Jan. 7, 2014
Friday, Jan. 10 -- at Grand Valley State Open (Kelly Family Sports Center), 11 a.m.
The University of Michigan women's track and field team kicks off the 2013 indoor season on Friday (Jan. 10) at Grand Valley State's Bob Eubanks Open. The meet begins at 10 a.m. with the multi-events, but the Wolverines will begin with running events at 2 p.m. and field events at 3:30 p.m. at the Kelly Family Sports Center.
• The Wolverines return 27 letterwinners from the 2013 season and welcome 19 freshmen to the roster.
• U-M will be represented by 22 student-athletes at Grand Valley. Seven Wolverines will make their indoor career debut, including six true freshmen.
• Head coach James Henry begins his 30th season at the helm of the program. During his time at U-M, Henry has led the Wolverines to 14 Big Ten titles, including seven indoor and seven outdoor. U-M's track and cross country programs also teamed up to win a pair of triple crowns in 1993-94 and 2002-03 (Big Ten cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field titles in the same academic year). Individually, he has helped produce 153 NCAA All-Americans, 182 All-Big Ten honorees, 181 individual Big Ten champions, nine national champions and four national championship relay teams.
• Friday's meet will be the first of two times Michigan will compete at Grand Valley's Kelly Family Sports Center this season, as the Wolverines will take on Michigan State in a dual meet on Saturday, Feb. 1, at GVSU. It will mark the second straight year the Wolverines and Spartans will go head to head in a dual meet.
• Michigan returns four indoor All-Americans, including three that earned the honors during the 2013 season. Senior Erin Busbee (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood)and sophomore Maya Long (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron) each earned All-America first team honors a year ago. Busbee finished sixth in the long jump, while Long ran the 400-meter leg of U-M's national champion distance medley relay team. Junior Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) earned All-America second team honors in the mile run for the second straight year, finishing 14th overall. Fifth-year senior Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) earned All-America first team recognition in the pole vault during the 2012 season.
• Sophomore Cindy Ofili (Ypsilanti, Mich./Huron) will look to continue her success from her freshman campaign in the hurdles and short sprints. She made immediate contributions last season, finishing runner up in the 60-meter hurdles and seventh in the 60-meter dash at the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Championships.
• Michigan lost several Big Ten point scorers from its 2013 team to graduation. The Wolverines graduated 36 of its 89 total points in individual events as well as three members of its winning distance medley relay and two members of the seventh-place 4x400-meter relay -- Amanda Eccleston (Mile, 1st; 3,000m, 2nd), Meg Bellino (DMR - 400m, 1st; 4x4 Relay, 7th), Rebecca Addison (800m, 5th; DMR - 800m, 1st), Ada Unachukwu (triple jump, 3rd), Tofunmi Akeredolu (long jump, 7th) and Charlotte Cahill (4x4 Relay, 7th). Jillian Smith (800m, 3rd; DMR - Mile, 1st) has no remaining indoor eligibility but will return for her final outdoor season in the spring.
• In the Record Books: Senior Erin Busbee and fifth-year senior Kiley Tobel each hold indoor school records in their respective events. Busbee owns the indoor long jump record with a mark of 6.38 meters (20-11 1/4), which she recorded at a last-chance meet to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships. Busbee was ranked 71st in the nation heading into the last-chance meet, when her record-setting jump propelled her into a tie for seventh and onto the national championships, where she finished sixth. Tobel holds the indoor (4.23 meters, 13-10 1/2) and outdoor (4.25 meters, 13-11 1/4) pole vault program records.
• Lifetime Teammates: Sophomores Cindy Ofili and Maya Long, as well as junior Chinyere Onimo, were high school teammates at Huron High School in Ann Arbor. All three compete in sprinting events for the Wolverines.
• U-M Family Ties: Sophomore Cindy Ofili is the younger sister of former Wolverine, five-time NCAA champion and 2012 Olympian Tiffany (Ofili) Porter (2006-09) as well as Alex Ofili, who played football at U-M (2002, 04). Senior/junior Elly Mioduszewski is the younger sister of Melany Mioduszewski, who ran cross country and track for U-M in 2008 and 2009. Sophomore Hailey Middlebrook and freshman Darby Middlebrook are the only sisters on the roster this season. Senior Amber Smith, fifth-year senior Jillian Smith and freshman Jillian Smith have no relation.
• 2013 in Review: Coach Henry's 2013 squad produced its best Big Ten team finishes since 2009, placing third at the indoor conference meet and fourth at the outdoor event. Fifth-year senior Amanda Eccleston captured the indoor mile and outdoor 1,500-meter run titles and also ran the anchor leg of Michigan's NCAA champion distance medley relay, which set a new school record (10:56.46). Rebecca Addison, Jillian Smith and freshman sprinter Maya Long joined Eccleston on the winning relay. The Big Ten DMR (Shannon Osika, Meg Bellino, Smith and Addison) captured the program's 10th straight conference crown. In addition to U-M's DMR winning the national title, junior multi-event athlete Erin Busbee finished sixth in the long jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships to propel the Wolverines to a tie for 15th place -- its best team result since 2009.
• Qualifying Standards for NCAA Championships: There are no qualifying standards for the championships season. There will be a track indexing standard to delineate the different indexing among flat, undersized, banked and oversized. Qualification to the championships is based on descending-order list for the season. For each individual event contested, the top 16 declared student-athletes will be accepted into the competition. For each relay event contested, the top 12 declared relay teams will be accepted into the competition. [ USTFCCCA Selection Criteria ]
• Championship Central: For the second straight year, the Big Ten Indoor Championships will be held at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Michigan finished third a year ago at the conference event -- its best finish since 2009. The NCAA Indoor Championships will be hosted by the University of New Mexico.
A LOOK AHEAD
Saturday, Jan. 18 -- host Simmons-Harvey Invitational (U-M Indoor Track Building), 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 1 -- vs. Michigan State (Allendale, Mich.), 6 p.m.