Weekly #2: U-M to Return Home to Host Simmons-Harvey Invite
MGOBLUE Anna Pasternak
MGOBLUE
Anna Pasternak
MGOBLUE

Jan. 14, 2014

Taylor Manett Spotlight

THIS WEEKEND
Saturday, Jan. 18
-- host Simmons-Harvey Invitational (U-M Indoor Track Building), 10:30 a.m.

Social Media: Facebook | Twitter
Meet Information: Free Admission | Event Information PDF | Heat Sheet PDF | Live Results

The 13th-ranked University of Michigan women's track and field team will host its first of two indoor home meets of the 2014 on Saturday (Jan. 18) with the Simmons-Harvey Invitational. Field events will kick off the annual event at 10:30 a.m., while the running events will get underway at 12:30 p.m. at the U-M Indoor Track Building. Admission to the non-scoring event is free. 

Schools competing include Bowling Green (W), Concordia (M&W), Detroit Mercy (M&W), Eastern Michigan (M&W), Marygrove (M&W), Michigan (M&W), Notre Dame (M&W), Siena Heights (M&W), as well as some club team members from Cleary Track Club (W), PRTC-ELITE (W), Southwest Sprinters (M), Speed Factory Athletics (W), Swag Racing (M), and Very Nice Track Club (M).

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Field Events
10:30 a.m. -- M Shot Put (west) & W Shot Put
11 a.m. -- W Pole Vault
11:30 a.m. -- M Long Jump & W Long Jump 
Noon -- M Weight Throw, M High Jump 
1 p.m. -- M Triple Jump & W Triple Jump, M Pole Vault
1:45 p.m. -- W High Jump, W Weight Throw

Track Events
12:30 p.m. -- M then W 60 HH trials 
12:45 p.m. -- M then W 60 dash trials 
1:05 p.m. -- M 1000 
1:10 p.m. -- M then W One Mile Run (THE KRIS EGGLE MEMORIAL MILE)
1:35 p.m. -- M then W 60 HH final 
1:45 p.m. -- M then W 400 
2 p.m. -- M then W 600 
2:15 p.m. -- M then W 60 final 
2:25 p.m. -- M then W 800 (FRANCIE KRAKER GOODRIDGE 800)
2:40 p.m. -- M then W 200 
3:10 p.m. -- M then W 3000 
3:35 p.m. -- M then W 4x4 Relay

WOLVERINE BITES

• Beginning in 1981, the women's Red Simmons Invitational has been hosted annually and the meet will be run in conjunction with the men's Jack Harvey Invitational for the eighth consecutive year.

• Michigan legend Kenneth "Red" Simmons started Ann Arbor's first women's track club called the 'Michigammes' in 1960 and was Michigan's first head coach when it was elevated to NCAA Division I status in 1978. He coached the program's first All-America selection (AIAW), Penny Neer, before retiring from coaching in 1981. Following his retirement, Simmons frequently attended athletics events at Michigan, as well as Eastern Michigan, where he earned his undergraduate degree and competed in track and field. He was a generous supporter of Michigan Athletics and great friend to many until his passing on April 13, 2012, at the age of 102.

• Francie Goodridge 800m Event -- The women's 800-meter run at Saturday's meet will be contested in honor of former University of Michigan student-athlete and coach, Francie Goodridge. She was considered a true trailblazer for the sport of women's track and field. A native of Ann Arbor, Goodridge competed for U-M's club track team from 1966-68 and returned to coach the Wolverines from 1982-84. Following her time as a Michigan student-athlete, she went on to be a member of the 1968 and 1972 U.S. Olympic teams. She was recognized for her accomplishments, being inducted into the Michigan Women's Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1995, the University of Michigan Women's Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 2001. Goodridge is unable to attend this year to present the award to the winner of the race.

• U-M's full squad will compete together for the first time this season at the Simmons-Harvey. The Wolverines opened the season last Friday (Jan. 10) at the Grand Valley Bob Eubanks Open, but only the sprinters, hurdles, jumpers and throwers were in action. Michigan's middle-distance and distance group will compete for the first time this season on Saturday. That group will look to continue its success from the 2013 cross country season, when it finished second at the Big Ten Championships, won its third straight NCAA Great Lakes Region title and placed fourth at the NCAA Championships.

• The Wolverines are ranked No. 13 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I National Coaches' Preseason Poll, which was released on Monday, Jan. 13.

• Senior/junior distance runner Taylor Pogue(Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich), senior hurdler Amber Smith (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) and fifth-year senior pole vaulter Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) will serve as team captains for the 2014 season. Smith and Tobel are each serving for the second straight year, while Pogue also represented the U-M cross country squad as a captain this past fall.

• Head coach James Henry is in 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.

• Michigan returned 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 First Team All-America 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 Second Team All-America 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. At the 2014 season opener at Grand Valley, Ofili won the 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles.

• Michigan opened the 2014 indoor season at the Grand Valley Bob Eubanks Open on Saturday, Jan. 10. The Wolverines recorded 13 top-three performances, including three individual event titles. Eight Maize and Blue student-athletes also set new personal records in their respective events.

• 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 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-striaght 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 PDF 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, Feb. 1 -- vs. Michigan State (at GVSU's Kelly Family Sports Center), 6 p.m.
Fri-Sat., Feb. 7-8 -- at Notre Dame Meyo Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 4 p.m./10 a.m.