Weekly #12: Georgia Tech Invite on Tap for Wolverines
Shelby Hines

March 28, 2012

Sat., March 31
-- at Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Invitational (Atlanta, Ga.), /10:30 a.m. [ Meet Information ]

Three members of the University of Michigan women's track and field team will compete in the Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Invitational on Saturday (March 31). Competition will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the George C. Griffin Track & Field Facility.

Juniors Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) and Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) and freshman Brook Handler (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester) will each compete in the 1,500-meter run at 12:40 p.m.


Setting the Scene -- This weekend's meet will mark Michigan's first return to the Yellow Jacket Invitational since the 2009 season. Prior to that, the Wolverines also participated in the meet in 2003, 2004 and 2006. The George C. Griffin Track & Field Facility features an eight-lane state-of-the-art Mondo surface and a backdrop of the Atlanta skyline.

Fresh Faces -- Michigan added 18 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.

Career Debuts -- Five Wolverines made their outdoor track and field debuts at the Trojan Invitational last weekend (March 23-24), while two athletes competed in their first collegiate meet. Freshman Brook Handler (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester)and sophomore/freshman Erica Crane (Dearborn, Mich./Divine Child) debuted in the 3,000-meter run, while freshman Michaela Carnegie (Beulah, Mich./Benzie Central) competed in the 1,500-meter run in her first outdoor meet. Sophomore/freshman Ariel Dempsey (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) and junior/sophomore Monica Barnes (East Lansing, Mich./Haslett) each ran the 800-meter run in their first collegiate outdoor meet. Sporting the block M for the first time in their careers were freshmen Anna Pasternak (Brighton, Mich./Hartland) in the 5,000-meter run and Dana Carey (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Marion) in the 400-meter hurdles.

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 were back in action together last weekend at USC for the first time since 2010. Emily started off the 2012 outdoor season right where she left of in 2010. In her season debut at the Trojan Invitational, she finished first in the shot put, second in the discus and sixth in the hammer throw. Her mark of 56.97m (186-11) in the hammer throw was a career-best for the team captain.

Among The Big Ten's Best
Several Michigan track and field athletes rank among the best in the Big Ten through the early season.

Name Event Time/Mark Rank
Charlotte Cahill (Jr.) 200m Dash 24.31 4
Brittani Williams (Sr.) 400m Dash 55.50 2
Shelby Hines (Sr.) 400m Dash 56.55 3
Amber Smith (So.) 400m Dash 56.88 5
Mary Grace Pellegrini (Sr.) 5,000m Run 16:57.97 1
Amber Smith (So.) 100m Hurdles 13.74 1
Amber Smith, Charlotte Cahill,
Brittani Williams, Alexandria Williams
4x400m Relay 3:49.24 5
Erin Busbee (So.) High Jump 5-6.00 ft. 4
Brianna Jenkins High Jump 5-5.00 ft. 5
Kiley Tobel (R-So.) Pole Vault 12-8.25 ft. 2
Tofunmi Akeredolu (R-Jr.) Long Jump 18-9.25 ft. 5
Ada Unachukwu (Jr.) Triple Jump 39-0.25 ft. 4
Allison Liske (R-Sr.) Shot Put 51-10.00 ft. 3
Emily Pendleton (R-Sr.) Shot Put 50-3.50 ft. 5
Emily Pendleton (R-Sr.) Discus 172-4.00 ft. 1
Erin Pendleton (Jr.) Discus 168-10 ft. 2
Emily Pendleton (R-Sr.) Hammer 186-11.00 4

Last Time on the Track: USC Trojan Invitational -- Michigan recorded 13 top-five performances at the Trojan Invitational (March 23-24), including a winning effort in the shot put (15.33 meters, 50-3.50) and second-place finish in the discus (52.52 meters, 172-4.00) by fifth-year senior Emily Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore). It marked Pendleton's first outdoor meet since 2010, as she redshirted the 2011 season. Fellow fifth-year senior Allison Liske (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East) finished 0.25 inches behind Pendleton in the shot put in second place (15.32 meters, 50-3.25). Pendleton and Liske combined for three of Michigan's five top-five performances in the throwing events. In the pole vault, junior/sophomore Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) registered a second-place finish, clearing 3.87 meters (12-8.25). Sophomore Alex Leptich (Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline) recorded U-M's highest finish on the track, placing second in the 3,000-meter run (9:38.89). [ MGoBlue Recaps: Day One | Day Two :: Michigan Daily ]

Personal Improvement -- At Trojan Invitational, seven Michigan student-athletes recorded personal-best marks. With just two meets crossed off the 2012 schedule, 12 Wolverines have set new PRs in at least one event, with two improving in two events.

Same Name -- The Wolverines have three sets of sisters on the 2012 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.

Leaders of the Pack -- Fifth-year senior Emily Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore), senior Alexandria Williams (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven) and junior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) will continue to serve as team captains for the 2012 outdoor season. Pendleton repeats as captain for the second season, having captained the Wolverines in 2010, while Williams and Addison were selected to represent the Maize and Blue for the first time.

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 Honorable Mention All-America honors in their respective events.

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.

Fri-Sat., April 6-7 -- at Stanford Invitational (Palo Alto, Calif.)