Jan. 22, 2013
Saturday, Jan. 26 -- vs. Michigan State (Allendale, Mich.), 6 p.m.
For the first time in program history, the No. 21-ranked University of Michigan women's track and field team will face No. 24 Michigan State in a dual meet on Saturday (Jan. 26) at Grand Valley State' Kelly Family Sports Center in Allendale, Mich. The meet is set to start at 6 p.m. with field events, while running events will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased online through Grand Valley's website or by calling GVSU's ticket office at (616) 331-3200. Presale tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for students and seniors (general admission), and a $12 VIP track level pass is available. Tickets prices for the day of meet are as follows: $9 for adults, $5 for students and seniors (general admission) and a $15 VIP track level pass. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets early as a sellout is expected.
Schedule of Events
6 p.m. -- M Weight Throw, W Shot Put, M and W Pole Vault, M and W Long Jump, M High Jump
7:15 p.m. -- W High Jump, W Weight Throw, M Shot Put, M and W Triple Jump
6:30 p.m. -- W then M Mile
6:45 p.m. -- W then M 60m Hurdles
6:55 p.m. -- W then M 400m (2 sections if needed)
7:10 p.m. -- W then M 600m (2 sections if needed)
7:25 p.m. -- W then M 60m
7:35 p.m. -- W then M 800m
7:50 p.m. -- W then M 200m (2 sections if needed)
8 p.m. -- W then M 3,000m
8:30 p.m. -- W then M 4 x 400m
ACCORDING TO COACH HENRY
"We are very grateful and excited for the opportunity to compete head to head with our instate rivals. We are emphasizing quality head-to-head competition with open-scored races as well as spirited competition balanced across all event areas. The meet will create an opportunity for all members of the team to contribute to the success of our team. It should be a great event for all involved and I know our team is excited to get out on the track and compete."
Michigan is ranked No. 21 in the first regular-season USTFCCCA Division I National poll, while Michigan State is ranked No. 24.
The Wolverines had a strong showing at their home opener on Saturday (Jan. 19), winning nine of 15 events at the annual Simmons-Harvey Invitational. Michigan finished 1-2-3 in the shot put, mile run and 800-meter run.
After two weeks of competition, the Wolverines have 13 student-athletes ranked in the Big Ten's top eight in their respective events (the top eight finishers score at championship meets). Michigan State has eight student-athletes and one relay ranked in the top eight in the Big Ten. Both programs have traditionally strong distance programs, as six of Michigan's and five of Michigan State's student-athletes ranked in the top eight compete in mid-distance or distance events.
Wolverines in the Big Ten Rankings
Jillian Smith -- 800m, 3rd, 2:10.30#
Brook Handler -- 800m, 6th, 2:11.05#
Meg Bellino -- 800m, 8th, 2:11.40#
Shannon Osika -- mile, 1st, 4:41.44#
Amanda Eccleston -- mile, 2nd, 4:42.27#
Rebecca Addison -- mile, 3rd, 4:44.11#
Amber Smith -- 60m hurdles, 3rd, 8.39
Cindy Ofili -- 60m hurdles, 4th, 8.44
Erin Busbee -- high jump, t-6th, 5-7 ft.
Sara Nitz -- high jump, t-6th, 5-7 ft.
Kiley Tobel -- pole vault, 1st, 13-7.25 ft.
Tofunmi Akeredolu -- long jump, 5th, 19-2 ft.
Ada Unachukwu -- triple jump, 3rd, 40-2.25 ft.
# = converted time
Early Impact: Freshman Cindy Ofili has made an immediate impact on the track for the Wolverines. At last weekend's Red Simmons Invitational, she won the 60-meter dash and finished third in the 60-meter hurdles. Her 60-meter hurdle time of 8.44, which she ran last weekend, currently ranks fourth in the Big Ten. Fellow freshman and former high school teammate, Maya Long, was a member of Michigan's runner-up 4x400-meter relay team last weekend and finished second in the 600-meter run (1:37.75) behind U.S. Olympian and former Wolverine Geena Gall, who ran 1:29.89.
Family Ties: 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
| Amber Smith
On being named captain as a junior ... "To me it was an honor, I really wasn't expecting it. I just go out there and work hard every day and to have the recognized by my teammates, I was proud and honored by that. I really haven't changed much. I've just been doing the same stuff I always do to try and lead the team well."
On her progression from last season ... "I'm a great deal stronger. Last year I was still trying to work my way into that scoring role because I hadn't scored before. Now I feel like I'm up there with the top-notch competition. I'm trying to go for it all, not just score, but really working to take it all. I just want win. Coming from high school, you're used to winning and since I've been here it's been different. There is top-notch competition and so now that I'm getting stronger, I feel like I can win. That's just the mentality I have and if I don't win, I know it's not going to be from a lack of trying."
On her mentality going into each race ... "I need some type of stress level before every race -- it actually pumps me up. If I was too calm and lackadaisical about it, I couldn't say that's me giving my 100 percent. If I'm a little bit stressed then that's a good thing for me."
On competing in the first dual meet with Michigan State ... "It's going to be crazy to have just the two teams who are rivals going against each other -- both teams want to win. We're going to have people doing events that they probably wouldn't do just so we can get points. I think it's going to be great having the guys team there as well. I think there will be a good crowd again and that's only going to push us. Last weekend I wasn't expecting that type of turnout and it really got me excited and I'm expecting the same for the dual."
On the balance of the year's team helping at the dual ... "It's going to have to happen, from freshmen to fifth-years, everyone is going to have to do their part. It's a good thing that we're getting a lot of help from not just the people who have been around, but also from the freshmen. They are stepping up and showing leadership and adding to those areas where we may have been lacking before like the short sprints and longer distance. Everyone just has to do their part."
A LOOK AHEAD
Fri-Sat., Feb. 1-2 -- at Notre Dame Meyo Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 4 p.m./10 a.m.
Fri-Sat., Feb. 8-9 -- at SPIRE Invitational (Geneva, Ohio), 2 p.m./10 a.m.