the Wolverines as the track events had been. The weight throw was dominated by Michigan with sophomore Sean Pruitt taking first with a throw of 19.42 meters, setting a new school record for the third time in the past four weeks. Senior Paul Sarantos and sophomore Dan Bedoya rounded out the top three, giving Michigan a clean sweep in the event.
Pruitt and Sarantos also found success in the shot put, with Pruitt placing second and Sarantos coming in fourth.
The strong showing on Saturday is a positive as the Big Ten Championships approach, but the Wolverines know the road to a top finish in the conference is no easy task. “Wisconsin will be tough to beat, but we have a very good chance to place high in the championships,” Warhurst said.