Jan. 19, 2012
The 19-ranked University of Michigan women's track and field team will host the Red Simmons Invitational on Saturday (Jan. 21). The Wolverines will welcome Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Detroit-Mercy and Bowling Green to the U-M Indoor Track Building. Field events will begin at 1:45 p.m. with the running events commencing at 2 p.m.
The women's Red Simmons Invitational will begin immediately following the men's Jack Harvey Invitation, which begins at 11 a.m. The men's meet will be scored, while the women's will be an open meet with no team scoring.
Schedule of Events
1:45 p.m. -- Weight Throw / Followed by Shot Put
1:45 p.m. -- Long Jump / Followed by Triple Jump
1:45 p.m. -- Pole Vault, High Jump
2 p.m. -- 60m Hurdles Prelim
2:10 p.m. -- 60m Dash Prelims
2:20 p.m. -- Mile
2:30 p.m. -- 400m
2:40 p.m. -- 60m Final
2:45 p.m. -- 800m
2:55 p.m. -- 60m Hurdles Final
3 p.m. -- 600m
3:10 p.m. -- 200m
3:25 p.m. -- 3,000m
3:40 p.m. -- 4 x 400m Relay
National Notables -- Michigan has two runners ranked in the top five in the nation in their respective events. Junior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) ranks second in the mile (4:41.74#) and fifth in the 800-meter (2:10.55#). Freshman Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) is currently third in the mile behind Addison (4:41.89#) and also ranks 13th in the 3,000-meter run (9:37.45#). Each of those nationally ranked times was recorded during "The Dual" at Ohio State last Saturday (Jan. 14).
[ NCAA Division I Indoor Rankings ] (# - converted time)
In the Rankings -- Michigan was tabbed No. 19 in the preseason national team top 25 rankings released on Jan. 10 by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The rankings are based largely on performance bests from returning student-athletes.
Happy Birthday Red -- The Red Simmons Invitational is held annually in honor or Ken "Red" Simmons, who turned 102 years old earlier this month. He is considered the founding father of Michigan women's track and field and continues to support the program and athletes with his time and generosity.
In 1960, Red started the first Ann Arbor Women's Track Club, "The Michigammes." Through the program, he developed seven national champions, 19 state champions and numerous state cross country and track and field championship teams. Included in this list is former U-M women's track and field coach Francie Goodridge, who was the first Michigan and Ann Arbor native to be a member of the women's Olympic track and field team (1968, 1972).
In 1976, Red was named the University of Michigan's first women's track and field coach. In his five seasons as the head man, he was the mentor of several Big Ten champions and All-Americans. He also coached 1985 Boston Marathon winner Lisa Larsen Weidenbach and 1992 United States Olympic team captain Penny Neer.
For his many contributions to U-M athletics, Simmons has the distinction of being the first honorary "M" Man. He was awarded the Bob Ufer Award as the distinguished "M" Man of 1990. In 1994, he was honored as Michigan's first inductee into the Women's Track and Field Hall of Fame. On Oct. 26, 2000, Red was inducted into the state of Michigan Women's Hall of Fame. Retired and living in Ann Arbor, Simmons and his wife Lois continue to support U-M Athletics.
Francie Goodridge 800m Event -- The 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.
Last Time on the Track -- Michigan tied No. 11 Ohio State, 81-81, on Jan. 14 in the second annual dual meet between the two teams in Columbus, Ohio. The Wolverines were victorious in eight of the 15 events, including all four middle-distance events. Junior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) led the Wolverines, taking first place in the 800-meter and mile run. Wolverine victories by senior/junior Tofunmi Akeredolu (Southfield, Mich./Lathrup) in the long jump and junior Ada Unachukwu (Morganville, N.J./Marlboro) in the triple jump also helped secure the tie for U-M.
Big Ten Recognition -- Junior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) was named Big Ten Conference Co-Track Athlete of the Week on Monday (Jan. 16) after winning the 800-meter and mile runs on Saturday (Jan. 14) in the second annual dual meet against 11th-ranked Ohio State. Michigan tallied its second conference award of the season, as sophomore pole vaulter Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) earned Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week on Jan. 9.
Among The Big Ten's Best
Several Michigan track and field athletes rank among the best in the Big Ten through the early season (# - converted mark)
|Brittani Williams (Sr.)||400m Run||56.42 #||7|
|Jillian Smith (Jr.)||600m Run||1:30.30 #||1|
|Alexandria Williams (Sr.)||600m Run||1:34.98 #||10|
|Rebecca Addison (Jr.)||800m Run||2:10.55 #||1|
|Brook Handler (Fr.)||800m Run||2:12.82 #||4|
|Brittani Williams (Sr.)||800m Run||2:13.45 #||6|
|Rebecca Addison (Jr.)||Mile Run||4:41.74 #||1|
|Shannon Osika (Fr.)||Mile Run||4:41.89 #||2|
|Shannon Osika (Fr.)||3,000m Run||9:37.45 #||1|
|Alex Leptich (So.)||3,000m Run||9:42.17 #||3|
|Taylor Pogue (Fr.)||3,000m Run||9:47.84 #||8|
|Ellen Junewick (Fr.)||3,000m Run||9:50.31 #||9|
|Mary Grace Pellegrini (Sr.)||3,000m Run||9:53.16 #||10|
|Amber Smith (So.)||60m Hurdles||8.68||8|
|Kiley Tobel (R-So.)||Pole Vault||13-1 1/2 feet||2|
|Tofunmi Akeredolu (R-Jr.)||Long Jump||19-8 feet||1|
|Ada Unachukwu (Jr.)||Triple Jump||41-7 1/4 feet||2|
|Emily Pendleton (R-Sr.)||Shot Put||50-6 1/4||5|
Qualifying Standards for NCAA Championships -- For the second straight year, provisional standards are no longer part of the qualifying process. Championship fields will first be filled with those who declare for their events with automatic status. Then, the remainder of the field will be filled by the highest-remaining ranked performances. [ Indoor Qualifying Standards ]
Michigan women's track and field is on Facebook. Connect with the program, alumni and fans by clicking the "Like" button at facebook.com/michiganwomenstrack. Also, be sure to follow the team on Twitter (@umichtrack) for up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond.
A LOOK AHEAD
Saturday, Jan.28 -- at Nebraska's Mark Colligan Memorial (Lincoln, Neb.), 12:30 p.m. CST
Fri-Sat., Feb. 3-4 --at Notre Dame Meyo Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 5 p.m./10 a.m.