Weekly #6: U-M to Host Silverston Invite for Regular-Season Finale
Chinyere Onimo

Feb. 19, 2014

Sara Nitz Spotlight

Saturday, Feb. 22
-- host Silverston Invitational (U-M Indoor Track Building), 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 22 -- at Notre Dame Alex Wilson Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 11 a.m.

Silverston Invitational: Event Information PDF | Live Results | Heat Sheets PDF
Alex Wilson Invitational: Schedule of Events PDF | Live Results | Flotrack Coverage
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The 25th-ranked University of Michigan women's track and field team will conclude the 2014 indoor regular season by hosting the annual Silverston Invitational on Saturday (Feb. 22) at the U-M Indoor Track Building. Field events will begin at 10:30 a.m., while the running events will get underway at 12:30 p.m. with the Ann Arbor Track Club Mile.

Michigan's seniors will be recognized at the starting line, following the Ann Arbor Track Club Mile at 12:40 p.m. This year's seniors include Amanda AdwonErin Busbee, Joanna Fleming, Nicola Hallenborg, Jami Hill, Brianna Jenkins, Alex Leptich, Sara Nitz, Megan Pearson, Jillian Smith, Kiley Tobel and Megan Weschler.


Field Events 
10:30 a.m. -- W Shot Put, M Shot Put to follow
11 a.m. -- M Pole Vault 
11:30 a.m. -- M Long Jump, W Long Jump 
Noon -- W High Jump 
1 p.m. -- W Triple Jump, M Triple Jump, W Pole Vault, W Weight Throw, M Weight Throw to follow 
1:30 p.m. -- M High Jump 

Track Events 

12:25 p.m. -- National Anthem
12:30 p.m. -- Ann Arbor Track Club Mile 
12:40 p.m. -- Senior Recognition
12:55 p.m. -- Silverston Family Recognition

1:10 p.m. -- M 60m High Hurdles, W 60m Hurdles 
1:25 p.m. -- M 400m, W 400m 
1:40 p.m. -- M 600m, W 600m 
1:50 p.m. -- M 60m, W 60m 
2:05 p.m. -- M 800m, W 800m 
2:15 p.m. -- M 200m, W 200m 
2:35 p.m. -- M One Mile, W One Mile 
2:55 p.m. -- M 4x400m Relay, W 4x400m Relay

* There will be no men's 5,000m run contested


• In addition to Michigan hosting the Silverston Invitational, the Wolverines will also send senior Erin Busbee (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood)and senior/junior Taylor Pogue (Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich) to Notre Dame to compete in the Alex Wilson Invitational on Saturday (Feb. 22) at the Loftus Center, starting at 11 a.m.

Busbee has a history of competing well in the long jump at Notre Dame's facility and will look to improve her mark in the long jump in order to make the list of 16 athletes that qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships. She is currently tied for 32nd in the nation with a mark of 6.10 meters (20-0.25). Her school-record setting jump of 6.38 meters (20-11.25) came at the 2013 Alex Wilson Invitational. Heading into that meet, Busbee was ranked 71st in the nation, and that jump propelled her into seventh place and onto the national championships, where she finished sixth to earn All-America first team honors. Busbee will also participate in the 60-meter hurdles at Notre Dame.

Pogue, who suffered a foot injury during the 2013 cross country season, will make her return to the track at Notre Dame in the 3,000-meter run in order to prepare for the upcoming outdoor season.

• The Silverston Invitational is named in honor of Harold Silverston, a longtime head track and field timer at the University of Michigan. Silverston held the position under four different head coaches -- Don Canham, David Martin, Dixon Farmer and Jack Harvey. He was also the head timer for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships when hosted by U-M. Prior to the invention of electronic timing, being an accomplished timer was viewed as a remarkable skill. In the sport of track and field it was an important and prestigious position to hold. Silverston was a well-respected timer known for being extremely accurate, which he took great pride in.

• With the Big Ten Indoor Championships right around the corner on Feb. 28-March 1, several of Michigan's athletes who will compete in that meet, especially its distance runners, will not compete in the Silverston Invitational as they continue to train and prepare for the conference meet. The meet will provide an opportunity for select Wolverines to get in one more tune-up meet before Big Tens and allow many of their younger student-athletes to compete in front of a home crowd.

