Weekly Release #12: U-M Splits Up to Continue Outdoor Action

March 22, 2011

Fri-Sat., March 25-26 -- at Stanford Invitational (Palo Alto, Calif.), 11:15 a.m./1:30 p.m. PDT
Fri-Sat., March 25-26 -- at FSU Relays (Tallahassee, Fla.), 9 a.m./Noon

The University of Michigan women's track and field team continues the outdoor season by splitting up for a pair of meets this weekend (Fri-Sat., March 25-26), sending a few Wolverines west to the Stanford Invitational and the rest of the team to the FSU Relays.

U-M will stick to distance races and the pole vault at the Stanford Invitational at Cobb Track and Angell Field in Palo Alto, Calif. The meet starts at 11:15 a.m. PDT on Friday and 1:30 p.m. PDT on Saturday.

The Wolverines will participate in the other field events, as well as short-distance track races at the FSU Relays at the Mike Long Track in Tallahasse, Fla.


We Go West -- Michigan is sending nine athletes to the Stanford Invitational, competing in six different events. The trio of Alex Leptich, Chloe Prince and Megan Weschler will compete in the 800-meter run and the 1,500-meter run as the only athletes to double on the weekend. Mary Grace Pellegrini will run the 5,000, Lindsey Hilton and Kaitlyn Patterson will participate in the 10,000-meter run, Julian Purvis will run the 100-meter hurdles and the pole vaulting duo of Andrea Marcos and Kiley Tobel will be in action. Friday begins with the 5,000-meter run at 11:18 a.m. PDT and the 800-meter run kicks off Saturday's events at 1:34 p.m. PDT.

Back to the Sunshine State -- The majority of the Wolverines will be heading back to Florida for the second consecutive weekend, participating in the FSU Relays in Tallahassee. Charlotte Cahill, Ada Unachukwu, Tofunmi Akeredolu, Erin Busbee, Taylor Moore-Willis, Sara Nitz, Bernease Herman, Shelby Hines, Alisha Cole, Amber Smith, Jennifer Neville, Alexandria Williams, Lauren Young, Kari Prena, Allison Liske and Joanna Fleming will all be taking part at Florida State. Friday's events kick off with the hammer throw at 9 a.m., with Saturday commencing with the 200-meter dash at noon. The Wolverines will compete in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash, 100-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles, 4x100-meter relay, 4x400-meter relay, high jump, long jump, shot put, discus, javelin and hammer throw.

Going Home -- Julian Purvis will return to California for the first time this year, running the 100-meter hurdles at the Stanford Invitational. Purvis hails from Oakland, Calif., located about 36 north of Palo Alto.

Starting Off Outdoor with a Bang -- The Wolverines went back-to-back days to start the outdoor season, competing at the Bulls Invitational and the UCF Black and Gold Challenge, picking up eight victories between the two events. Allison Liske was the lone Wolverine to win events at both meets, sweeping the shot put at both. Tofunmi Akeredolu (long jump), Erin Pendleton (discus), Kaitlyn Patterson (3,000-meter run) and Alexandria Williams (400-meter hurdles) all won at the Bulls Invitational, with Sara Nitz (javelin) and Julian Purvis (100-meter hurdles) winning at the UCF meet.

Good to Have You Back -- Allison Liske redshirted during the indoor season, competing unattached at three events throughout the course of the season. She is back competing for Michigan during the outdoor season and has already bettered Michigan's best indoor shot put mark, throwing for 15.32 meters (50-03.25) at the UCF Challenge. Erin Pendleton had Michigan's best mark during the indoor season, recording a throw of 13.44 meters (44-01.25).

Splitting Up Becomes the Norm -- After splitting up just once during the indoor season, the Wolverines compete at different competitions much more frequently during the outdoor season. U-M will divide the team up two more times this season, including next weekend when some Wolverines go to the Colonial Relays and the rest of the team goes to East Lansing, Mich., for the Spartan Invitational. The final split will be three ways when U-M participates in the Drake Relays, Hillsdale Relays and Penn Relays, April 28-30.

First Time in Uniform Outdoors -- Last weekend, Joanna Fleming, Amber Smith, Kari Prena, Erin Busbee, Shelby Hines, Kiley Tobel, Lindsey Hilton, Alex Leptich, Taylor Moore-Willis and Chloe Prince all made their outdoor debut competing for the Wolverines. Fleming, Prena, Tobel, Hilton and Prince all competed unattached for Michigan during the 2010 outdoor season.

Let's Make It Like Indoors -- During the indoor season, Michigan improved its 2010 Big Ten finish by four spots in 2011. The Wolverines finished eighth during 2010, before jumping to No. 4 at this year's championships. During last year's outdoor season, the Maize and Blue also finished eighth and will be looking for similar improvement at this year's championship meet.

McGuire Named Great Lakes Assistant Coach of the Year -- Associate head coach Mike McGuire was named the USTFCCCA Great Lakes Assistant Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his career after helping Michigan to a fourth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships. McGuire's athletes won two individual titles along with Michigan's eighth consecutive win in the distance medley relay at the Championships. [ Release ]

Trio of Captains to Lead U-M -- Alisha Cole, Allison Liske and Danielle Tauro will serve as captains for the 2011 season. Tauro repeats as captain for the second consecutive season while Cole and Liske were chosen by their teammates for the first time. [ Release ]

Who Is Back -- The Wolverines return 22 letterwinners from last year's team that picked up a pair of eighth-place finishes at both the 2010 Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor Championships. Michigan swept both Freshman of the Year awards with sophomores Jillian Smith and Erin Pendleton earning the honors. Smith (indoor 800-meter run) and Pendleton (outdoor discus throw) were the only Wolverines to win individual Big Ten championships during 2010. The Wolverines won their seventh consecutive distance medley relay title and return Smith, Danielle Tauro and sophomore Rebecca Addison from that team.

Fresh Faces -- Michigan welcomes 20 new student-athletes to the roster this season. Of those 20, 10 competed for the Wolverines during the cross country season. Michigan finished runner-up at the 2010 Big Ten Cross Country Championships and 22nd at the NCAA Championships during the cross country campaign.

Same Name -- The Wolverines have three sets of sisters on the 2011 team in addition to three other sets of same last names. Sisters Andrea Marcos (Farmington Hills, Mich./North Farmington) and Erica Marcos (Farmington Hills, Mich./North Farmington) both compete in pole vault; Emily Pendleton and Erin Pendleton 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 and Alexandria Williams (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven) and Brittani Williams (Detroit, Mich./Jackson) all share last names but are not related.

For the second 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.

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. Each of our varsity athletic teams will have a Record Book and a Yearbook. 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. [ Publications ]

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.

Michigan women's track and field is also on Facebook. Connect with the program, alumni and fans by clicking the "Like" button at facebook.com/michiganwomenstrack. Facebook is a social network service and website with more than 500 million active users.

Fri-Sat., April 1-2 -- at Colonial Relays (Williamsburg, Va.), 10 a.m.
Saturday, April 2
-- at Spartan Invitational (East Lansing, Mich.), 10 a.m.