Feb. 2, 2013
Site: South Bend, Ind. (Loftus Center)
Event: Notre Dame Meyo Invitational (Day 2)
U-M Team Result: No team scoring
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sat., Feb. 8-9 -- at SPIRE Invitational (Geneva, Ohio), 2 p.m./10 a.m.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The University of Michigan women's track and field team wrapped up the second day of competition at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational on Saturday (Feb. 2) with 11 top-10 performances, for a total of 12 on the weekend at the Loftus Center. Fifth-year senior Amanda Eccleston (Adrian, Mich./Tecumseh) and freshman Cindy Ofili (Ypsilanti, Mich./Huron) won the 3,000-meter run and 60-meter hurdles, respectively, to headline the two-day event.
Eccleston won the Ryan Shay Invitational 3,000-meter run with a time of 9:25.27, which moved her into sixth place in the Big Ten standings. Ofili and junior Amber Smith (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) each earned spots in today's 60-meter hurdle finals after advancing through the preliminary and semifinals rounds yesterday (Friday, Feb. 1). Ofili won the event, running the 11th-fastest time in the nation and top time in the Big Ten at 8.26. Smith secured fourth place with a personal-best time of 8.33, which ranks third in the Big Ten. Ofili also advanced to the semifinals of the 60-meter dash yesterday, but she was one spot shy of qualifying for the finals, placing seventh in 7.66.
In the 800-meter run, senior/junior Meg Bellino (Monroe, Mich./Catholic Central) ran a career-best time of 2:09.14 to finish seventh out of 74 participants, including former Wolverine Genna Gall (2006-09), who won the event with a time of 2:03.33.
Sophomore/freshman Devon Hoppe (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona Del Mar) finished sixth in the mile run, clocking a personal-best time of 4:54.69.
Michigan was the only school represented by three student-athletes in the invitational Meyo Mile. Sophomore Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott), who won the event last year as a freshman, finished runner-up in a time of 4:40.28. Seniors Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) and Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) followed in fourth and fifth place, with times of 4:45.62 and 4:36.85, respectively.
On day one, senior/junior Lindsey Hilton (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams) finished eighth in the 5,000-meter run with a personal-best time of 16:47.25.
In the field, senior/junior Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) finished fourth in the pole vault, clearing a height of 4.05 meters (13-3.50).
The Wolverines will face their toughest competition of the season prior to the Big Ten Championships next weekend at the SPIRE Invitational. Action will begin on Friday (Feb. 8) at 2 p.m. and resume again on Saturday (Feb. 9) at 10 a.m. at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. [ Meet Information ]
Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day 2)
200-meter Dash 1. Raven Moore, Iowa 24.30 3. Charlotte Cahill, U-M 24.58 32. Ada Unachukwu, U-M 25.55 400-meter Dash 1. Jody-Ann Muir, Miss State 54.23 12. Maya Long, U-M 56.30 24. Charlotte Cahill, U-M 57.12 66. Emily Wee, U-M 1:00.43 800-meter Run 1. Geena Gall, Nike 2:03.33 7. Meg Bellino, U-M 2:09.14 33. Chelsey Miller, U-M 2:14.61 43. Chinyere Onimo, U-M 2:17.01 Mile Run 1. Kaylin Belair, Toledo 4:52.26 6. Devon Hoppe, U-M 4:54.69 13. Danielle Pfeifer, U-M 4:56.92 15. Jami Hill, U-M 4:57.78 35. Alex Mathews, U-M 5:02.88 Meyo Mile 1. Rebecca Tracy, Notre Dame 4:39.52 2. Shannon Osika, U-M 4:40.28 4. Rebecca Addison, U-M 4:45.62 5. Jillian Smith, U-M 4:46.85 3,000-meter Run 1. Rachel Mitchell, Sacramento St. 9:52.38 23. Laura Addison, U-M 10:12.96 3,000-meter Run (Invitational) 1. Amanda Eccleston, U-M 9:25.27 10. Brook Handler, U-M 9:38.12 18. Megan Weschler, U-M 9:57.86 60-meter Hurdles (Finals) 1. Cindy Ofili, U-M 8.26 4. Amber Smith, U-M 8.33 4x400-meter Relay 1. Michigan State 3:38.47 15. MICHIGAN 'A' 3:53.31 (Amber Smith, Rebecca Addison, Jillian Smith, Meg Bellino) Pole Vault (Invitational) 1. Kylie Hutson, Nike 4.60m (15-1) 4. Kiley Tobel, U-M 4.05m (13-3.50) Shot Put 1. Felisha Johnson, Indiana State 17.00m (55-9.25) 25. Erin Busbee, U-M 11.93m (39-1.75) 26. Elly Mioduszewski, U-M 11.73m (38-6)
