Feb. 14, 2012
Allison Liske Interview (Facebook)
The University of Michigan women's track and field team will host its final regular-season indoor meet prior to the Big Ten Championships with the Silverston Invitational on Saturday (Feb. 18). The Wolverines will welcome athletes from Eastern Michigan, Detroit-Mercy, Windsor, Toledo and Michigan State to the U-M Indoor Track Building. Field events will begin at 11 a.m., with the running events commencing at 1 p.m.
Setting the Scene -- The Silverston Invitational will be Michigan's third and final indoor home meet of the season. With the Big Ten Championships right around the corner Feb. 24-25, the majority of Michigan's athletes who have qualified for the conference meet will not compete in the Silverston Invitational. The meet will provide an opportunity for many of the Wolverines' younger athletes to compete in front of a home crowd.
"It gives some of our younger athletes a chance to perform, especially at home," said head coach James Henry. "There will be some decent competition and the younger kids will get a chance to perform for us. It makes it easier for us to give them that opportunity, as well as give the kids who will go to the Big Ten Championships a chance to rest. We're looking forward to coming off the road, re-energizing, resting up, tuning up and seeing what the younger kids can do for us."
Quality Competition -- Two former Wolverines, as well as two professional athletes will be competing unattached in the Silverston Invitational. Tiffany Ofili (Porter) (2006-09) was a five-time NCAA champion at Michigan and currently holds the UK record in the 60-meter and 100-meter hurdles. Distance runner Danielle Tauro wrapped up her career at U-M in the fall, winning the NCAA Great Lakes Regional individual and team titles. She is also a three-time All-American in the distance medley relay and will compete in the mile at the Silverston. Volunteer assistant coach, Zara Northover, who competed collegiately at Northeastern and is now a member of the Jamaican National Team, will compete in the shot put. Uhunoma Osazuwa, who was an All-American pentathlete at Syracuse and is currently training at U-M, will also compete.
National Notables -- Michigan has four student-athletes ranked in the top 20 in the nation in their respective events, along with its distance medley relay, which ranks fifth in the country. Junior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) is the only Wolverine in the nation's top 10, sitting in the ninth spot with a time of 2:05.24 in the 800-meter run. Freshman Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) ranks 13th in the nation in the mile (4:38.42). The distance medley relay squad is made up of Osika, Addison, junior Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) and senior Brittani Williams (Detroit, Mich./Jackson).In the field, junior Ada Unachukwu (Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt) ranks 18th in the triple jump (12.68 meters, 41-7.25), while junior/sophomore Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) is 15th in the pole vault (4.15 meters, 13-7.25). [ NCAA Division I Indoor Rankings ]
Last Time on the Track -- The Wolverines recorded 12 top-five performances throughout the two-day SPIRE Invitational (Feb. 10-11). Junior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) and sophomore Taylor Pogue (Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich) led Michigan with first-place finishes at the SPIRE Invitational (Feb. 10-11). Addison won the 800-meter title with a personal-best time of 2:05.24, while Pogue's lifetime best of 16:22.64 in the 5,000-meter run was good enough to finish first. [ MGoBlue Recaps: Day One | Day Two :: Michigan Daily ] [ FloTrack Coverage: Addison wins 800m Run | Amber Smith 60m Hurdles (H2) ]
Personal Improvement -- At the SPIRE Invitational (Feb. 10-11), 12 Michigan student-athletes recorded personal-best marks in at least one event. With one meet remaining before the Big Ten Championships, 38 Wolverines have set new PRs in at least one event, with 16 improving in two events.
Cross Country Success -- Freshmen Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) and Ellen Junewick (Grand Rapids, Mich. (Forest Hills Eastern) finished first and fourth, respectively at the 2012 USA Cross Country Championships on Saturday (Feb. 11) at Forest Park in Saint Louis, Mo. The pair earned a spot on Team USA and will now compete in the Junior 6K race at the 2012 North America, Central American, & Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championships. The event will be held in Port of Spain, Trinidad on March 17, 2012. [ Recap ]
Among The Big Ten's Best
With four meets crossed off the 2012 schedule, several Michigan track and field athletes rank among the best in the Big Ten (# - converted mark).
|Jillian Smith (Jr.)||600m Run||1:30.30 #||3|
|Rebecca Addison (Jr.)||800m Run||2:05.24||1|
|Brook Handler (Fr.)||800m Run||2:10.48||9|
|Shannon Osika (Fr.)||Mile Run||4:38.42||1|
|Jillian Smith (Jr.)||Mile Run||4:40.37||4|
|Rebecca Addison (Jr.)||Mile Run||4:40.41||5|
|Taylor Pogue (So.)||5,000m Run||16:22.64||3|
|Megan Weschler (So.)||5,000m Run||16:48.76||10|
|Amber Smith (So.)||60m Hurdles||8.55||9|
|A. Smith, R. Addison, A. Williams, B. Williams||4x400m Relay||3:44.18||7|
|Osika, B. Williams, J. Smith, R. Addison||Distance Medley Relay||11:04.30||1|
|Kiley Tobel (R-So.)||Pole Vault||13-7 1/4 feet||3|
|Tofunmi Akeredolu (R-Jr.)||Long Jump||19-8 feet||5|
|Ada Unachukwu (Jr.)||Triple Jump||41-7 1/4 feet||3|
|Allison Liske (R-Sr.)||Shot Put||50-7 1/2 feet||8|
|Emily Pendleton (R-Sr.)||Shot Put||50-6 1/4 feet||9|
|Tofunmi Akeredolu (R-Jr.)||Pentathlon||3,643||10|
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
Fri-Sat., Feb. 24-25 -- at Big Ten Indoor Championships (Lincoln, Neb.), 10 a.m./10 a.m., BT
Fri-Sat., March 2-3 -- at Notre Dame Alex Wilson Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 6 p.m./11 a.m.
Fri-Sat., March 2-3 -- at North Florida Spring Invitational (Jacksonville, Fla.), 9 a.m.