Feb. 16, 2013
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (U-M Indoor Track Building)
Event: Silverston Invitational
U-M Team Result: No team scoring
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sat., Feb. 22-23 -- at Big Ten Indoor Championships (Geneva, Ohio), 10 a.m. [ Meet Information/Tickets ]
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The 17th-ranked University of Michigan women's track and field team registered 12 top-three performances in its tune-up for the Big Ten Championships at the annual Silverston Invitational on Saturday (Feb. 16) at the U-M Indoor Track Building. The meet was a Pink and Blue Cancer Awareness event.
The final event to conclude proved to be one of the most exciting as senior/junior Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) and Grand Valley State's Kristen Hixson battled to the end and eventually tied for first place. The pair opened the pole vault event at 3.97 meters (13-0.25) and cleared the first two heights with ease. Tobel and Hixson each missed all three attempts at 4.17 meters (13-8.25) and tied for first with a height of 4.07 meters (13-4.25).
Also winning in the field was senior Ada Unachukwu (Morganville, N.J./Marlboro), who recorded the winning mark in the triple jump with a leap of 11.94 meters (39-2.25).
Senior Erin Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore) finished second in the shot put (13.34 meters, 43-9.25) and weight throw (17.10 meters, 56-1.25), helping Michigan go 1-2 in both events. Senior/junior Kari Prena (West Bloomfield Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Central) took third in the shot put with a personal-best mark of 13.22 meters (43-4.50), while sophomore/freshman Amanda Adwon (Tulsa, Okla./Holland Hall) placed third in the weight throw with a career-best toss of 16.69 meters (54-9.25).
In the high jump, senior/junior Sara Nitz (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East) cleared a height of 1.65 meters (5-5) to place third.
On the track, sophomore Chelsey Miller (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) won the 800-meter run in a time of 2:17.38, while freshman Maya Long (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron) won the 600-meter run in a personal-best time of 1:33.90. Sophomore Chinyere Onimo (Ypsilanti, Mich./Huron) trailed Long in second place, stopping the clock in a career-best time of 1:34.08.
In the 60-meter hurdles, freshman Cindy Ofili (Ypsilanti, Mich./Huron) and junior Amber Smith (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) finished 2-3 with times of 8.39 and 8.45, respectively. Later in the meet, Ofili finished second in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.61.
Up next, the Wolverines will travel to Geneva, Ohio, to compete in the Big Ten Indoor Championships on Friday and Saturday (Feb 22-23) at the SPIRE Institute. Competition will begin at 10 a.m. each day. [ Meet Information/Tickets ]
N O T E S
Today's meet was a Pink and Blue Cancer Awareness event. The men's team wore blue shirts to promote prostate cancer awareness, while the women wore pink shirts for breast cancer awareness. Representatives from the American Cancer Society were on site to help create awareness and collect donations. Volunteers Same Lewis and Julia Roberts addressed the crowd to share their inspiring storied about why the volunteer with the ACS. Head coach James Henry, who is a prostate cancer survivor, was instrumental in organizing the event.
Michigan's seniors were honored prior to the start of the running events. Senior Sara Nitz sang the National Anthem prior to the senior recognition ceremony.
Kari Prena -- Shot Put (13.22m, 43-4.25)
Amanda Adwon -- Weight Throw (16.69m, 54-9.25)
Meghan Lark -- Pole Vault (3.37m, 11-0.75)
Maya Long -- 600m (1:33.90)
Chinyere Onimo -- 800m (1:34.08)
Laura Addison -- Mile (5:02.57)
Nicola Hallenborg -- Mile (5:08.00)
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach James Henry
On hosting the cancer awareness event as a survivor ... "I'm glad I got the nerve up to do it. I heard the stories and that was something emotional, to hear people step out and tell people about their circumstances. Hopefully that helps someone. I know we can't help everyone, but we can help some people and hopefully the awareness will make people do the right thing and take care of their bodies."
On the highlights from the meet today ... "I was very happy. We held a lot of people back. A lot of those who competed needed to stay fresh, get some work in and stay on top of their game, and I thought that we did that. Winning wasn't as important as just competing and staying healthy. That was all accomplished. At the same time, there were a lot of seniors who competed in their last competition as a Michigan Wolverine at home. That was a very emotional thing to see these kids go out and have such a good crowd behind us."
On bringing the whole team together for Big Tens ... "Well I think they're probably more excited as athletes than we are as coaches. It's going to be a matter of us keeping them under control and waiting until the big weekend. They're looking forward to it. They know we are greatly improved. They know that we're much better and very balanced. They know that we're a program that is going to go after the championship. Whether we get it or not, we will be successful if we just go after it. They know that there's a lot at stake and it's just a matter of me making sure that we keep things in perspective. It's a track meet and not something more serious than that."
U-M Senior Thrower Erin Pendleton
On her final home meet and the cancer awareness event ... "We got pink ribbons and shirts for the pink meet, which is really important. We should have one at least once a year to support breast cancer because Coach Henry is a survivor so it's extra special for us. But it's just really nice. It's my last home meet, which is crazy to think about. It's nice to be in front of a home crowd before Big Tens. It really gets everyone geared up, so I'm excited about it."
On the team as a whole preparing for Big Tens next week ... "I'm really looking forward to it. We were at Geneva, Ohio last weekend for the SPIRE Invite, so that helped out a lot. We all like the circles there. Amanda (Adwon) and Kari (Prena) did really well this weekend. We're looking for big marks next weekend."
On her teammates picking her up on an off day ... "It's really good because there's a lot of good energy, and I like to use others' energy to help me, so it's really good when my teammates have good days. When we all do well as a group, it's really nice."
On having her sister Emily still here supporting her ... "I like it a lot, it's really nice. She was here today, cheering me on, but it's a little weird. She redshirted one year, so it helps with the transition. But we still train together at practice during the week."
On how the team is feeling going into next week ... "We're feeling really good about it. Every week, it seems like there are PRs from everyone. I know we had a really good distance meet last weekend. We're all really looking forward to it."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423