Weekly Release #17: Three Events on Tap for Wolverines

April 26, 2011

Thursday, April 28
-- at Penn Relays (Philadelphia, Pa.), 10 a.m.
Meet Information
Fri-Sat., April 29-30
-- at Drake Relays (Des Moines, Iowa), 11:14 a.m./9:30 a.m. CDT
Meet Information
Fri-Sat., April 29-30
-- at Hillsdale Relays (Hillsdale, Mich.), Noon/10 a.m.
Meet Information

The University of Michigan women's track and field team splits up for the final time this season, sending competitors to three different events this weekend. U-M will kick off the weekend on Thursday (April 28) at the Penn Relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. Nine Wolverines will then be in action at the Drake Relays on Friday and Saturday (April 29-30) at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. Rounding out Michigan's weekend action is a jaunt to Hillsdale, Mich., for the Hillsdale Relays on Friday and Saturday.


Who is Going Where? -- With three events this weekend, the Wolverines will be spread out over the country in search of the best competition. U-M will participate at the Penn Relays on Thursday (April 28), while the Drake Relays and Hillsdale Relays are two-day affairs (April 29-30).

Penn Relays: Rebecca Addison, Jillian Smith, Danielle Tauro, Alisha Cole, Jennifer Neville, Kaitlyn Patterson, Lindsey Hilton, Mary Grace Pellegrini, Taylor Pogue, Alex Leptich and Megan Weschler.

Drake Relays: Tofunmi Akeredolu, Charlotte Cahill, Allison Liske, Erin Pendleton, Kari Prena, Julian Purvis, Amber Smith, Ada Unachukwu and Alexandria Williams.

Hillsdale Relays: Erin Busbee, Joanna Fleming, Andrea Marcos, Erica Marcos and Kiley Tobel.

A Reputation at Penn -- Michigan will run the distance medley relay at Penn on Thursday, looking for its third championship in the event. U-M won the 4,000-meter race in 1985 and in 2008. Former Wolverine Anna Willard (2007) is the only U-M athlete to earn Athlete of the Meet honors, taking the title in 2007. U-M will compete in the DMR, 3,000-meter run, 5,000-meter run, 3,000-meter steeplechase and 400-meter hurdles at the event.

One at Drake, Too -- Sophomore Erin Pendleton will look to defend her discus title at the Drake Relays after winning the event last year. Pendleton recorded a throw of 52.68 meters (172-10) as Michigan's lone winner at the prestigious event. Michigan has won the event the past two seasons as senior Emily Pendleton won the crown in 2009. The Wolverines will have participants in the 100-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles, 100-meter dash, long jump, triple jump, discus and shot put.

Going to Hillsdale -- Michigan will send five athletes to the 45th annual Hillsdale Relays, competing in the pole vault, triple jump, discus and hammer throw. It is just Michigan's third outdoor event in the state of Michigan this season.

Cole Sets Twilight Record -- Fifth-year senior Alisha Cole continued her stellar senior campaign last weekend, winning the 200-meter dash in 23.67 to set a new personal record and an EMU Twilight record. She also anchored the 4x100-meter relay team to a win (46.31).

Pendleton Wins Again -- For the second straight season, sophomore Erin Pendleton won the discus at the Jesse Owens Memorial Classic. This year, she won the event with a throw of 54.21 meters (177-10). Last season, the sophomore set the school record (56.87 meters, 186-7) in the event at this same competition. Her throw this past weekend is the 11th-best mark in the country this season.

Tobel Steps it Up -- Redshirt freshman Kiley Tobel continues to improve her personal record in the pole vault, clearing 4.00 meters (13-00 1/2) for the first time in her career on Friday night (April 22) at the EMU Twilight. The pole vault was held indoors due to high winds and rain. Pole vault is the only event that can be held indoors during the outdoor season.

Smith Earns Weekly Laurel -- Sophomore Jillian Smith ran the nation's fifth-fastest time in the 1,500-meter run at the Tom Jones Memorial Classic last weekend (Saturday, April 16), winning in 4:14.65. Her time is the fastest time for a second-year runner under associate head coach Mike McGuire. For her efforts at the event, she became the first Wolverine to earn Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week during the 2011 outdoor season. It was also the first time she has won the honor during her career.

Outdoor POP List -- Jillian Smith is the highest-ranked Wolverine in the current outdoor POP list, coming in at No. 5 in the 1,500-meter run. [ Full List ]

Paddock Fast Approaching -- Michigan's lone outdoor home meet is coming up as the Wolverines host the annual Len Paddock Invitational, to be held May 6-7 at Ferry Field. It is U-M's final meet before the Big Ten Championships. [ Meet Information ]

Which Means Big Tens Are Right Around the Corner -- The Len Paddock Invite means one thing -- Big Ten Championships are coming up. This year's Big Ten Championships are slated for May 13-15 at the University of Iowa. Michigan finished eighth at last year's event. [ Championships Central ]

Field Success -- In the discus, Allison Liske, Kari Prena and Joanna Fleming all set new personal records at the Tom Jones Memorial on April 16, with Ada Unachukwu doing the same in the triple jump. Liske led the way in the discus, throwing 49.79 meters (163-04), followed by Prena (47.65 meters, 156-04) and Fleming (45.89 meters, 150-07). Unachukwu, in her first triple jump action of the season outdoors, recorded a mark of 12.30 meters (40-4 1/4), improving on her previous best of 12.21 meters (40-0 3/4) at last year's Big Ten Championships.

Lauren Young Trades Basketball for Track -- Senior Lauren Young came to Michigan as a basketball player but will leave it as a track athlete. [ Story ]

Sisters Add Unique Dynamic To Track and Field Team -- The Michigan Daily looks at the three sets of sisters on the team: Andrea Marcos and Erica Marcos; Emily Pendleton and Erin Pendleton; Chloe Prince and Nicole Prince. [ Story ]

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, May 6-7 -- host Len Paddock Invitational (Ferry Field), 10 a.m.