Jan. 7, 2012
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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (U-M Indoor Track Building)
Event: Michigan Women's Open
U-M Team Result: No Team Scoring
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Jan. 14 -- at Ohio State - The Dual (Columbus, Ohio), 11 a.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Sophomore Kiley Tobel's (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) school-record mark of 4.00 meters (13-01.50) led the University of Michigan women's track and field team at the season-opening Michigan Women's Open on Saturday (Jan. 7) at the U-M Indoor Track Building. Tobel was one of seven Wolverines to take first in the 13 events contested.
Freshman Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott), who joined the squad at the start of the 2012 Spring semester, picked up her first career win, taking first in the mile run in 4:54.90. The freshman remained in the middle of the pack for the first 400 meters before breaking away. She crossed the line more than 20 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
Sophomore Amber Smith (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) was just .01 shy of her personal-best time, winning the 60-meter hurdles in 8.68.
In the 60-meter dash finals, junior Charlotte Cahill (Farmington Hills, Mich./North Farmington) was first to cross the line in the time of 7.84, just .02 behind her preliminary time. Cahill also took second in the 200-meter dash, finishing in 25.79.
Senior Brittani Williams (Detroit, Mich./Jackson) pulled away from the pack early in the 800-meter run and finished first in a time of 2:14.45.
After redshirting last season, fifth-year senior Emily Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore) returned to the field and finished runner-up in the shot put with a throw of 14.75 meters (48-04.75) and weight throw (16.78 meters, 55-00.00). Sister, junior Erin Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore), took first in the weight throw with a mark of 17.17 meters (56-04.00).
The Wolverines will travel to Ohio State for their second annual dual meet with the Buckeyes on Saturday, Jan. 14. Competition is set to start at 11 a.m. at French Field House.
N O T E S
• Kiley Tobel set a new school record in the indoor pole vault (4.00m, 13-01.50), which was previously set by Elizabeth Boyle in 2003 (3.94m, 12-11.50).
• This was the first time the Wolverines opened the season at home hosting the Michigan Women's Open since the 2007 season.
• Volunteer assistant throws coach Zara Northover competed unattached and won the shot put (15.07m, 49-05.50)
• Former U-M runner Shana Vinson (2007-10) competed unattached in the 600-meter event.
• Asia Body set two PRs in today's meet -- 4.77 meters (15-07.75) in the long jump and 8.83 meters (28-11.75) in the shot put.
• Auriel Bell set a new PR in the long jump with a leap of 5.07 meters (16-07.75).
• Erin Busbee set a new PR in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.95.
• Tofunmi Akeredolu set a new PR in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.89.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach James Henry
On the Michigan Open being a low key starting point for the team ... "It's probably the lowest-key meet with not much competition outside of our teammates, but the kids let the adrenaline flow and the times were good. I was pleased with what we were intending to do, which was to get a good start and I think we got a good start."
On Kiley Tobel's school-record performance in the pole vault ... "Kiley is one of those kids who has worked all summer and if you're an athlete and a hard worker who is willing to put in the time, the odds will be in your favor in terms of improvements. She worked throughout the summer, she worked in the fall and she continues to work hard. It's not a surprise to see her doing what she's going and I'm excited to see how much further she's going to improve because she will significantly continue to improve."
On what other areas he was happy with today ... "I was excited about our new young lady, Shannon Osika. I was really happy for her. She's a Wolverine the hard way, she's a mid-semester Wolverine, but she came in in shape and ready to compete. She's a welcome addition to the family. I also thought Amber Smith had a very good competition in the hurdles -- another example of someone who stayed during the summer. She has worked really hard and that's paying off. Brittani Williams also had a good day in terms of her performance."
On what he's looking forward to with The Dual against Ohio State next weekend ... "This is the meet that I'm probably most excited about because it's not always the most talented athlete or the deepest team that performs. It's based on two places -- everyone gets two people to score. You compete with four and you're guaranteed two spots. In many cases, some of our kids who are not our top athletes can make a difference for us. Las year, we lost the inaugural meet by five points I believe it was and I think it's going to be closer this coming week. I'm looking forward to a team effort. I think we can win this with the balanced squad we have."
U-M Sophomore Pole Vaulter Kiley Tobel
On her approach coming into today's meet ... "I came in at 12 feet and I was ready to go from the beginning. I knew that if I did what I've been doing in practice and executed everything that I could clear it for me. That was Coach Conlon's goal for me today. That was my goal today too. I wasn't sure it was going to happen, but as I started jumping I knew I would have some good shots at it."
On switching poles for her last jump ... "I went to a bigger pole, a stiffer pole for my last jump just to make sure that I'd get it. I knew I'd have a good chance of getting it on the pole I was on, but I thought if I went up, it would give me the extra little bit I'd need, so I switched it on my last attempt and it turned out to be the right thing to do because it got me right over.
On looking forward to the rest of the season ... "I'm really excited because I only went from a short approach today. I went from a six-left and we do an eight-left. Hopefully by Big Tens I'll be at an eight-left. It's really cool because this was my personal record last year during outdoors, but I did it from an eight-left outdoors, and this is our first meet and I'm already jumping what I did last year from a short approach. I know I will be a lot better this year. I'm looking forward to everyone getting on the same page and getting closer and closer to peaking as the season goes on, as we get closer to Big Tens. That's the goal -- to peak and do your absolute best at Big Tens, so this is a good starting point."
On how Coach Conlon has helped her improve since last season ... "Coach Conlon is awesome. Ever since he came here, obviously I've improved, but my passion for the sport has increased. I know why I'm here -- I know why I'm doing this sport and competing for U-M. Everything has so much more purpose now. Every day at practice now, I want to get better, and having him I know I'll get better. I trust him completely and I know he's going to take me to the highest I can go."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423