Jan. 2, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- With the start of the 2012 track and field season less than a week away, several U-M student-athletes are preparing to begin their careers with the University of Michigan women's track and field team.
Three student-athletes -- Dana Carey (sprints), Victoria Wesley (pole vault) and Brook Handler (mid-distance) -- signed a National Letter of Intent to compete for the Maize and Blue in 2011 and have spent the last four months adjusting to college life and preparing for the start of the season. One additional runner, Shannon Osika, recently enrolled at U-M and will join the track and field team for the Spring 2012 semester. The Wolverines will kick off the 2012 indoor track and field season on Jan. 7 at 10 a.m. when they host the Michigan Women's Open at the U-M Indoor Track Building.
Each of their specific event coaches commented on their high school careers and what they bring to the 2012 Wolverine squad.
Dana Carey Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Marian HS Sprints
Carey was a three-time varsity letterwinner in track and field. She placed second in the 300-meter hurdles at the High School Midwest Meet of Champions as a senior. In 2010 and 2011, she competed in the AAU Junior Olympic Games, earning All-America honors and taking fifth in the 400-meter hurdles in 2011 and fourth in the 4x800-meter in 2010. Carey was a three-time all-catholic and all-region member and received All-Oakland County and all-state honors in her junior and senior years. She was also named to the all- Midwest team in her senior year. She is majoring in communications in the College of Literature, Sciences and the Arts. Her father, Arthur, played football at Illinois Wesleyan.
Head coach James Henry on Carey:
"Dana will be a contributor to the hurdles and middle sprints, which will add depth to both areas"
Victoria Wesley Marine City, Mich. Marine City HS Pole Vault
Wesley competed in the USATF National Junior Olympic Indoor Track & Field Championships in 2009 and 2010 and the Outdoor Championships in 2010 and 2011. She was a three-time all-area member and the Division II State champion in the pole vault in 2009. She is enrolled in the College of Literature, Sciences and the Arts. She was coached by her father starting in middle school. Her brother, Joe, is a member of the track and field team at the University of Akron.
Volunteer assistant pole vault coach Shean Conlon on Wesley:
"Tori was an accomplished all-around athlete in high school, participating annually in four different sports. However, she achieved the most success competing in track and field, where she had been coached by her father in the pole vault since middle school. Tori became one of the elite high school pole vaulters in the nation, as well as a state champion in 2009. Despite being a freshman, Tori's athletic talents, as well as her extraordinary work ethic, will make her an immediate contributor to Michigan's track and field team, as well as a competitive force in the pole vault in the Big Ten."
Brook Handler Rochester Hills, Mich. Rochester HS Mid-Distance
Handler was a member of the state championship team, including the 4x800-meter champion team in 2010. She was also the runner-up in the 800-meter that same year. At the 2011 state meet, she took second in the 1,600-meter and third in the 800-meter. She took third at the 2011 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the 1,500-meter in a time of 4:24.44. She was also an accomplished cross country runner, leading her team to the state championship in 2007 and winning the individual state title in 2010. At the 2011 Foot Locker Midwest Cross Country Championships, she finished eighth out of 256 runners. Handler is enrolled in the College of Engineering.
Associate head coach Mike McGuire on Handler:
"Brook is coming in as an accomplished high school runner -- from the 800-meter up through being state champion in cross country last fall. We look for her to impact us in the middle distances and in the steeplechase. She has a demonstrated range of abilities that will serve her well at the collegiate level."
Shannon Osika Waterford, Mich. Mott HS Mid-Distance
Osika was the Michigan Division I state champion in cross country in 2007. In 2010, she finished eighth in the Foot Locker Cross Country National Finals, earning All-America honors. Her mother and father both ran cross country and track at Eastern Michigan. Her top times include 2:10 in the 800-meter, 4:28 in the 1,500-meter and 10:00 in the 3,000-meter.
Associate head coach Mike McGuire on Osika:
"Shannon comes in with a demonstrated range of abilities, from the 800-meter up through cross county. We look for her to impact us in the 1,500-meter, 3,000-meter and possibly the steeplechase."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423