As seniors Dan Lowry and Bobby Aprill neared the finish of the 5,000-meter run on Friday at the Husky Invitational in Seattle, their teammates lined the track and yelled to them a simple question: “Which one of you wants it?”
Both Lowry and Aprill were on pace to break the 27-year-old school record, and now it was a race for who would get a spot in Michigan indoor track history.
“It was comforting to know that he was right next to me when things were getting hard,” Lowry said. “We practice together so we both know we can finish within seconds of each other every time.”
Both of the seniors came across the line ahead of the school record of 13:45.06, with Lowry finishing just two seconds in front of Aprill with a time of 13:42.48.
While Lowry and Aprill competed in Seattle on Friday, the rest of the team prepared for the SPIRE Invitational in Geneva, Ohio on Saturday. Both meets were not scored and served as preparation for the Big Ten Championship in two weeks.
Junior Patrick Cochran competed for the first time this season in the triple jump and looked good doing it. His personal-best mark of 14.98 meters was good enough for a third-place finish, while also making him the seventh-best jumper in the Big Ten.
The 4×400-meter relay team — consisting of sophomore Phillip Washington, junior Ali Arastu, senior Aaron Taylor and freshman Nate Chapman — also looked strong, clocking in at a season-best time of 3:11.59, which earned it a fourth-place finish. The team was happy to see Taylor, who has been dealing with a nagging knee injury, back in the lineup and running one of his best splits of the season.
“As a team, I think we were all just average,” Arastu said. “We care about these meets, but they are really just a stepping stone to build confidence for the Big Ten Championship.”
Juniors Herman Washington and Erick Gavin finished fifth and seventh in the 60-meter hurdles with times of 7.95 and 8.05, respectively. Junior Justin Clarke finished sixth in the 60-meter run with a time of 6.93. The distance medley finished second with a season-best time of 9:57.05 with a lineup consisting of sophomore Scott Dvorak, redshirt junior Troy Sneller, redshirt freshman Zac Miklja and redshirt sophomore Nick Kern.
The team has one more meet before the Big Ten Indoor Championships and they are working to use the highs and lows of the season to prepare for a shot at a conference championship.
“If everything is going great all the time, you aren’t as focused as you need to be,” said Michigan coach Fred LaPlante. “And if everything is going wrong, your confidence is down.”