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May 08, 2006 - Image 14

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2006-05-08

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14 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, May 8, 2006 SPORTS
Ferry fields another winner Women hurdle


By Katie Field
Daily Sports Writer
In 1935, Ferry Field was the site
for the greatest day in track and field
history when Ohio State sophomore
Jesse Owens set three world records
and tied another in just more than
an hour.
More than 70 years after Owens's
unsurpassable performance and
exactly one hundred years since its
opening in 1906, Ferry Field remains
the home of Michigan track and field
and the site of countless accomplish-
ments of Wolverine athletes.
While Owens may have been the
biggest name to dash across the
track at Ferry Field, excellence has
endured as a Ferry Field tradition.
During a span of 100 years, it has
ushered in a constant wave of some
of the world's most talented run-
ners, jumpers and throwers.
At the Len Paddock Invitational
on Friday and Saturday, Ferry Field
welcomed runners and spectators
alike for the first and last time in its
centennial year. The non-scoring
meet granted the Michigan men's
track and field team an opportu-
nity to hit NCAA regional quali-
fying marks and practice for the
following week's Big Ten Outdoor
Championships in front of a warm
home crowd. Michigan coach Ron
Warhurst was happy with the Wol-
verines' work and preparation for
Big Tens.
"We had a successful day," War-

hurst said. "We had some really
good performances. Everybody is
getting sharper."
The first day of the invitational
started off strong for the Wolver-
ines, with sophomore Dan Harm-
sen winning the first victory of his
collegiate career in the 400-meter
hurdles. Although Harmsen already
has a regional qualifying time for
the 400-meter hurdles, he used the
race to improve his form. He took
one less step between hurdles and
battled through a few stutter steps to
post his second-fastest time. After
tiring less than halfway through the
race and making a great recovery to
capture a first place finish, Harm-
sen was satisfied.
"I just thought of it as another
race," Harmsen said. "It was good to
win. I was pretty pleased with it."
Coming into the spotlight with
Harmsen was teammate and fellow
hurdler Rob Fiorillo. The freshman
also won his first collegiate race on
Saturday, clocking in at 14.57 on the
110-meter hurdles.
For Harmsen and Fiorillo, the
early rise to the top may be indica-
tive of their futures on the Michi-
gan track team. With the younger
Wolverines stepping up, it seems
the time is right for the veterans to
leave. For the graduating seniors,
the Len Paddock Invitational was
their final opportunity to compete
at Ferry Field in front of a home
Senior Darren Adams took third

place in the high jump with a height
of 2 meters in his last home meet as
a Wolverine.
"It's kind of sad," Adams said.
"You hate to see it end, but you're
happy, because you made it all the
way through and you finished what
you started. It's kind of a mixed
emotion, but I'm pretty happy."
On the sideline, wearing a maize
and blue beanie and sitting under a
heavy blanket, was one of Adams's
special fans.
"That's mine," said Adams's
grandmother, proudly claiming her
grandson with a big grin. "He's
pretty good at it. He does good. It
makes me very proud."
Like Adams's grandmother,
Ferry Field can boast many tal-
ented athletes that it once called
its own. In one hundred years, it
has been the scene for many trium-
phant moments. From the big ones
like Owens's to the smaller ones
- a dedicated athlete walking off
the track to be greeted by his proud
family after competing for his last
time, or a hurdler winning his first
collegiate race - Ferry Field has
seen it all.
Although its looks have certainly
changed over the years along with
the faces of the runners on its blaz-
ing, electric red track, Ferry Field
has long symbolized the strength of
the Michigan track and field pro-
And it looks like it will be around
and thriving for some time to come.

past opposition

By Bridget O'Donnell
For the Daily
They hurdled their way to the top.
And by the conclusion of the Len
Paddock Invitational this weekend at
Ferry Field, it was clear who domi-
nated the competition: the Michigan
women's hurdlers.
With first place finishes in both
hurdle events, including a four-place
sweep in the 100-meter hurdles, the
hurdlers solidified an already strong
showing for No. 15 Michigan.
The Wolverines were in control
throughout much of the non-scoring
meet, finishing first in ten events.
Overall, Michigan coach James
Henry was pleased with the week-
end's results.
"I was happy with everyone's perfor-
mances and was glad that they finished
unscathed and healthy," he said.
With the Big Ten championships
less than a week away, the Wolverines
already have high expectations for
recapturing the conference title. After
winning three straight Big Ten titles
between 2002 and 2004, the Wolver-
ines finished third in the champion-
ships last season.
"The Big Ten championships are
our most important goal right now,"
Henry said. "We have always wanted
to be in contention for the top three
this season."
In addition to an overall strong
finish, Michigan posted five NCAA
regional qualifying standards, with
three set by hurdlers. Freshman Tiffa-
ny Ofili's personal best time of 13.58
in her 100-meter hurdles victory met
the regional standard of 13.92. Mean-
while, in a tight finish, freshmen Katie
LaValley and Amber Hay qualified for
the 400-meter hurdles, posting times
of 59.99 and 1:00.70, respectively.

While it was the fifth time LaValley
qualified this season, it was just the
first for Hay, who was pleased with
her performance.
"This race showed me that if you
keep working at something, you will
eventually get it," Hay said.
Michigan also made a strong show-
ing in the field events, capped off by
a three-place sweep in the long jump.
Freshman Casey Taylor won the event
with a distance of 5.69 meters, fol-
lowed closely by freshman Bettie
Wade and Ofili, who both posted dis-
tances of 5.62. In the pole vault, senior
Elizabeth Boyle and junior Kelly Cat-
ino - in addition to qualifying for
regionals - completed a 1-2 finish for
the Wolverines, both with heights of
3.80. It was the first time Boyle quali-
fied this season, after missing most of
last season due to injury.
The Wolverines also dominated in
the relays and short distances, grab-
bing titles in both the 4x100-meter
and 4x400-meter relays as well as the
100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes.
But in the distance events, the Wol-
verines were relatively quiet. With
many of the more prominent members
of the distance squad resting in prepa-
ration for next week's Big Ten com-
petition, none of Michigan's runners
finished in the top three in either the
800-, 1,500- or 3,000-meter runs. The
most notable absence was sophomore
Nicole Edwards, who was named an
All-American for the 1500-meter run
in the 2006 NCAA indoor champion-
ships. But Henry wasn't too worried
about the lack of distance titles.
"We just wanted to get through thel
meet without any unexpected injuries
or setbacks," Henry said.
The healthy Wolverines travel to
East Lansing this Friday to compete
for the Big Ten title.

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