Weekly #13: Small Groups of Wolverines to Go to Colonial Relays, Spartan Invite

March 29, 2011

Saturday, April 2 -- at Colonial Relays (Williamsburg, Va.), 1:10 p.m.
Saturday, April 2 -- at Spartan Invitational (East Lansing, Mich.), 11 a.m.

The University of Michigan women's track and field team splits up for limited action on Saturday (April 2), sending four Wolverines to the Colonial Relays, hosted by William and Mary University at Zable Stadium, and three pole vaulters to the Spartan Invitational at Michigan State's Ralph Young Track and Field Facility. The Colonial Relays begin at 1:10 p.m. and the Spartan Invite starts at 11 a.m. for U-M.


Colonial Relay Teams -- Michigan will compete in the 4x1,500-meter relay and the distance medley relay at the Colonial Relays. Taylor Pogue, Rebecca Addison, Jillian Smith and Danielle Tauro will be representing Michigan, running in that order for the 4x1,500-meter relay (3:05 p.m.). In the DMR (1:10 p.m.), typically an indoor race, Pogue will run the 1,200-meter leg, Smith will run the 400-meter leg, Addison will take the 800-meter leg and Tauro will run the mile to conclude the relay. It is the first action for the quartet since the indoor season.

Going To State -- The pole vaulting trio of Andrea Marcos, Erica Marcos and Kiley Tobel will be the only Wolverines in uniform at Michigan State. U-M will take other athletes that will compete unattached. The pole vault is scheduled for an 11 a.m. start.

Staying in Michigan -- This weekend marks the first time the Wolverines have competed in an outdoor meet in the state of Michigan. It is also the first time since hosting the Silverston Invitational on Feb. 19 that U-M has stayed in the state for a competition.

First Outdoor Action...In a Career -- Freshman Taylor Pogue and sophomore Jillian Smith will both get a taste of their first outdoor action this weekend at the Colonial Relays. Smith missed the outdoor portion of the 2010 season with an injury, while Pogue is in her first year on the team.

Running and Running and Running -- Michigan had a pair of runners compete in the 10,000-meter run at the Stanford Invitational, the first time a Wolverine had run in the event since the 2008 season. Sophomore Kaitlyn Patterson finished the 25-lap race in 34:54.73, with redshirt freshman Lindsey Hilton clocking in at 35:11.58.

Purvis Enjoys Going Home -- Junior hurdler Julian Purvis made the most of the trip to her home state of California, finishing runner-up in both the preliminaries and finals of the 100-meter hurdles. Her time of 13.36 in the finals set a new personal record in the event, beating her previous fastest time of 13.50, set last season at the NCAA East Preliminary Round.

Liske Earns Big Ten Honor -- For the first time in her career, Allison Liske was named the Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week (March 23) after winning the shot put at both of Michigan's meets during its first outdoor weekend. Her shot put throw of 15.32 meters (50-3.25) at the UCF Black and Gold Challenge was the 12th-best national mark through last weekend's action. It was the third time this season that a Wolverine has won the weekly award as Liske joins two-time track honoree Rebecca Addison.

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 this 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.

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.

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 7-9 -- at Joyner-Johnson Invitational (Westwood, Calif.), 10 a.m. PDT
Saturday, April 16 -- at Tom Jones Invitational (Gainesville, Fla.), 10 a.m.