March 20, 2012
The University of Michigan women's track and field team will participate in its second meet of the outdoor season on Friday and Saturday (March 23-24) when it competes in the USC Trojan Invitational. Competition will begin on Friday at 2 p.m. PDT and resume again on Saturday at 10 a.m. PDT at USC's Loker Stadium.
Setting the Scene -- The track's Rekortan surface, the same one that was installed for the Olympic competition at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, has eight, 42-inch lanes. Michigan will be joined by BYU, Texas A&M, Oregon, Washington, Washington State and USC.
Texas A&M is the three-time defending NCAA outdoor champion, while Oregon has finished runner-up in each of the those years and also won three straight NCAA indoor titles.
Athletes in Action this Weekend -- Tofunmi Akeredolu, Monica Barnes, Meg Bellino, Erin Busbee, Charlotte Cahill, Dana Carey, Michaela Carnegie, Erica Crane, Ariel Dempsey, Joanna Fleming, Brook Handler, Lindsey Hilton, Shelby Hines, Brianna Jenkins, Alex Leptich, Allison Liske, Chelsey Miller, Chinyere Onimo, Kaitlyn Patterson, Mary Grace Pellegrini, Emily Pendleton, Erin Pendleton, Taylor Pogue, Kari Prena, Chloe Prince, Amber Smith, Kiley Tobel, Ada Unachukwu, Megan Weschler, Victoria Wesley and Brittani Williams.
Transitioning to the Outdoors -- The Wolverines kicked off the season at the North Florida Spring Break Invitational on March 2-3. Michigan wrapped up competition during the 2011-12 indoor season, finishing seventh at the Big Ten Championships and 61st the NCAA Championships, where it were represented by five Wolverines. Events contested outdoors that are not held indoors are the 100-meter dash, 100-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles, 1,500-meter run, 3,000-meter steeplechase, hammer throw, discus, javelin and heptathlon.
2011 Outdoor Rewind -- Michigan returns one Big Ten outdoor champion and two athletes who competed in the NCAA Indoor Championships in 2011. Junior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) won her first Big Ten outdoor title in the 1,500-meter run at last year's conference championships. The Wolverines were represented by junior Erin Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore) in the discus and junior/sophomore Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) in the pole vault at the national meet. Both athletes earned All-America honorable mention in their respective events.
Sensational Sisters -- The dynamic duo of sisters fifth-year senior Emily Pendleton and junior Erin Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore) have dominated the Big Ten discus scene over the last three years. Emily won the Big Ten title in 2008 and 2009 and Erin took the crown in 2010. After winning the title in 2010, Erin was named Big Ten Outdoor Freshman of the Year. Erin finished fourth at last year's conference meet and went on to finish 21st the NCAA Championships, while Emily redshirted the 2011 indoor and outdoor seasons. The sisters will be back in action together this weekend at USC for the first time since 2010.
LAST TIME ON THE TRACK
North Florida Spring Break Invitational -- Michigan recorded six winning performances at the North Florida Invitational, held March 2-3. Fifth-year senior Allison Liske (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East) and sophomore Amber Smith (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) won two events apiece. Liske captured the shot put and discus crowns, while Smith won the 100- and 400-meter hurdles. In the field, junior Erin Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore) won the hammer throw, while sophomore Erin Busbee (Collinwood, Ohio/Collinwood) took first in the high jump.
[ MGoBlue Recaps: Day One | Day Two ]
NCAA Indoor Championships -- The Wolverines finished 61st at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships, adding eight more All-Americans to the record book. The distance medley relay, which was comprised of freshman Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott), senior Brittani Williams (Detroit, Mich./Jackson), junior Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) and junior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven), finished 12th, placing all four athletes on the All-America second team list. Addison went on to earn first team accolades in the 800-meter with her eighth-place finish, while Smith took 12th to tally her second team honors again. Osika also collected second team recognition in the mile run after finishing ninth. In the pole vault, junior/sophomore Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) tied for eighth place, becoming a first team All-American. [ MGoBlue Recaps: Day One | Day Two ]
Fresh Faces -- Michigan added 17 new student-athletes to the roster this season -- 17 freshmen and one transfer. Of those 18, nine competed for the Wolverines during the indoor track and field season. Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) was the only freshman in the country to advance to the finals of the mile at the NCAA Indoor Championships and earned Second Team All-America Honors after placing ninth.
Same Name -- The Wolverines have three sets of sisters on the 2011 team in addition to four other sets of same last names. Sisters Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) and Laura Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) both compete in distance events; Emily Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore), and Erin Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore), both throw; and Chloe Prince (Okemos, Mich./Okemos) and Nicole Prince (Okemos, Mich./Okemos) both run mid-distance for the Wolverines. In addition, Alicia Patterson (DeWitt, Mich./DeWitt) and Kaitlyn Patterson (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac), Amber Smith (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) and Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional), Chelsey Miller (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) and Samantha Miller (Edina, Minn./Edina), and Alexandria Williams (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven) and Brittani Williams (Detroit, Mich./Jackson) all share last names but are not related.
USA, USA, USA! -- Freshmen Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) and Ellen Junewick (Grand Rapids, Mich. (Forest Hills Eastern) represented Team USA in the Junior 4k race at the 2012 North America, Central American, & Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championships on Saturday (March 17) in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Osika led Team USA to the overall team title, winning the race in a time of 13:40.40, while Junewick took 10th in 14:47.32. The pair finished first and fourth, respectively, at the 2012 USA Cross Country Championships on Feb. 11 to earn their spots on Team USA.
[ Recap ]
2012 NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING -- For the third consecutive season, the East and West Preliminary Championship competition will be utilized to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Using a descending order list, the top 48 athletes in each event will participate in two rounds (first round and quarterfinals) during the preliminary round. Twelve competitors from each individual event and 12 teams from each relay event will advance from each preliminary championship competition to the NCAA Championships. There are no qualifying marks used during the outdoor season. This year's NCAA East Preliminary Round will be held at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.
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
Fri-Sat., March 30-31 -- at Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Invitational (Atlanta, Ga.), 6 p.m./10:30 a.m.