Weekly Release #9: Final Indoor Meet Before NCAA Championships

March 2, 2010

Fri-Sat., March 5-6
-- at Alex Wilson Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 5 p.m./10:30 a.m.
Wilson Invite Schedule of Events

The University of Michigan women's track and field team will send nine members to the University of Notre Dame this weekend (Fri-Sat., March 5-6) for the Alex Wilson Invitational. The meet is a 'last chance meet', allowing the Wolverines to improve upon previous times with NCAA Indoor Championships qualifying implications.

One Last Chance -- U-M heads to the Alex Wilson Invitational this weekend with its sights on improving provisional marks in anticipation of next weekend's NCAA Indoor Championships (March 12-13) in Fayetteville, Ark. The Alex Wilson is a "Last Chance" meet, allowing the participants to improve on any times or marks previously set this season. The distance medley relay team of freshman Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional), senior Shana Vinson (Detroit, Mich./Mumford), freshman Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) and junior Danielle Tauro (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) will compete, along with Vinson in the 400-meter dash and Smith and Addison potentially in the 800-meter run. The hurdling duo of redshirt junior Charnee Lumbus (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) and sophomore Julian Purvis (Oakland, Calif./St. Elizabeth) will run in the 60-meter hurdles. In the field, junior Emily Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore) and freshman Erin Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore) will participate in both the 20-pound weight throw and shot put, while redshirt sophomore Allison Liske (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East) will just be active in the shot put.

U-M Takes Eighth at Indoor Championships -- The Wolverines won an individual title (800-meter run) and a relay title (distance medley relay) en route to an eighth-place finish at the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships (Feb. 27-28) at Penn State. U-M scored points in eight events, totaling 61 during the two-day meet. The following athletes scored points for the Wolverines:

Rebecca Addison: DMR, 800-meter run
Alisha Cole: 4x400-meter relay
Allison Liske: Shot put
Charnee Lumbus: 60-meter hurdles
Jennifer Neville: 4x400-meter relay
Kaitlyn Peale: 5,000-meter run
Julian Purvis: 60-meter hurdles
Jillian Smith: 800-meter run, DMR
Danielle Tauro: Mile run, DMR
Shana Vinson: 400-meter dash, DMR, 4x400-meter relay
Alexandria Williams: 4x400-meter relay

Vinson Sets School Record -- In her third-place finish in the 400-meter dash at the Big Ten Championships, senior captain Shana Vinson (Detroit, Mich./Mumford) set a new school record. Her time of 53.86 bettered Serita Williams' standard of 54.41 set in 2008. Vinson has been the only Wolverine to set a school record in 2010.

Smith Wins 800 -- Freshman Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) won Michigan's fourth consecutive 800-meter run title, taking the crown in 2:08.12. Former NCAA champion Geena Gall won the indoor race in 2007, 2008 and 2009 before Smith won it this year. Smith becomes only the second freshman in program history to win an individual indoor Big Ten title. Katie Erdman was the first, winning the 600-meter run in 2003.

U-M wins Seventh Consecutive DMR Title -- The quartet of Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven), Jillian Smith, Danielle Tauro and Shana Vinson won U-M's seventh consecutive distance medley relay title at last weekend's Big Ten Championships. Michigan has monopolized the title since 2004, along with also winning it in 2002. Tauro has been part of the winning relay team the past three years, while Addison, Smith and Vinson all joined the DMR squad for the first time. The distance medley relay consists of a 1,200-meter run, a 400-meter dash, an 800-meter run and concludes with a 1,600-meter leg.

Provisional Marks Hit -- As the NCAA Indoor Championships quickly approach (March 12-13), the Wolverines have continued to improve each week. The Wolverines have achieved 10 provisional marks, with eight coming in individual events and two in relays. Below is a list of events that U-M has hit the mark in:

60-meter hurdles: Charnee Lumbus (8.31), Julian Purvis (8.40)
400-meter dash: Shana Vinson (53.86)
800-meter run: Jillian Smith (2:06.09)
Mile run: Danielle Tauro (4:39.97)
3,000-meter run: Kaitlyn Peale (9:28.83)
5,000-meter run: Kaitlyn Peale (16:22.73)
Shot put: Allison Liske (15.64m)
4x400-meter relay: Alisha Cole, Jennifer Neville, Alexandria Williams, Shana Vinson (3:39.31)
Distance medley relay: Jillian Smith, Shana Vinson, Rebecca Addison, Danielle Tauro (11:13.69)

The DMR team has the nation's 10th-best performance, while Tauro's mile time is also the 10th-best individual time in the 5,280-foot race to lead the Wolverines' indoor qualifying efforts. The final list of NCAA participants will be released Monday, March 8, at 7 p.m. [ Full Indoor Season Bests ]

Outdoor on the Horizon -- With only two events left in the indoor season, the Wolverines are less than a month away from kicking off the outdoor season. U-M will start the outdoor season at the Bulls Invitational in Tampa, Fla., March 19-20. Michigan will be in action at Ferry Field one time this spring, hosting the Len Paddock Invitational, May 7-8.

USA Indoor Track and Field Championships -- While the current Wolverines were busy in State College, a number of former U-M tracksters were in action at the 2010 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. Former NCAA Champion Anna (Willard) Pierce won the 800-meter run, current undergraduate assistant coach and five-time NCAA champion Tiffany Ofili finished fourth in the 60-meter hurdles and Toni Salucci placed seventh in the 3,000-meter run. [ More Information ]

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.

Fri-Sat., March 12-13
-- at NCAA Indoor Championships (Fayetteville, Ark.), 9 a.m. CST