Laura Addison -- 3,000m (10:12.96)
Devon Hoppe -- Mile (4:54.69)
Jami Hill -- Mile (4:57.78)
Alex Mathews -- Mile (5:02.88)
Amber Smith -- 60m Hurdles (8.33)
Charlotte Cahill -- 200m (24.58)
Maya Long -- 400m (56.30)
Emily Wee -- 400m (1:00.43)
Meg Bellino -- 800m (2:09.14)
Chelsey Miller -- 800m (2:14.61)
Chinyere Onimo -- 800m (2:17.01)
Erin Busbee -- Shot Put (11.93 meters, 39-1.75)
Q U O T E S
U-M Head Coach James Henry
On the consistency from Cindy Ofili and Amber Smith in the 60-meter hurdlers … "Both of them are hardworking athletes. They have different styles of hurdling and they have different needs to improve. They feed off each other's strength and weaknesses and that's what has allowed them to consistently get better. Both of them are still going to improve and they're still going to be consistent and competitive in the hurdles. That's the most important thing because the hurdles is a challenging event -- you're going super-fast and you're going over an obstacle every two seconds. So it's very impressive how quickly Cindy (Ofili) has come along because she's so young. But I'm not surprised because she's an Ofili and she's not trying to do more than she's capable of. All that she's been doing so far is outstanding."
On Erin Busbee's continued improvement as a multi-event athlete … "It's probably the most challenging thing to do on the team because you're trying to develop your body to run fast, jump far, jump high, throw far, all at the same time. She's embraced it because her philosophy is that you're not a multi-event athlete, you're a single-event athlete. She's not out there just trying to get by in each event, she's out there to be competitive and do well in those singles events. And because she's so versatile, we're able to say 'on this day you're a multi athlete, essentially, but in each event you're a single-event athlete' -- and the mentality seems to work well for her. She's done a great job of focusing her efforts, she's also a great student, she's the first to arrive every day and the last to leave. She's getting it done on the track and in the classroom and I'm very proud of her. She will compete in her first full pentathlon and put it all together at the SPIRE Invitational next weekend. It's the best opportunity, we think, and the best timing to put it all together and treat it as a dress rehearsal for Big Tens. For her, it's an opportunity to go out and do her best and hopefully meet a qualifying standard for the NCAA Championships."
On how the team responded to competition at the first large invitational … "It was an extreme compared to the dual meet with Michigan State. It was a very long meet that is very hard on the body, but they understand the focus -- they're trying to do well individually for the team and individually for their confidence. They're working to perform at a high level to build confidence for the conference championships. They managed to do very well in that transition to a large meet and next week will be another big challenge as many of the Big Ten schools will be present and we'll get to compete against them before the real deal in three weeks."
On other individual performances that stood out and areas that need improvement … "The 3,000-meter run was an excellent performance for Amanda Eccleston. It was a challenge for her in one year to accept Mike's (McGuire) training style and philosophy and Mike has done a great job of bringing her along. It was a great and much needed performance from her. I also thought that Shannon Osika in the mile had an impressive performance, as well as Meg Bellino in the 800. There are some areas that we still need to fine-tune, with our short sprints and mid-sprints and then we also need to make sure that our veterans are prepared in their respective events."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423