Weekly Release #14: U-M Travels to UCLA for Johnson/Joyner Invitational

April 5, 2010

Thu-Sat., April 8-10 -- at Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner Kersee Invitational (Westwood, Calif.), 10 a.m. PDT
Schedule of Events

The University of Michigan women's track and field team treks back out to California this week, heading to UCLA for the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner Kersee Invitational. The three-day event (Thu-Sat., April 8-10) will take place at Drake Stadium with a 10 a.m. start every day and will include some of the top schools in the country.

Back Out West -- The Wolverines took a weekend break from the long travel, staying in Michigan last weekend for the Spartan Invitational (April 3). U-M is back to racking up the frequent flier miles this week, heading back to California for the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner Kersee Invitational at UCLA (April 8-10). The Maize and Blue will then make the 2,387-mile jaunt back to Stanford for the Peyton Jordan (April 30-May 1).

Lumbus Wins at Spartan Invitational -- After sitting out the first outdoor meet of the year on the heels of competing at the NCAA Indoor Championships (March 12), senior/junior Charnee Lumbus picked up her first win of the season in the 100-meter hurdles. She clocked in at 13.66, tying her with Julian Purvis for the best performance of the season. U-M had a trio of pole vaulters clear 3.51 meters (11-06.25) with senior/junior Andrea Marcos taking third. Rounding out the top-three finishes for the Maize and Blue were junior Brittany Petty in the high jump with a clearance of 1.65 meters (5-5) and sophomore Brittani Williams in the 400-meter dash (57.30).

Balance is Key -- Even though it has only been a few weeks into the outdoor season, balance has been key for the Wolverines. Junior Emily Pendleton is the only Wolverine to have the top mark or time in more than one event (discus and hammer throw). [ Top Times/Marks ]

Two Relay Wins -- The Wolverines have had a relay win in two of their three outdoor competitions so far this season, with the 4x100-meter relay winning at the Bulls Invitational (March 19) and the 4x400-meter relay team triumphing at the Stanford Invitational (March 27). The 4x100-meter relay team of Alisha Cole, Jennifer Neville, Alexandria Williams and Shana Vinson crossed the line in 3:41.92 to claim first-place honors. At the Bulls Invitational, the quartet of Julian Purvis, Cole, Teleicia Rose and Vinson combined for a victory in 46.24.

A New Start -- After a somewhat disappointing indoor season, the Wolverines have started the outdoor season off with a bang, winning six events through the first three weekends. U-M has the two relay wins, along with Emily Pendleton winning two discus titles. U-M has another two victories in the 100-meter hurdles, with Julian Purvis grabbing first place (13.72) at the Bulls Invitational, while Charnee Lumbus won (13.66) at the Spartan Invitational (April 3) . In addition, U-M has 22 top-three finishes in three weekends of outdoor competition. [ Michigan Daily on the Outdoor Turnaround ]

Discus Dominance Runs in the Family -- The discus throw is the specialty of the Pendleton family, with Emily Pendleton winning both discus events this outdoor season. Her younger sister, freshman Erin Pendleton, is right behind her. Erin finished second to her sister at the Bulls Invitational while placing fourth this past weekend at Stanford. Both season bests have come at the Bulls Invitational, with Emily's mark of 53.98 meters (177-01) and Erin's best throw of 51.04 (167-05).

Outdoors, Here We Are! -- The outdoor season is officially here! U-M will make its way around the United States, traveling to Florida, California, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina and Oregon for competition throughout the season. The Wolverines will stay in the Great Lakes State for competition three times, with the first of those three this weekend.

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.

Another Trip Out West? -- The Wolverines will hope to make one more trip out west, with the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships being held at the University of Oregon, June 9-12.

An Outdoor Change -- The regional-qualifying system has changed for outdoor competition in 2010. There are now only two regions and it is called the NCAA preliminary round. There were previously four regions: East, Mideast, Midwest and West. U-M will participate in the East preliminary round, May 27-29, at North Carolina A&T State University.

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, with Anna Willard coming 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.

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-10 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! ]

Saturday, April 17 -- at EMU Invitational (Ypsilanti, Mich.), 9 a.m.