May 25, 2013
Site: Greensboro, N.C. (Irwin Belk Track)
Event: NCAA East Preliminary Rounds (Day 3 of 3)
U-M Team Result: No Team Scoring
Next U-M Event: Wed-Sat., June 5-8 -- at NCAA Championships (Eugene, Ore.), Noon/11 a.m./12:30 p.m./12:30 p.m. PDT
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Senior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) and fifth-year senior Amanda Eccleston (Adrian, Mich./Tecumseh) of the University of Michigan women's track and field team went 1-2 in the 1,500-meter quarterfinals to qualify for the NCAA Championships on the final day of the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds on Saturday (May 25) at North Carolina A&T State Universities Irwin Belk Track.
Addison remained just behind the pack leader on the rail and was boxed in until she made a strong move in the final 100 meters to move into the lead and win heat one in a career-best time of 4:15.81. In heat two, the race went out slow for the first lap, and Eccleston sat in the middle of the pack. The pace picked up with two laps remaining, and with about 300 meters to go, Eccleston moved to the front of the pack and crossed the line first in 4:17.75.
Sophomore/freshman Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) also competed in the 1,500-meter run quarterfinals, where she finished 16th overall in a time of 4:22.24.
Freshman Cindy Ofili (Ypsilanti, Mich./Huron) finished just shy of qualifying for the NCAA Championships, placing 14th in a time of 13.36. Junior Amber Smith (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) clocked a time of 13.65 to take 24th overall.
In the field, senior Ada Unachukwu (Morganville, N.J./Marlboro) placed 27th in the triple jump with a mark of 12.27 meters (40-3.25).
Michigan's 4x100-meter relay finished 22nd overall with a time of 45.71. The relay team consisted of Smith, Ofili, junior Erin Busbee (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood)and senior Charlotte Cahill (Farmington Hills, Mich./North Farmington).
In addition to Addison and Eccleston, senior/junior pole vaulter Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) and senior Erin Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore) will represent Michigan at the NCAA Outdoor Championships from June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore.
Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day 3)
1,500-meter Run (Quarterfinals) 1. Rebecca Addison, U-M 4:15.81Q 2. Amanda Eccleston, U-M 4:17.75Q 16. Shannon Osika, U-M 4:22.24 100-meter Hurdles (Quarterfinals) 1. Brianna Rollins, Clemson 12.72Q 14. Cindy Ofili, U-M 13.36 24. Amber Smith, U-M 13.65 4x100-meter Relay 1. LSU 43.81Q 22. MICHIGAN 45.71 (Amber Smith, Cindy Ofili, Erin Busbee, Charlotte Cahill) Triple Jump 1. Tori Franklin, Michigan State 13.36m (43-10)q 27. Ada Unachukwu, U-M 12.27m (40-3.25) Q - Automatic Qualifier q - At-Large Qualifier
Rebecca Addison -- 1,500m (4:15.81)
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach James Henry
On having four student-athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships ... "I was really happy with Erin Pendleton in the discus, Kiley Tobel in the pole vault, as well as the middle distance girls -- Becca Addison and Amanda Eccleston. They did an outstanding job. I was happy with my group of athletes, but it just didn't click. They just didn't do as well compared to the competition as they wanted, but the results were some of their best of the year. I always tell them, if they can do their best regardless of their place, that I'll be proud of them, and I'm proud of them. And I'm especially proud of those who are making it to the next round."
On Cindy Ofili and Amber Smith in the hurdles ... "They're really hard working young ladies. They do all the things that we ask them to do. Both of them are dealing with some slight injuries, which every program or every athlete is probably dealing with at this point in the season. Once we can get them healthy and keep them healthy, they'll be back and I think they'll make it to the next level. Every year they've improved and every meet they've improved and that's all I can ask for."
On the team coming together across all event areas ... "They've really come together. Even though we didn't get the place we wanted to at the Big Ten outdoor meet, I'm really pleased with how well they've come together as athletes, but more importantly as individuals. It's so hard to have athletes from five different event areas and try to get then to bond. I think my coaching staff has done a good job with that and our girls are making an assertive effort to make that happen. That can be just as important as anything because those are the memories they're going to cherish. For those who are going to the national meet, I'm looking forward to them finishing on a high note."
U-M Senior Rebecca Addison
On bouncing back after a disappointing Big Ten meet to win the regional ... "At Big Tens I was really excited to do the 800/1,500m double, so when I fell in the 800, it was really disappointing, but I immediately starting thinking about regionals. That race helped with my decision to go with the 1,500m for regionals. I thought it was the best decision for me and I'm really glad I did because I feel like I'm finally reaching my potential in the 1,500m."
On qualifying for her first NCAA Outdoor Championships ... "I felt a lot of relief when I crossed the line because I have wanted to make it to the outdoor championships for so long. Both sophomore and junior year I was really upset when I made it to the quarterfinals, but didn't make it to nationals. I was really happy to make it and then when Amanda (Eccleston) won her heat it was really exciting to know that we're both going together and we can keep training the next couple weeks together."
On her cross country, indoor and outdoor success this season ... "I fell this year has been the ultimate end to my career at Michigan. Cross country was so exciting to do everything as a team. During indoor, to win the DMR together as a team, was great. I feel like a lot of times during outdoor, I've fallen off, so to be able to be holding it this long is really promising. I'm really looking forward to nationals."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423