Michigan junior Justin Switzer slashed three seconds off his personal-best time in the “Meyo Mile” and was one of three Wolverines to post NCAA provisional times at the Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Ind. this weekend.
Switzer’s time (4:03) earned him 10th place in the race. The Meyo Mile pinned the nation’s top distance runners against each other and is known as one of the most competitive individual competitions of the season. Thirty-four runners competed in the race, three finished with sub-four-minute miles and seven notched provisional times.
Junior co-captain Lex Williams and sophomore Ciaran O’Lionaird added to Michigan’s success, setting NCAA provisional times and personal-bests in the 3,000-meter run. Williams finished fifth overall (7:55), followed closely by O’Lionaird, who finished sixth.
“You try to come to these places to run fast,” Michigan coach Ron Warhurst said. “We accomplished a lot, so it was a good weekend.”
The 500-meter dash also contributed to the solid showing, as the Wolverines swept the top three spots in the event. Senior co-captain Andrew Wechter finished first with a time of 1:03.34. Redshirt junior Dan Harmsen and sophomore Ricky Fleming were hot on his trail, coming in second and third.
The sweep was a surprise, because Michigan doesn’t usually compete in the 500-meter dash. For the invitational, Warhurst wanted to give some of the runners a different look so he placed some of his 300-meter and 600-meter runners in the event.
“I think that was the first time I ran that,” Wechter said. “I didn’t have any expectations – I just wanted to compete – but it turned out my way.”
Junior Adam Harris, who currently holds Michigan’s record in the 60-meter dash, hadn’t raced in the event since Jan. 26. But the break didn’t hinder his performance. He finished sixth with a time of 6.81, just 0.17 off his career best of 6.64.
With the goal of winning the Big Ten Indoor Championships in mind, the Wolverines got a taste of the competition they’ll face in the future. Most of the teams at the meet were Big Ten teams. “It was a great experience,” Wechter said. “It was a good warm-up against teams we will see at the Big Tens.”
And the Big Tens less than a month away, the Wolverines hope to continue to progress in order to achieve their goal.
“You just try to train properly and train hard,” Warhurst said. “We still have another month to go, so hopefully we can continue with our success.”