March 6, 2012
The University of Michigan women's track and field team will send four athletes as well as its distance medley relay to the NCAA Indoor Championships on Friday and Saturday (March 9-10) in Nampa, Idaho. Competition will begin on Friday at 10 a.m. MST and resume again on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. MST at Boise State's Jacksons Indoor Track at the Idaho Center.
Michigan is tied for 10th for most event entries by a women's team with five, while the Big Ten Conference ranks fourth with 29 total entries. The Wolverines boast the only three middle-distance runners to qualify for the championships. [ NCAA Field Breakdown: By Team | By Conference ]
Watch the NCAA Championships Live
ESPN3 will stream the meet live on March 9 from 7:30 p.m.-11:45 p.m. EST and March 10 from 8 p.m.-11:15 p.m. EST. A tape delay of the championship will also air Sunday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
NCAA.com and broncosports.com will stream what ESPN3 is not covering on Friday (Noon-7:30 p.m. EST) and Saturday (12:30-8 p.m. EST). FloTrack will also be on site to cover the championships with interviews, photos and videos.
Setting the Scene -- The track, which has a Mondo surface, is 200 meters long and includes six banked lanes on the oval and an eight lane straight track located in the middle. The facility was built in 2002 and held its first major event in 2005 with the USA Track and Field National Indoor Masters Championships. [ Facility Information ]
Athletes in Action this Weekend (by event):
Rebecca Addison Junior Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven
Addison ranks 11th in the nation in the 800-meter run with a season-best time of 2:04.87, which she ran at the Alex Wilson Invitational last weekend. She won the 800-meter title at the 2012 Big Ten Championships with at time of 2:06.07. She was also a member of Michigan's ninth straight winning DMR team at the conference meet. Addison's personal-best time in the 800 is 2:03.79, which she clocked last season (Feb. 11, 2012). At last year's NCAA Indoor Championships, Addison finished eighth in the 800-meter (2:07.68) and was a member of U-M's sixth-place DMR team, earning All-America first team honors in both events.
Jillian Smith Junior Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional
Smith currently ranks 12th in the country in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:05.01, which she ran at the Alex Wilson Invitational last weekend (March 3). She finished runner up in the 800 at the Big Ten Championships and was also a member of Michigan's ninth straight winning DMR team at the conference meet. Smith's personal-best time in the 800-meter is 2:04.20, which she clocked last season (Feb. 11, 2012). At last year's NCAA Indoor Championships, Smith finished runner-up in the 800-meter (2:04.78) and was a member of U-M's sixth-place DMR team, earning All-America first team honors in both events.
No Michigan athlete has ever won a national championship in the indoor 800-meter run, while eight Wolverines have earned All-America honors in the event. Addison and Smith will be the only two athletes from the Big Ten competing at the 800.
Shannon Osika Freshman Waterford, Mich./Mott
Osika ranks 17th in the nation (4:38.42) in the mile run and will be the only athlete from the Big Ten running the mile at the national meet. Her mile time is a lifetime best and was set at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational earlier this season. The freshman placed fifth in her debut at the Big Ten Championships with a time of 4:46.97. She is the only freshman and just one of four underclassmen competing in the mile. Oregon's Jordan Hasay, who is the defending national champion in the mile, is the eighth seed in this year's meet.
No Michigan athlete has ever won a national championship in the indoor mile run, while six Wolverines have earned All-America honors in the event.
Kiley Tobel Redshirt-Sophomore Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western
Tobel is tied for 16th in the nation in the pole vault and will be one of two vaulters representing the Big Ten in the event at the NCAA Championships. Earlier this season, she set a new indoor school record and lifetime best with a vault of 4.23 meters (13-10.50) at the Silverston Invitational on Feb. 18. At the Big Ten Championships, she finished fourth overall (4.08 meters, 13-4.50). Arkansas' Tina Sutej, who is the defending national champion in the pole vault, is the top seed in this year's meet.
Michigan has never had an athlete win a national championship or earn All-America status in the indoor pole vault.
DISTANCE MEDLEY RELAY
Michigan's NCAA championship-qualifying distance medley relay squad is made up of freshman Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott), junior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven), junior Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) and senior Brittani Williams (Detroit, Mich./Jackson).Michigan has won three national championships in the DMR (1994, 1998, 2005) and produced 40 All-Americans in the event in program history. Addison and Smith were both members of the last relay team to compete at the NCAA Championships in 2011. The pair helped U-M finish sixth in 2011 and each earned All-America first team status. Michigan has qualified for NCAAs in the DMR in 12 of the last 15 years, winning the national title twice and finishing in the top seven on nine occasions.
Schedule of Events for U-M Participants (Times MST)
|Shannon Osika||Mile (prelims)||Friday, March 9||5:15 p.m.|
|Mile (final)||Saturday, March 10||6:25 p.m.|
|Rebecca Addison||800m (prelims)||Friday, March||7:15 p.m.|
|800m (final)||Saturday, March 10||7:45 p.m.|
|Jillian Smith||800m (prelims)||Friday, March 9||7:15 p.m.|
|800m (final)||Saturday, March 10||7:45 p.m.|
|Distance Medley Relay||Friday, March 9||9:25 p.m.|
|Kiley Tobel||Pole Vault||Saturday, March 10||5:00 p.m.|
USTFCCCA All-America Policy -- Individuals and relays that score any portion of a team point at the NCAA Track & Field Championships will earn USTFCCCA All-America first team honors. Those individuals and relays that place between nine and 16 overall (including ties) will earn USTFCCCA All-America second team honors. Those who do not meet the criteria above but participate at least a round of the NCAA Championship will be listed as All-America honorable mention.
NCAA History 101
Michigan finished 18th at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships, scoring 12 points. The distance medley relay finished sixth (11:07.38) to secure three points on the first day. In the finals of the mile run, juniors Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) and Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) placed second and eighth, respectively, picking up nine points for the Wolverines. In head coach James Henry's 27 previous years at the helm of the program, he has had 20 teams score at the national meet. Michigan's highest finish in program history (second) came in 2008 when the Wolverines tallied 39 total points.
Last Time on the Track -- In last-chance action at the Notre Dame Alex Wilson Invitational (March 2-3), juniors Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) (2:04.87) and Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) (2:05.01) each improved upon their season-best 800-meter times to secure their spots in the NCAA Championships. [ MGoBlue Recap ]
Meanwhile, the majority of the Maize and Blue traveled to Jacksonville, Fla., to begin training for the outdoor season and compete in the North Florida Spring Break Invitational. Fifth-year senior Allison Liske (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East) and sophomore Amber Smith (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) each won two events to lead the Wolveriens. Liske took first in the shot put (15.80m, 51-10.00) and discus (48.08m, 157-9.00), while Smith won the 100-meter hurdles (13.74) and 400-meter hurdles (1:01.32). [ MGoBlue Recaps: Day One | Day Two ]
Personal Improvement -- Heading into the final weekend of indoor track and field competition, 42 Wolverines have set new PRs in at least one event, with 22 improving in two or more events. At the North Florida Spring Break Invitational (March 2-3), seven Michigan student-athletes started the outdoor season off with personal-best marks.
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 ]
Big Ten Championships to Air on BTN -- The Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships will air on BTN at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 10.
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 - OUTDOOR TRACK AND FIELD SEASON
Fri-Sat., March 23-24 -- at USC Trojan Invitational (Los Angeles, Calif.)