Weekly Release #4: Wolverines Travel to Rod McCravy Memorial

Jan. 26, 2010

Fri-Sat., Jan. 29-30 --
at Rod McCravy Memorial (Lexington, Ky.), 6 p.m./10:30 a.m.
Live Results

The University of Michigan women's track and field team hits the road Friday and Saturday (Jan. 29-30) for the Rod McCravy Invitational at UK's Nutter Field House in Lexington, Ky. Friday's events begin at 6 p.m., while Saturday's events begin at 10:30 a.m.

U-M Heads to Lexington for the Rod McCravy Memorial -- After remaining home for the first time in 2010, the Wolverines are back on the road, heading to Lexington, Ky., for the Rod McCravy Memorial. U-M sent only throwers to last year's event, with junior Emily Pendleton (Lindsay, Ohio/Woodmore) winning the discus with a throw of 52.47m (172-2). Along with Michigan, there are 13 other teams participating at the annual event.

Order of Events
Friday, Jan. 29
Weight Throw, 6 p.m.
Pole Vault, 6 p.m.
Triple Jump, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 30
High Jump, 10:30 a.m.
Long Jump, 10:30 a.m.
Shot Put, Noon
60m Hurdles (semi), 12:30 p.m.
60m Dash (semi), 12:30 p.m.
Mile run, 1:15 p.m.
60m Hurdles (2-section final), 1:55 p.m.
60m Dash (2-section final), 2:05 p.m.
400m Dash, 2:15 p.m.
800m Run, 3 p.m.
200m Dash, 3:35 p.m.
3,000m Run, 4:15 p.m.
1,600m relay, 4:50 p.m.

Participating teams: Michigan, Kentucky, No. 5 Florida State, Southern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky, No. 14 Louisville, No. 8 Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Central Florida.

Simmons-Harvey Redux -- At last weekend's annual Simmons-Harvey Invitational, the Wolverines won six events over the course of the two-day invitational. Normally a one-day affair, the track and field events were split between two days. During Friday's (Jan. 22) field events, redshirt sophomore Allison Liske (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East) won the shot put for the second week in a row with a career-best toss of 15.50 meters (50-10.25), an NCAA provisional mark. The next day, U-M won five of the nine running events. Senior Shana Vinson (Detroit, Mich./Mumford) took home first-place honors with a personal-best time of 24.84 with Danielle Tauro (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) winning the mile, freshman Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) winning the 600-meter run, junior Jennifer Neville (Dearborn, Mich./Divine Child) winning the 400-meter dash after a disqualification and freshman Kaitlyn Patterson (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac) winning the 3,000-meter run for the Wolverines. As part of the meet's festivities, former U-M coaches Red Simmons (women) and Jack Harvey (men) were honored for the contributions to the university. Red was also serenaded with "Happy Birthday", as he celebrated his 100th birthday, Jan. 5. [ Allison Liske Video Interview ]

Individual Rankings -- In the first individual national rankings of the 2010 season, the Wolverines have six performances among the top 35 in each event. Allison Liske's throw of 15.50 meters at last weekend's Simmons-Harvey Invitational gives her the nation's 26th-best performance. Michigan's other top 2010 performance is in the 4x400-meter relay at the PSU Northeast Challenge (Jan. 16), with the quartet of Alisha Cole (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac), Jennifer Neville, Alexandria Williams (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven) and Shana Vinson finishing in 3:42.78. Danielle Tauro has two performances from the 2009 season rank among the best, coming in at No. 24 in the mile run (4:44.27) and No. 34 in the 800-meter run (2:08.77). Christina Solomon (Belleville, Mich./Belleville) has the No. 22 performance in the high jump, clearing a personal-best 1.79 meters (5-10.5) in 2009. Finally, Michigan's distance medley relay team recorded a time of 11:05.05 in 2009, putting the Wolverines at No. 7 in that event.

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 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. For more of a general overview of a team, the staff and student-athletes, check out the Yearbook. [ Check out both in our new publications section! ]

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., Feb. 5-6
-- at Meyo Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 5 p.m./8 a.m.
Fri-Sat., Feb. 5-6 -- at New Balance Armory Classic (New York, N.Y.), 6 p.m./9 a.m.