• Sophomore Cindy Ofili has finished third or better in every event she has competed in so far this season, winning seven of the 11 events. Most recently at the SPIRE Invitational, she won the 60-meter hurdles in a career-best time of 8.20, which ranks second in the Big Ten 10th in the nation. She also set school records in the 60-meter dash (7.40) and 200-meter dash (23.86) to finish runner-up in both events. Her 60-meter dash record was extra special, as she took down her older sister, Tiffany (Ofili) Porter's record of 7.42.

• Michigan's distance medley relay of freshman Jaimie Phelan (1,200m), Maya Long (400m), sophomore Danielle Pfeifer (800m) and junior Brook Handler (mile) made its season debut last weekend at the SPIRE Invitational. The relay defended its title at SPIRE while also setting a new facility record of 11:00.20, which leads the Big Ten this season by more than 12 seconds.

Distance Medley Relay Splits
Phelan (1,200m) -- 3:25.9
Long (400m) -- 53.9
Pfeifer (800m) -- 2:05.6
Handler (mile) -- 4:34.6

• In addition to running a 4:34.6 mile split on the distance medley relay, junior Brook Handler clocked the Big Ten's second-fastest 800-meter time this season at the SPIRE Invitational last weekend, running a personal-best 2:06.14. That time also ranks 14th in the NCAA. She also owns the Big Ten's top mile time with her personal best of 4:37.68.

• Freshman Jaimie Phelan has made her presence known early in the indoor season. In addition to helping the distance medley relay win at the SPIRE Invitational with her 3:25.9, 1,200-meter split, she also returned to run the Big Ten's third-fastest time in the 800-meter run with a PR of 2:06.38. That time also ranks 16th in the nation.

• Freshman Erin Finn, the 2013 Big Ten cross country champion, made her collegiate debut in the 5,000-meter run at the SPIRE Invitational, winning the event with a time of 15:57.32, which is just .59 seconds off the 25-year-old school record. In her collegiate track and field debut, she won the 3,000m run at the Simmons-Harvey Invitational in a time of 9:11.10#, which ranks second in the Big Ten and is less than two seconds off the indoor school record.

• Fifth-year senior Kiley Tobel defended her pole vault title from last year's SPIRE Invitational, clearing a height of 3.98 meters (13-0.75). She continues to lead the Big Ten this season with her school-record setting vault of 4.25 meters (13-11.25).

• Freshman Aaron Howell competed in her first collegiate pentathlon last weekend at the SPIRE Invitational, finishing runner up with 3,887 points. She recorded wins in the 60-meter hurdles, high jump and long jump. She will compete in the hurdles and high jump at the Silverston to prepare for the pentathlon at the Big Ten Indoor Championships.

• With just one meet remaining until the Big Ten Indoor Championships, the Wolverines have nine student-athletes and one relay ranked in the Big Ten's top eight in their respective events (the top eight finishers score at championship meets). Cindy Ofili (60m, 60mH, 200m) and Erin Finn (mile, 3,000m, 5,000m) are ranked in three events, while Brook Handler (800m, mile) and Erin Busbee (long jump, 60mH) made the list in two events each.

Maya Long -- 400m, 8th, 54.69
Brook Handler -- 800m, 2nd, 2:06.16; mile, 1st, 4:37.68
Jaimie Phelan -- 800m, 3rd, 2:06.38
Erin Finn -- 5,000m, 1st, 15:57.32; 3,000m, 2nd, 9:11.10#; mile, 7th, 4:45.54
Corinne Florie -- 5,000m, 8th, 17:07.48
Cindy Ofili -- 60m hurdles, 2nd, 8.20; 60m, 4th, 7.40; 200m, 6th, 23:86
Erin Busbee -- long jump, 3rd, 6.10m (20-0.25); 60m hurdles, 6th, 8.43
Kiley Tobel -- pole vault, 1st, 4.25m (13-11.25)
Aaron Howell -- pentathlon, 5th, 3,887 points
Jaimie Phelan, Maya Long, Danielle Pfeifer, Brook Handler -- DMR, 1st, 11:00.20
# = converted time

• Michigan dropped to No. 25 in the fourth and final regular-season USTFCCCA DI National Coaches' Poll of the indoor season on Tuesday (Feb. 18).


• Head coach James Henry is in his 30th season at the helm of the program. During his time at U-M, Henry has led the Wolverines to 14 Big Ten titles, including seven indoor and seven outdoor. U-M's track and cross country programs also teamed up to win a pair of triple crowns in 1993-94 and 2002-03 (Big Ten cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field titles in the same academic year). Individually, he has helped produce 153 NCAA All-Americans, 182 All-Big Ten honorees, 181 individual Big Ten champions, nine national champions and four national championship relay teams.


