Weekly Release #3: Wolverines Host Red Simmons Invitational

Jan. 19, 2010

Fri-Sat., Jan. 22-23 -- host, Simmons-Harvey Invitational (U-M Indoor Track Building), 6 p.m./Noon
Parking Notice

Thank You Red Video

The University of Michigan women's track and field team remains at home this weekend, hosting the annual Simmons-Harvey Invitational along with the men's track and field team. U-M will welcome Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Detroit and Oakland to the U-M Indoor Track Building for the two-day invitational. Field events will take place Friday (Jan. 22) at 6 p.m., while the running events will begin at noon Saturday (Jan. 23). The event is named for former coaches Red Simmons (women) and Jack Harvey (men). The women have hosted the event every year since 1981 in honor of Simmons, the first women's track and field coach at the University of Michigan.

• Schedule of Events

Field Events, Friday, Jan. 22
Shot Put, 6 p.m.
High Jump, 6 p.m.
Pole Vault, 6:30 p.m.
Long Jump, 6:30 p.m.
20-pound Weight Throw, 7:30 p.m.
Triple Jump, 8 p.m.

Events should conclude by 9 p.m.

Running Events, Saturday, Jan. 23
60m Hurdles (pr), Noon
60m Dash (pr), 12:15 p.m.
Francie Kraker Goodridge Mile Run, 12:30 p.m.
60m Hurdles (f), 12:45
400m Dash, 12:50 p.m.
60m Dash (f), 1 p.m.
600m Run, 1:10 p.m.
800m Run, 1:25 p.m.
200m Dash, 1:40 p.m.
3,000m Run, 1:50 p.m.
4x400m Relay, 2:15 p.m.

Events should conclude by 2:30 p.m.

Up Close and Personal - With field events on Friday, the Wolverines are offering a unique experience for their fans. Seating will be moved onto the track, allowing viewers to get an up close look at field events. During a regular track meet, fans are seated beyond the track.

Red Simmons Turns 100 - The Father of Michigan women's track and field, Red Simmons, celebrated his 100th birthday on Jan. 5. Simmons was the first coach in Michigan history, coaching the Wolverines from 1978-81. A 1933 graduate of Eastern Michigan University, then Michigan Normal College, Simmons is still visible at both EMU and U-M. He was inducted into the Eastern Michigan Hall of Fame in 1978, became U-M's first honorary 'M' man in 1990 and was the inaugural inductee into the Michigan women's track and field hall of fame in 1994. The Wolverines have hosted the "Red Simmons Invitational" every year since 1981 in his honor. After this weekend's invitational (Jan. 23), U-M will honor Red with a party. Check out what members of the Michigan Athletic Department had to say about Red. [ Thank you Red! ]

Liske Hits Provisional Mark at PSU Northeast Challenge - The Wolverines won three events at last weekend's (Jan. 16) PSU Northeast Challenge, with the throwing duo of Allison Liske (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East) and Ashley Greer (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) leading the way. Liske picked up Michigan's first provisional mark of the season with her throw of 15.31 meters (50-02.75) in the shot put, taking top honors in the event. Greer won the 20-pound weight throw, 17.30 meters (56-09.25, for U-M's second individual win of the day. The Wolverines rounded out the event with a win in the 4x80-meter relay as the quartet of Jenny Morgan (Clarkston, Mich. /Clarkston), Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven), Danielle Tauro (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) and Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) won in 8:47.95.

Trio of Captains and Leadership Council to Lead Michigan - With the departure of a stellar senior class in 2009, balance is what the Wolverines are striving for this year. That is also reflected in the leadership of the Maize and Blue, as head coach James Henry named three captains, along with a leadership council with the goal of getting as many student-athletes involved in leading the team as possible. Shana Vinson (Detroit, Mich./Mumford), Emily Pendleton (Lindsay, Ohio/Woodmore) and Danielle Tauro will serve as tri-captains for the 2010 season. In addition, Olivia Both (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington), Alisha Cole (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac), Allison Liske, Carly Schiffer (Ovid, Mich./Ovid-Elsie) and Christina Solomon (Belleville, Mich./Belleville) make up the leadership council that will help provide leadership and guidance to a young U-M squad.

Dazzling Debuts - With former national champions Geena Gall and Tiffany Ofili lost to graduation, the Wolverines are looking to replace them by committee. The freshman class had a strong debut at the Akron Opener, showing that it can provide some top finishes. Freshman Jillian Smith won the 800m run (2:10.89), while the freshman duo of Rebecca Addison and Kaitlyn Patterson (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac) took the top two spots in the 3,000m run. Addison won the event in 10:03.52, while Patterson finished runner-up at 10:12.14.

New Faces - The Wolverines welcome 23 freshmen to the squad this year, comprising over a third of the team. Of the newcomers, 12 are distance runners, four participate in multiple events, three are throwers, two are sprinters along with a pole vaulter and a jumper. In addition, juniors Lauren Young (Edina, Minn./Edina), a former U-M basketball player, and Rachel White (New Lothrop, Mich./New Lothrop) joined the Wolverines. Young will participate in the high jump, while White is a distance runner.

Leader of the Wolverines - Head coach James Henry is in his 26th season guiding the Wolverines. He has guided U-M to four top-ten NCAA indoor finishes and three top-ten NCAA outdoor finishes during his tenure. His teams have won 14 Big Ten Conference titles while he has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year 12 times. Henry has coached athletes to nine NCAA individual and three relay titles, earning USTCA Regional Coach of the Year honors three times. His student-athletes have also performed well in the classroom, as he has coached 326 Academic All-Big Ten honorees and eight CoSIDA Academic All-Americans. Henry has had nine student-athletes earn Big Ten Medals of Honor while eight were honored as Big Ten Distinguished Scholars in 2009. Prior to being named the head coach in 1984, Henry was an assistant coach at Michigan from 1981-84. He was a four-year letterwinner (1977-80) for the Michigan men's track and field team.

Michigan women's track and field is now on Twitter. Sign up and follow the Wolverines (Michigan_track) with up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond. Twitter is a free casual, online social network that is designed to connect businesses, organizations and individuals. Each Twitter post (or "tweet") can be received on a user's cell phone via text or on the web.

Beginning with the 2009-10 academic year, the University of Michigan athletics department will no longer print media guides. U-M fans and media can still obtain all the information they're used to, only now it's available online. If you're looking for in-depth historical information, statistics, records, archives, etc., the Record Book is what you'll need (coming soon!). For more of a general overview of a team, the staff and student-athletes, check out the Yearbook. [ Check out yearbook! ]

Located on the Athletic Campus south of Michigan's Central Campus on South State Street, the U-M facilities offer year-round training centers for both men's and women's track and field student-athletes. Originally constructed as the Indoor Track and Tennis Building in 1974, the completion of the Varsity Tennis Center allowed for the removal of the tennis courts and the 1997 renovations. During these renovations, the Indoor Track Building's six-lane track switched from a tartan-surface to Durathon-surface, and the pole vault, long jump and high jump pits were moved into the middle of the track.

Fri-Sat., Jan. 29-30
-- at Rod McCravy Memorial (Lexington, Ky.), 5 p.m./10 a.m.