Weekly Release #7: U-M Returns Home for Silverston Invitational

Feb. 15, 2010

Saturday, Feb. 20 -- host Silverston Invitational (U-M Indoor Track Building), 10 a.m.
Meet Information | Schedule of Events | Heat Sheets

After splitting up for the previous two weekends, the University of Michigan women's track and field team will remain intact and host its final home event of the 2010 indoor season -- alongside the men's track and field team -- on Saturday (Feb. 20), the Silverston Invitational at the U-M Indoor Track Building. Field events will begin at 10 a.m., with track events to follow at noon.

Second Home Event -- For the second and final time during the indoor season, the Wolverines will remain at home for the weekend, this time hosting the Silverston Invitational at the U-M Indoor Track Building. Field events will start at 10 a.m. with running events to commence at noon. Michigan also hosted the Simmons-Harvey Invitational earlier this season (Jan. 22-23). U-M will not host another track meet until May 7-8, the Len Paddock Invitational at Ferry Field. [ Meet Information ]

Split Three Ways -- The Wolverines went in search of the best competition last weekend, splitting up three ways for weekend events. U-M achieved four provisional marks over the two days, with each competition yielding at least one. Junior Kaitlyn Peale (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) finished 14th in the 5,000-meter run as the lone Wolverine at the Husky Classic (Feb. 12) with a provisional time of 16:29.12. Redshirt sophomore Allison Liske (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East) led a group of throwers at the Tyson Invitational (Feb. 12-13) with a career-best and provisional throw of 15.64 meters in the shot put.

The majority of the team participated at the GVSU Big Meet (Feb. 12-13), where captains Danielle Tauro (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) and Shana Vinson (Detroit, Mich./Mumford) won events for the Maize and Blue. Tauro won the mile in a provisional time of 4:42.56, while Vinson was victorious in the 400-meter dash (54.58). Freshman Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) turned in U-M fastest time this season in the 800-meter run, finishing in 2:06.90 for her first career provisional time.

Hitting Their Stride...Literally -- As the NCAA Indoor Championships quickly approach (March 12-13), the Wolverines continue to improve each week, achieving six provisional marks, with five coming in individual events and one in the distance medley relay. Kaitlyn Peale is the only U-M trackster with two individual marks, coming in the 3,000-meter run (9:28.83) and 5,000-meter run (16:29.12). Allison Liske has hit the mark four times in the shot put, establishing a new career best this past weekend (15.64 meters), while Danielle Tauro in the mile (4:42.56) and Jillian Smith in the 800-meter run (2:06.90) both were at their fastest this past weekend. The DMR team has only competed once this season, finishing in 11:13.69 at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational (Feb. 5). Liske was the only Wolverine to establish a provisional mark before the calendar flipped to February. [ Full Indoor Season Bests ]

Big Ten Championships Up Next -- Looking ahead, the next competition for Michigan will be a trip to the Big Ten Indoor Championships (Feb. 27-28), hosted by Penn State University. The Wolverines finished third last year (121.5), with Tiffany Ofili being names the Indoor Track Athlete of the Year and Bettie Wade sweeping the Indoor Field Athlete of the Year and the Championships awards. Heading into the final week before this year's event, U-M has 16 top-10 Big Ten marks. The distance medley relay team has had the fastest time in the conference this season (11:13.69), while Jillian Smith holds two second-best performances in the 600-meter run (1:30.97) and 800-meter run (2:06.90).

Collinwood Duo to Honor Smith By Signing with Michigan -- With the late signing period beginning (Feb. 3), Michigan has received commitments from Amber Smith and Erin Busbee. Smith and Busbee are both from Collinwood High School in Cleveland, the same high school that Joi Smith attended before coming to Michigan. Smith died in 2007 after losing her battle with a rare form of cancer. [ Read about the duo ]

Boston Indoor Games -- Former national champions Anna Willard and Tiffany Ofili have continued to compete since completing their eligibility at Michigan. Two weekends ago (Feb. 6), the duo was in action at the Boston Indoor Games, one of three events that make up the Visa Championship Series. Willard was runner-up in the 1,000-meter run (2:38.76) while Ofili took fourth in the 60-meter hurdles (8.09). With one event remaining in the series, Ofili is in third place, just 12 points out of first place. Willard is currently fifth in the point standings. The final competition is slated for Feb. 27-28 in Albuquerque, N.M. [ Visa Championship Series ]

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, Emily Pendleton 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 make up the leadership council that will help provide leadership and guidance to a young U-M squad.

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.

Sat-Sun., Feb. 27-28
-- at Big Ten Indoor Championships (State College, Pa.), 9 a.m./11 a.m.