Addison, Eccleston Take First on Final Day of SPIRE Invite
Rebecca Addison

Feb. 9, 2013

Site: SPIRE Institute (Geneva, Ohio)
Event: SPIRE Invitational
U-M Team Result: No team scoring
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Feb. 16 -- host Silverston Invitational (U-M Indoor Track Building), 10:30 a.m.

GENEVA, Ohio -- The University of Michigan women's track and field team was led by senior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) in the 800-meter run and fifth-year senior Amanda Eccleston (Adrian, Mich./Tecumseh) in the mile run as each clocked the fastest time in the Big Ten in winning fashion on the final day of the non-scoring SPIRE Invitational on Saturday (Feb. 9) at the SPIRE Institute.

Addison clocked a time of 2:04.01 to win the 800m, while Eccleston ran a personal-best mile time of 4:37.33 to win the event.

Addison led a group of five U-M runners who each finished the 800-meter run within 4.5 seconds. Senior Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) finished fourth with a time of 2:06.72. Senior/junior Meg Bellino (Monroe, Mich./Catholic Central) (2:08.18), freshman Danielle Pfeifer (Cincinnati, Ohio/McAuley) (2:08.22) and sophomore/freshman Devon Hoppe (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona Del Mar) (2:08.52) finished consecutively in 13th, 14th and 15th place. The group currently owns the first, fourth, ninth, 10th and 11th fastest times, respectively, in the Big Ten standings. Bellino, Pfeifer and Hoppe each registered career-best times.

Sophomore Brook Handler (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester)and junior Megan Weschler (Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt) joined Eccleston in the mile run, finishing fourth and seventh, respectively, in career-best times of 4:40.63 and 4:44.28.

In the 3,000-meter run, sophomore Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) ran a personal-best time of 9:21.09 to place sixth.

Freshman Cindy Ofili (Ypsilanti, Mich./Huron) ran a new personal-best time in the 60-meter hurdles for the fifth consecutive week, finishing runner-up with a time of 8.24, which ranks first in the Big Ten and 11th in the nation. Junior Amber Smith (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) joined Ofili in the finals, finishing seventh in 8.41.

In the field, senior/junior Sara Nitz (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East) cleared a personal-best height of 1.75 meters (5-8.75) in the high jump to finish third, while senior Ada Unachukwu (Morganville, N.J./Marlboro) took seventh in the triple jump with a mark of 12.22 meters (40-1.25).

On day one (Friday, Feb. 8), junior Erin Busbee (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood)competed in her first pentathlon of the season, finishing third overall with a career-best 3,933 points. Her performance was highlighted by a runner-up finish in the 60-meter hurdles, where she ran a career-best time of 8.58. Busbee also finished fifth in the open long jump on Saturday with a mark of 5.89 meters (19-4).

Michigan's distance medley relay, which competed for the first time this season, won the event with a time of 11:09.39, which ranks first in the Big Ten and seventh in the nation. The relay consisted of Osika in the 1,200-meter run, senior Charlotte Cahill (Farmington Hills, Mich./North Farmington) in the 400-meter run, Handler in the 800-meter run and Eccleston in the 1,600-meter run.

Bellino also recorded a personal-best time in the 600-meter run on the first day, clocking a time of 1:31.68 to finish fourth overall.

Senior/junior Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) highlighted the field events on day one, winning the pole vault after clearing a height of 4.22 meters (13-10).

The Wolverines will cap the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 16, when they host the annual Silverston Invitational at 10:30 a.m. at the U-M Indoor Track Building. The event will feature several cancer awareness initiatives to raise awareness for prostate and breast cancer. More details will be released on later this week.

Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day Two)

