March 31, 2012
Site: George C. Griffin Track & Field Facility (Atlanta, Ga.)
Event: Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Invitational
U-M Team Result: No Team Scoring
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sat., April 6-7 -- at Stanford Invitational (Palo Alto, Calif.), 11 a.m./9 a.m. PDT
ATLANTA, Ga. -- Three University of Michigan women's track runners -- juniors Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) and Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) and freshman Brook Handler (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester) -- recorded top-four performances in the 1,500-meter run at the Yellow Jacket Invitational on Saturday (March 31). Addison, Smith and Handler were the only three Wolverines in action this weekend at Georgia Tech's Griffin Track & Field Facility.
Today's meet marked the outdoor season debut for Addison and Smith and the second straight weekend of competition for Handler. Addison and Smith came out strong from the gun and held off the pack of 26 other runners, finishing first and second with times of 4:25.75 and 4:25.81, respectively.
In her first collegiate 1,500-meter race, Handler remained toward the front of the pack for the first 1,200 meters. With about 300 meters to go, Handler, who was in fifth place, made a strong move to slip into the fourth spot. She was unable to catch Vanderbilt's Jordan White in the last 100 meters, crossing the finish line in 4:27.05, just 0.49 seconds behind White.
Michigan's full squad will be back in action next weekend at the Stanford Invitational on Friday and Saturday (April 6-7).
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Mike McGuire
On today's 1,500-meter race ... "For Becca (Addison) and Jill (Smith), that was a good opener for them because they took a bit of a break after nationals. Handler made a run at the Vanderbilt girl in the last 100 meters, but just ran out of real estate. It was a really competitive effort. The young lady from Vanderbilt ran 4:23 last weekend, so at this point in the season the focus is really on beating people -- it's always on beating people, but it was just a very good competitive effort by all three of them. For Becca and Jill, I like where they're at in their first time out in three weeks. It's going to take a little while to kick the cobwebs off and to transition mentally and physically from indoors to outdoors."
U-M Freshman Brook Handler
On how she felt in today's race ... "We're not very far along in our training yet. I've only done two track workouts so far, so that made us a little nervous because we were pretty sore from lifting and our track workouts. I was excited to race with Becca (Addison) and Jill (Smith) -- just racing and training with Becca and Jill in general is awesome because they know what they're doing and you know that if you follow them, you'll do well. I'm really blessed to have them as upperclassmen since I'm a freshman. They are so good at teaching."
On what this race did for her confidence ... "I was definitely happy with the race. It does give me confidence going in to the next few weeks. It's nice to have a race where afterwards Mike (McGuire) was pleased. College racing is so hard compared to high school. In high school you can go out there and win, whereas in college, everyone is so good. It's nice to know that I can still get out there and race. Recently I was feeling like I wasn't getting out and racing, so it's nice to get back to getting out there and racing and being in it the whole time."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423