Weekly Release #17: Jesse Owens Classic, Payton Jordan Highlight Weekend

April 27, 2010

Fri-Sat., April 30-May 1 --
at Jesse Owens Classic (Columbus, Ohio), 2 p.m./11 a.m.
Meet Information | Live Results
Saturday, May 1 -- at Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational (Palo Alto, Calif.), 3 p.m. PDT
Meet Schedule | Live Results

The University of Michigan women's track and field team will compete in two different meets this weekend, sending freshman Rebecca Addison and junior Danielle Tauro to the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational on Saturday (May 1) at 3 p.m. in Palo Alto, Calif., while the rest of the Wolverines will go to Columbus, Ohio, for the two-day Jesse Owens Classic (Fri-Sat., April 30-May 1). Jesse Owens action starts at 2 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Back to Stanford -- Rebecca Addison and Danielle Tauro will head back out west to Stanford this Saturday (May 1) for the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational at Stanford. Addison will participate in the 800-meter run, while Tauro will compete in the 1,500-meter run.

Big Ten Country -- While two Wolverines will head to Stanford, the rest of the team will travel south to Columbus, Ohio, for the Jesse Owens Track Classic at Ohio State (April 30-May 1). It will be a good chance for the Wolverines to gauge themselves against some Big Ten competition before the conference championships in two weeks (May 14-16). The hammer throw at 2 p.m. on Friday (April 30) kicks off the event with the 4x400-meter relay ending the two-day invitational on Saturday (May 1) at 5:50 p.m.

Tauro Becomes a Leader -- After a disappointing trip to the Penn Relays where the distance medley relay team did not even get to participate, captain Danielle Tauro seized the opportunity to be a leader. [ Tauro Leads On and Off the Track ]

Lumbus in the Finals -- Senior/junior Charnee Lumbus was the only runner to advance to a final at the prestigious Drake Relays this past weekend. In the preliminaries of the 100-meter hurdles, Lumbus crossed the line in 13.75, entering the finals as the second-seeded runner. Lumbus took fifth in the event, running a season-best time of 13.59.

Nitz Leads the Way at Hillsdale -- Freshman Sara Nitz led a small group of Wolverines at the Hillsdale Relays (April 22-24), taking fourth in the heptathlon (4,112). Nitz used a runner-up showing in the high jump and a third-place finish in the javelin to finish in the top five in her first heptathlon competition of the season.

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 5-for-5 -- Emily Pendleton had her discus win streak snapped this past weekend at the Drake Relays (April 23-24), but her sister, Erin Pendleton, was the one who beat her. It marks the second consecutive season that a Wolverine has won the discus at the Drake Relays, as Emily won it last year.

A Pendleton has taken home a discus title in each of the five events they have participated in during the outdoor season. Emily's season-best throw came in the outdoor opener, throwing 53.98 meters at the Bulls Invitational. Erin's season-best came at the Joyner/Johnson Invitational on April 10 at UCLA when she took runner-up to Emily with a throw of 52.86 meters. Emily is the two-time defending Big Ten discus champion, but her sister might have something to say about that this year. The Big Ten Championships are May 14-16 at Indiana University.

TV Time -- The Big Ten Network will televise the Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships (May 14-16) on a tape delay on Saturday, May 22, at 4 p.m. [ Big Ten Network Schedule ]

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. Both teams will be raising cancer awareness by wearing different colored shirts. The men will be wearing blue shirts to promote getting screened for prostate cancer while the women will be sporting pink in honor of breast cancer awareness.

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.

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., May 7-8
-- host Len Paddock Invitational (Ferry Field), 10 a.m./10 a.m.