Weekly Release #11: U-M Begins Outdoor Campaign at South Florida

March 15, 2010

Friday, March 19 -- at Bulls Invitational (Tampa, Fla.), Noon
Schedule of Events

The University of Michigan women's track and field team heads to Tampa, Fla., this Friday (March 19) to compete in the Bulls Invitational, marking the first outdoor action of the season. Field events begin at noon, while running events will commence at 3 p.m. from USF's Track and Field Stadium.

Outdoors, Here We Come! -- The Wolverines will compete outdoors for the first time this season, heading south to the University of South Florida for the Bulls Invitational. This weekend's meet marks the first of nine consecutive weekends with outdoor action. U-M will make its way around the country, traveling to Florida, California, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Ohio for competition throughout the season. The Wolverines will not compete in the Great Lakes State until April 3 when they head to Michigan State for the Spartan Invitational.

Only At Home Once -- Mark your calendars for the weekend of May 7-8, as it is the only time the Wolverines will be at home during the outdoor season. U-M will team up with men to host the Len Paddock Invitational at Ferry Field.

2009 Outdoor Recap - The Wolverines finished runner-up at the Big Ten Championships while picking up a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last season. U-M won six Big Ten titles with current Wolverines Alisha Cole (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac), Emily Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore) and Shana Vinson (Detroit, Mich./Mumford) all picking up victories. Cole and Vinson were part of U-M's Big Ten champion 4x100-meter relay team, the first time the Wolverines won the event since 1982. Pendleton won the discus conference title for the second consecutive season in 2009.

Hardware Outside -- As a program, the Wolverines have won seven individual outdoor NCAA titles with Geena Gall (two, 800-meter run) and Tiffany Ofili (three, 100-meter hurdles) combining for five of them. Penny Neer won the discus in 1982 and Anna Willard cameg away with a victory in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 2007 to complete U-M's titles. Michigan has earned 60 All-America citations, 54 from the NCAA and six from the AIAW from 1981-82.

Michigan Concludes 2010 Indoor Season -- The Wolverines concluded the indoor season with a trip to the NCAA Indoor Championships last weekend (March 12). The distance medley relay team of freshman Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional), Shana Vinson, freshman Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) and junior Danielle Tauro (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) finished 10th with a time of 11:19.33. Redshirt junior Charnee Lumbus (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) did not make it past the preliminaries in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.43. It was the first time since 2002 that U-M did not score at the indoor meet.

U-M Takes 8th at Big Ten 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 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 -- Jillian Smith 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. For her efforts at the Championships, Smith was named the Big Ten Indoor Freshman of the Year. Smith becomes only the second freshman in program history to win an individual indoor Big Ten title and indoor Freshman of the Year. Katie Erdman was the first, winning the 600-meter run and honor in 2003.

U-M Wins Seventh Consecutive DMR Title -- The quartet of Rebecca Addison, 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.

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, Alisha Cole, Allison Liske, Carly Schiffer and Christina Solomon make up the leadership council that will help provide leadership and guidance to a young U-M squad.

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! ]

Fri-Sat., March 26-27 -- at Stanford Invitational (Palo Alto, Calif.), 3 p.m./9 a.m. PDT