60-meter Dash
Top 10 will advance to Finals (Heat winners plus next fastest times)
 1. Madison  McNary, Unattached                         7.40Q
12. Cindy Ofili, U-M                                    7.64
22. Ada Unachukwu, U-M                                  7.75
36. Tofunmi Akeredolu, U-M                              7.91
39. Amber Smith, U-M                                    7.95
200-meter Dash (Seeded)
 1. Ashley Spencer, Illinois                           23.53
14. Cindy Ofili, U-M                                   24.41
15. Charlotte Cahill, U-M                              24.42
400-meter Dash
 1. Ashley Spencer, Illinois                           52.07
16. Maya Long, U-M                                     55.71
800-meter Dash
 1. Rebecca Addison, U-M                             2:04.01
 5. Jillian Smith, U-M                               2:06.72
13. Meg Bellino, U-M                                 2:08.18
14. Danielle Pfeifer, U-M                            2:08.22
15. Devon Hoppe, U-M                                 2:08.52
23. Jami Hill, U-M                                   2:10.92
Mile Run 
 1. Amanda Eccleston, U-M                            4:37.33
 4. Brook Handler, U-M                               4:40.63
 7. Megan Weschler, U-M                              4:44.28
28. Alex Mathews, U-M                                5:03.42
33. Laura Addison, U-M                               5:06.50
3,000-meter Run
 1. Rachel Sorna, Cornell                            9:12.97
 6. Shannon Osika, U-M                               9:21.09
60-meter Hurdles (Prelims)
Top 10 will advance to Finals (Heat winners plus next fastest times)
 1. Chelsea Carrier-Eades, Unattached                   8.13Q
 4. Amber Smith, U-M                                    8.44Q
 7. Cindy Ofili, U-M                                    8.46q
60-meter Hurdles (Finals)
 1. Chelsea Carrier-Eades, Unattached                   8.13
 2. Cindy Ofili, U-M                                    8.24
 7. Amber Smith, U-M                                    8.41
4x400-meter Relay
 1. Illinois  'A'                                    3:37.19
 9. MICHIGAN 'A'                                     3:45.23
   (Maya Long, Amber Smith, Meg Bellino, Charlotte Cahill)
15. MICHIGAN 'B'                                     3:51.10
   (Emily Wee, Chelsey Miller, Chinyere Onimo, Ada Unachukwu)
High Jump
 1. Tynita Butts, East Carolina                         1.86m (6-1.25)
 3. Sara Nitz, U-M                                      1.75m (5-8.75)
16. Brianna Jenkins, U-M                                1.55m (5-1)
--  Erin Busbee, U-M                                      NH
Triple Jump
 1. Dior Delophont, Kent State                         13.03m (42-9)
 7. Ada Unachukwu, U-M                                 12.22m (40-1.25)
Long Jump
 1. Brittany Cheese, Akron                              6.10m (20-0.25)
 5. Erin Busbee, U-M                                    5.89m (19-4)
Weight Throw
 1. Dani Bunch, Purdue                                 20.85m (68-5)
12. Erin Pendleton, U-M                                17.34m (56-10.75)
20. Joanna Fleming, U-M                                16.52m (54-2.50)
26. Kari Prena, U-M                                    15.75m (51-8.25)
28. Amanda Adwon, U-M                                  15.45m (50-8.25)
29. Elly Mioduszewski, U-M                             15.32m (50-3.25)
Shot Put
 1. Dani Bunch, Purdue                                 16.60m (54-5.50)
18. Kari Prena, U-M                                    12.06m (39-7)
20. Elly Mioduszewski, U-M                             11.58m (38-0)
Q - Automatic Qualifier q - At-Large Qualifier 

Day One Results


Kari Prena -- Weight Throw (15.75m, 51-8.75)
Elly Mioduszewski -- Weight Throw (15.32m, 50-3.25)
Sara Nitz -- High Jump (1.75m, 5-8.75)
Cindy Ofili -- 60m Hurdles (8.24)
Shannon Osika -- 3,000m (9:21.09)
Amanda Eccleston -- Mile (4:37.33)?
Brook Handler -- Mile (4:40.63)
Megan Weschler -- Mile (4:44.28)
Meg Bellino -- 800m (2:08.18)
Danielle Pfeifer -- 800m (2:08.22)
Devon Hoppe -- 800m (2:08.52)
Jami Hill -- 800m (2:10.92)
Maya Long -- 400m (55.71)
Cindy Ofili -- 200m (24.41)
Charlotte Cahill -- 200 (24.42)


Michigan Associate Head Coach Mike McGuire
On the performances of the distance and middle-distance runners ... "It might be as good a day as we've ever had, collectively. I think we had eight or nine personal bests during the course of the weekend. It's such a good group. They're training hard together and sometimes the order juggles itself a little bit, but no one gets bent out of shape by what place they're finishing in -- they're focusing on getting better. When you have people collectively getting better, then obviously our team is a lot better."

On which events his athletes will compete in at the Big Ten Championships ... "That's a good question. We have to look at it from a team standpoint. We look like we're pretty middle-distance oriented, but at the same time, I think we have some girls that can compete in some longer races as a competitive level. We're probably going to circle the wagons this week and race very few people. I think we're looking for a good training week this week, and then we'll be ready to go when we get back down here to the SPIRE Institute in two weeks for Big Tens."

On the benefit of competing at the Big Ten venue ..."The track is incredible. The races weren't tactical -- everyone just kind of pinned their ears back all weekend and got after it, and that wasn't just us, it was the competition that we ran against as well. The same could hold true for the conference meet, but sometimes when you get to conference meets, some of the races can be a little more tactical. The venue is here to run really fast -- there were some fast runners here this weekend, and there will be plenty of them here in two weeks for Big Tens."