Team Captains: Senior/junior distance runner Taylor Pogue (Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich), senior hurdler Amber Smith (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) and fifth-year senior pole vaulter Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western)will serve as team captains for the 2014 season. Smith and Tobel are each serving for the second straight year, while Pogue also represented the U-M cross country squad as a captain this past fall.

Returning All-Americans: Michigan returned four indoor NCAA All-Americans, including three that earned the honors during the 2013 season. Senior Erin Busbee (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) and sophomore Maya Long (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron) each earned First Team All-America honors a year ago. Busbee finished sixth in the long jump, while Long ran the 400-meter leg of U-M's national champion distance medley relay team. Junior Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) earned All-America second team honors in the mile run for the second straight year, finishing 14th overall. Fifth-year senior Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) earned All-America first team recognition in the pole vault during the 2012 season.

In the Record Books: Senior Erin Busbee and fifth-year senior Kiley Tobel each hold indoor school records in their respective events. Busbee owns the indoor long jump record with a mark of 6.38 meters (20-11 1/4), which she recorded at a last chance meet to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships. Busbee was ranked 71st in the nation heading into the last chance meet, when her record-setting jump propelled her into a tie for seventh and onto the national championships, where she finished sixth. Tobel increased her own indoor pole vault school record at the Simmons-Harvey Invitational on Jan. 18 (4.25 meters, 13-11 1/4) and also owns the outdoor pole vault record (4.25 meters, 13-11 1/4).

Lifetime Teammates: Sophomores Cindy Ofili and Maya Long, as well as junior Chinyere Onimo were high school teammates at Huron High School in Ann Arbor. All three compete in sprinting events for the Wolverines.

U-M Family Ties: Sophomore 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). Senior/junior Elly Mioduszewski is the younger sister of Melany Mioduszewski, who ran cross country and track for U-M in 2008 and 2009. Sophomore Hailey Middlebrook and freshman Darby Middlebrook are the only sisters on the roster this season. Senior Amber Smith, fifth-year senior Jillian Smith and freshman Jillian Smith have no relation.


• Coach Henry's 2013 squad produced its best Big Ten team finishes since 2009, placing third at the indoor conference meet and fourth at the outdoor event. Fifth-year senior Amanda Eccleston captured the indoor mile and outdoor 1,500-meter run titles and also ran the anchor leg of Michigan's NCAA champion distance medley relay, which set a new school record (10:56.46). Rebecca Addison, Jillian Smith and freshman sprinter Maya Long joined Eccleston on the winning relay. The Big Ten DMR (Shannon Osika, Meg Bellino, Smith and Addison) captured the program's 10th-striaght conference crown. In addition to U-M's DMR winning the national title, junior multi-event athlete Erin Busbee finished sixth in the long jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships to propel the Wolverines to a tie for 15th place -- its best team result since 2009.

• Michigan lost several Big Ten point scorers from its 2013 team to graduation. The Wolverines graduated 36 of its 89 total points in individual events from the indoor conference meet, as well as three members of its winning distance medley relay and two members of the seventh-place 4x400-meter relay -- Amanda Eccleston (Mile, 1st; 3,000m, 2nd), Meg Bellino (DMR - 400m, 1st; 4x4 Relay, 7th), Rebecca Addison (800m, 5th; DMR - 800m, 1st), Ada Unachukwu (triple jump, 3rd), Tofunmi Akeredolu (long jump, 7th) and Charlotte Cahill (4x4 Relay, 7th). Jillian Smith (800m, 3rd; DMR - Mile, 1st) has no remaining indoor eligibility but will return for her final outdoor season in the spring.


Qualifying Standards for NCAA Championships: There are no qualifying standards for the championships season. There will be a track indexing standard PDFto 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. Due to new NCAA legislation, last-chance meets will no longer be held the week prior to the national indoor meet. [ USTFCCCA Selection Criteria ]

• For the second straight year, the Big Ten Indoor Championships will be held at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Michigan finished third a year ago at the conference event -- its best finish since 2009. The NCAA Indoor Championships will be hosted by the University of New Mexico.

Fri-Sat., Feb. 28-March 1 -- at Big Ten Indoor Championships (Geneva, Ohio), 10 a.m.
Fri-Sat., March 14-15 -- at NCAA Indoor Championships (Albuquerque, N.M.), 10 a.m./11 a.m. MST

Contact: Whitney Dixon (whitdix@umich.edu)