Jan. 8, 2013
Friday, Jan. 11 -- at Grand Valley State Bob Eubanks Open (Allendale, Mich.), 10 a.m.
The University of Michigan women's track and field team kicks off the 2013 indoor season on Friday (Jan. 11) 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 3 p.m. and field events at 3:30 p.m. at the Kelly Family Sports Center.
The Wolverines return 29 letterwinners from the 2012 season and welcome 16 freshmen to the roster.
U-M will be represented by 29 student-athletes at Grand Valley. Eleven Wolverines will make their indoor career debut, including six true freshmen.
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 Jan. 26 at GVSU.
Michigan returns four student-athletes who earned All-America status last year. Senior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) and senior/junior Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) earned All-America first team honors in the 800-meter run and pole vault, respectively. Senior Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) and sophomore Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) achieved second-team status in the 800-meter run and mile run, respectively. Addison, Smith and Osika were also members of the distance medley relay that earned second team All-America honors.
Freshman 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).
Newcomer Elly Mioduszewski is the younger sister of Melany Mioduszewski, who ran cross country for U-M in 2009. Erin Pendleton is the younger sister of two-time Big Ten champion discus thrower Emily Pendleton (2008-10, 12). Sophomore/freshman Laura Addison and senior Rebecca Addison are the only sisters remaining on the Wolverine roster this season. Junior Amber Smith and senior Jillian Smith have no relation.
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]
This year's Big Ten Indoor Championships will be held at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Michigan competed at the SPIRE Institute last year in the SPIRE Invitational and will do so again this season (Feb. 8-9). The NCAA Indoor Championships will be hosted by the University of Arkansas.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
| Tofunmi Akeredolu
On starting her final season this weekend ... "I'm really excited. I know we have a strong freshman class coming in and everybody has been putting in a lot of work, so I'm excited to get the season started and have our hard work finally get put into play.
On the team's strengths this season ... "We've lost a few people, but we are up and coming and really building our team back. We had a lack of sprinters before, and now we have a lot of sprinters. Our pole vaulters are doing well, long jumpers, high jumpers and throwers are doing well. The distance girls just won Big Ten and regionals and finished top five at nationals, so I know our team has the capability to be a contender in the Big Ten. We just have to make sure we all put it together at the right time and peak at the right now."
On the freshman class ... "The team dynamic has been great with the new group of freshmen. They work really hard in our practices, they're staying up with the upperclassmen, and they're staying late. They are doing what they have to do because they know this is a different step at the college level, and they're doing everything they have to do to compete."
On overcoming injuries throughout her career ... "It's just something I've come to terms with. I know my knee isn't going to be at 100 percent, but now being just a long jumper and not a high jumper, I don't have to jump off that leg and I don't have to hurdle and drive my leg down. That's a lot better for me, but it's all about having a positive attitude, that last one, best one attitude. I'm going to give everything I have for the next five to six months. Our athletic trainer, Christie (Miller), has been great. I don't know where I'd be without her. She understands what I'm going through and is always trying to figure out new treatments and has never given up on me. Coach (James) Henry, even though he likes to joke with me, he knows my situation and sometimes he'll tweak workouts for me if my knee is bothering me, or he'll have me back off a little bit. For example, at Grand Valley, I'm not jumping, I'm just running so that will help switching things up. They've both been great."
On transitioning from a multi-event athlete for a jumper/sprinter ... "I feel that now that I'm just a jumper/sprinter that I'm running so much more, but I like it. The long jump was always part of the multi, but I never really got to focus on it as much, having to do other events. I've been able to focus on that and do more technique work, which I really like."
A LOOK AHEAD
Saturday, Jan. 19 -- host Simmons-Harvey Invitational (U-M Indoor Track Building), 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, Jan. 26 -- vs. Michigan State (at GVSU's Kelly Family Sports Center), 6 p.m.
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423