Weekly Release #16: U-M Splits Three Ways for Weekend Action

April 19, 2010

Thursday, April 22
-- at Penn Relays (Philadelphia, Pa.), 4 p.m.
Meet Information | Live Results
Fri-Sat., April 23-24 -- at Drake Relays (Des Moines, Iowa), 9 a.m./8 a.m. CDT
Meet Information | Live Results
Fri-Sat., April 23-24 -- at Hillsdale Relays (Hillsdale, Mich.), 10 a.m./Noon

The University of Michigan women's track and field team splits up for the first time in outdoor action this weekend (Thu-Sat., April 22-24), traveling to the Penn Relays (April 22), Drake Relays (April 23-24) and Hillsdale Relays (April 23-24). A total of 31 Wolverines will be in action across the three events.


Who is Going Where?
Penn Relays: Rebecca Addison, Jenny Morgan, Kaitlyn Patterson, Mary Grace Pellegrini, Danielle Tauro, Brittani Williams.

Drake Relays: Alisha Cole, Danica Haight, Brianna Jenkins, Allison Liske, Charnee Lumbus, Jennifer Neville, Emily Pendleton, Erin Pendleton, Julian Purvis, Teleicia Rose, Christina Solomon, Ada Unachukwu, Shana Vinson, Alexandria Williams.

Hillsdale Relays: Meg Bellino, Olivia Both, Abbey Breidenstein, Charlotte Cahill, Ashley Greer, Andrea Marcos, Amanda McKenzie, Brittany Petty, Carly Schiffer, Rachel Severin, Lauren Young.

Success at Drake -- U-M collected three titles last year at the Drake Relays, winning the 100-meter hurdles, high jump and discus. Emily Pendleton (discus) and Christina Solomon (high jump) are back to defend their titles as Wolverines, while Tiffany Ofili (100-meter hurdles) was lost to graduation.

At the Penn Relays -- Danielle Tauro is the only Wolverine with an individual title from Penn, winning the 3,000-meter run last season. U-M has won five total relay titles at the prestigious event, with Anna Willard earning Athlete of the Meet in 2007.

Lucky 7...Again -- For the second consecutive weekend, Michigan picked up seven victories at its weekend competition. The Wolverines battled cold temperatures and high winds at the EMU Invitational to win one event on Friday night (April 16) before winning six on Saturday (April 17). On the track, Charnee Lumbus (100-meter hurdles), Alisha Cole (100-meter dash), Shana Vinson (400-meter dash) and the 4x400-meter team were victorious. In the field, U-M picked up three more victories. Emily Pendleton won the discus for the fourth time this season, while Allison Liske (shot put) and Christina Solomon both picked up their first victories of the outdoor campaign. Two weeks ago at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner Kersee Invitational at UCLA (April 8-10), the Wolverines also nabbed seven wins.

Unattached but Winning -- U-M picked up two victories by athletes competing unattached at last weekend's EMU Invitational. On Friday night (April 16), freshman Kiley Tobel cleared 3.35 meters (11-00) in the pole vault for her first collegiate victory. On Saturday (April 17), freshman Lindsey Hilton crossed first in the 3,000-meter run in 10:31.25 for her first win at Michigan.

Balance is Key -- Midway through the outdoor season, balance has been key for the Wolverines. Junior Emily Pendleton (discus and hammer throw) and freshman Sara Nitz (long jump and javelin) are the only two Wolverines to hold the top mark in two events. [ Top Times/Marks ]

Perfect 4-for-4 -- Emily Pendleton has won each discus event she has participated in this outdoor season, winning four times. Her season-best throw came in the outdoor opener, throwing 53.98 meters at the Bulls Invitational. Pendleton is the two-time defending Big Ten champion in the discus.

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? -- After spending two of the first four weekends in California, 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.

2009 Outdoor Recap -- The Wolverines finished runner-up at the Big Ten Championships while picking up a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last season. U-M won six Big Ten titles with current Wolverines Alisha Cole, Emily Pendleton and Shana Vinson all picking up victories. Cole and Vinson were part of U-M's Big Ten champion 4x100-meter relay team, the first time the Wolverines won the event since 1982. Pendleton won the discus conference title for the second consecutive season in 2009.

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-10 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! ]

Fri-Sat., April 30-May 1 --
at Jesse Owens Classic (Columbus, Ohio), 5 p.m./8 a.m.
Saturday, May 1 -- at Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational (Palo Alto, Calif.), 3 p.m. PDT