March 30, 2013
Site: Raleigh, N.C. (Paul Derr Track and Field Facility)
Event: Raleigh Relays (Day 2)
U-M Team Result: Non-scoring
Next U-M Event: Saturday, April 6 -- vs. California and Virginia Tri-Meet (Berkley, Calif.)
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The University of Michigan's women's track and field team captured two relay titles -- including a meet record in the 4x800 -- on the final day of the Raleigh Relays on Saturday (March 30) at the Paul Derr Track and Field Facility. The Wolverines finished the weekend with 17 top-five performances, including eight on the final day.
The Wolverine's 4x800-meter relay set a new Raleigh Relays record, completing the four legs in 8:33.54. The relay consisted of senior/junior Meg Bellino (Monroe, Mich./Catholic Central), freshman Danielle Pfeifer (Cincinnati, Ohio/McAuley), sophomore/freshman Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) and senior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven).
The 4x1,500-meter relay team won the event by nearly 40 seconds in 17:44.57, with the four-person team, consisting of sophomore Brook Handler (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester), Osika, Addison and senior/junior Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional).
On the opening day, freshman Cindy Ofili (Ypsilanti, Mich./Huron) and junior Amber Smith (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) each qualified for the 100-meter hurdle finals, where they finished second and fifth, respectively, in today's finals. Ofili ran a personal-best time of 13.34, while Smith was .01 seconds off her personal best, stopping the clock at 13.65. Smith also finished fifth in the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 1:00.44.
Senior Charlotte Cahill (Farmington Hills, Mich./North Farmington) crossed the finish line third in the 200-meter dash invitational with a time of 24.47.
Senior Ada Unachukwu (Morganville, N.J./Marlboro) highlighted the second day of field events, recording a runner-up performance in her season debut in the triple jump with a mark of 12.54 meters (41-1.75). Senior/junior Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) made her outdoor season debut in the pole vault, placing fourth with a height of 3.85 meters, 12-7.5.
Senior Erin Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore) headlined the first day of field events, placing second in the discus with a mark of 49.59 meters (163-0). Senior/junior Sara Nitz (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East)
finished fifth in the high jump with a personal-best height of 1.70 meters (5-7).
On the first day four Wolverines recorded personal-best time to finish in the top five of their respective 5,000-meter sections. In her outdoor debut at Michigan, fifth-year senior Amanda Eccleston (Adrian, Mich./Tecumseh) took fourth in section one with a career-best time of 16:13.07. In section two, freshman Taylor Manett (Rockford, Mich./Rockford) ran a personal-best time of 16:40.72 to take fifth. Junior/sophomores Nicola Hallenborg (Summit, N.J./Summit) (17:23.96) and Alex Mathews (Birmingham, Mich./Seaholm) (17:25.39) each clocked personal-best times in section three to finish third and fourth, respectively.
In the 1,500-meter run, Handler ran a personal-best time of 4:26.44 to earn a runner-up finish in section two. In the third section, juniors Alex Leptich (Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline) (4:31.10) and Megan Weschler (Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt) (4:31.91) finished second and fifth, respectively. It marked a career-best time for Weschler.
The Wolverines will compete in their first scored event of the outdoor season when they travel to Berkeley, Calif. to face California and Virginia in a triangular meet on Saturday, April 6 at the University of California.
Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day 2)
200-meter Dash (Invitational) 1. Cierra McGee, George Mason 23.84 3. Charlotte Cahill, U-M 24.47 11. Cindy Ofili, U-M 24.86 18. Erin Busbee, U-M 25.17 100-meter Hurdles (Finals) 1. Kierre Beckles, South Carolina 13.09 2. Cindy Ofili, U-M 13.34 5. Amber Smith, U-M 13.65 400-meter Hurdles 1. Jaelynn Pryor, Michigan State 59.45 5. Amber Smith, U-M 1:00.44 12. Alexandria Williams, U-M 1:01.75 4x100-meter Relay 1. Morgan State 45.17 10. MICHIGAN 46.42 (Amber Smith, Cindy Ofili, Ada Unachukwu, Charlotte Cahill) 4x400-meter Relay 1. St. Augustine's 3:37.85 9. MICHIGAN 3:50.11 (Amber Smith, Meg Bellino, Chinyere Onimo, Alexandria Williams) 4x800-meter Relay 1. MICHIGAN 8:33.54R (Meg Bellino, Danielle Pfeifer, Shannon Osika, Rebecca Addison) 4x1,500-meter Relay 1. MICHIGAN 17:44.57 (Brook Handler, Shannon Osika, Rebecca Addison, Jillian Smith) Pole Vault 1. Petra Olsen, South Carolina 4.05m (13-3.50) 4. Kiley Tobel, U-M 3.85m (12-07.50) 6. Victoria Wesley, U-M 3.75m (12-3.50) Triple Jump 1. Tori Franklin, Michigan State 13.07m (42-10.75) 2. Ada Unachukwu, U-M 12.54m (41-1.75) Hammer Throw 1. Brooke Pleger, BGSU 64.76mR (212-5.50) 7. Joanna Fleming, U-M 51.31m (168-4) 9. Erin Pendleton, U-M 50.88m (166-11) 33. Kari Prena, U-M 41.51m (136-2.25) R - Raleigh Relays record
Q U O T E S
U-M Senior Rebecca Addison
On winning the 4x800 and 4x1,500-meter relays ... "The 4x1,500 ended up not having that many teams and by the first leg we were out pretty far, but then everyone did a really good job of motivating themselves to run hard still even though we were far ahead and we ended up just a couple of seconds off the record. In the 4x800 we had a lot of competition, especially with Tennessee. It kept switching back and forth the whole time so it was a really fun relay because everyone competed really hard."
On the benefit of competing in non-championship relays ... "It gets you ready for any situation because you never know what position you are going to be in -- it changes all the time and it's fun to compete with your teammates in a fun situation, especially in the early part of the season it is a lot less pressure. It is a good introduction to the event because there isn't a lot of pressure, but you are still getting used to running it on an outdoor track."
On next week's tri-meet with Cal and Virginia ... "I think it is going to prepare us really well for Big Tens because of the atmosphere where every point counts and people are cheering for each other because you know every point counts. It will really get us ready and I think it will be really fun."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423