Weekly Release #15: Wolverines Head to Columbus and Palo Alto

This Week
Fri-Sat., May 1-2 -- at Jesse Owens Classic (Columbus, Ohio), 2 p.m./11 a.m.
Saturday, May 2 -- at Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational (Palo Alto, Calif.), 3 p.m. PDT

Live Stats: Jesse Owens Classic | Payton Johnson Classic
Schedule of Events: Jesse Owens Classic | Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational

The University of Michigan women's track and field team will travel for the final time during the regular-season portion of the 2009 outdoor season when it competes at both the Jesse Owens Classic in Columbus, Ohio, and the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif.

The two-day Jesse Owens Classic will be held at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium with action beginning on Friday (May 1) at 2 p.m. and resuming on Saturday (May 2) at 11 a.m. The Jesse Owens Classic will be broadcast on tape-delay by the Big Ten Network; the first airing is scheduled for Sunday, May 10, at 4 p.m.

The Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational is a one-day event that will take place on Saturday (May 2) at Cobb Track and Angell Field, beginning at 3 p.m.

Ofili Wins Drake 100 Hurdles, Sets Worlds Third-Best Time
Senior Tiffany Ofili(Ypsilanti, Mich./Ypsilanti) was first across the line in the special invitation 100-meter hurdles at the Drake Relays last Saturday (April 25) with a time of 12.82 seconds. Ofili bettered an elite field that included Olympians and former world champions. Her time was the third-fastest 100-meter hurdle time in the world this season. The only faster marks this year were by 2008 U.S. Olympian Damu Cherry (12.69) and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Sally McLellan (12.74) of Australia.

Ofili Named Outstanding Performer of the Drake Relays
Following her victory in the invitational 100-meter hurdles at the Drake Relays, Tiffany Ofili was named the outstanding collegiate performer of the meet. Ofili is the second Wolverine in four seasons to be named outstanding performer at the Drake Relays; Nicole Edwards (2005-08) earned the honor in 2006.

Gall Owns Third-Best 800 in the World This Year
Senior Geena Gall(Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc) currently holds the third-best 800-meter time in the world during 2009. Gall's season-best time of 2:02.69 came in a victory at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 18. The only faster 800-meter times this year have been recorded by Caster Semenya of South Africa (2:00.58) and Madeleine Pape of Australia (2:02.41).

Pendleton and Solomon Also Win at Drake
Sophomore Emily Pendleton(Lindsay, Ohio/Woodmore) and senior/junior Christina Solomon (Belleville, Mich./Belleville) earned event victories at the Drake Relays (April 24). Pendleton took top honors in the discus with a season-best mark of 179-3 (54.64m), while Solomon topped the field in the high jump with a leap of 5-11 1/4 (1.81m).

Gall and Tauro Win Titles at Penn Relays
Geena Gall and sophomore Danielle Tauro (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) claimed victories at the Penn Relays. Gall won the Olympic Development one-mile run on Saturday (April 25) at the relays with a NCAA regional-qualifying time of 4:43.34. Thursday (April 23), Tauro took first place in the college section of the 3,000-meter run, claiming top honors with a time of 9:33.18.

4x400-meter Relay Meets Qualifying Mark
The U-M quartet of freshman Meshawn Graham(Toledo, Ohio/Bowsher), sophomore Jennifer Neville(Dearborn, Mich./Divine Child), senior Amber Hay (Detroit, Mich./Renaissance) and senior/junior Shana Vinson(Detroit, Mich./Mumford) met the NCAA regional-qualifying standard in the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:41.24 in the preliminary round at the Drake Relays (April 24). The Michigan foursome took sixth in the university division of the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:41.54.

Last Time at the Jesse Owens Classic
Tiffany Ofili set new meet and facility records at the Jesse Owens Classic with a time of 12.83 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles (May 3, 2008) and Casey Taylor(Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) broke the U-M school record in the triple jump with a mark of 43-0 1/4 (13.11m), breaking a record that stood for 13 years.

Top Outdoor Marks of 2009
100-Meter Dash: Casey Taylor, 11.78
200-Meter Dash: Casey Taylor, 23.97
400-Meter Dash: Shana Vinson, 54.83
800-Meter Run: Geena Gall, 2:02.69
1,500-Meter Run: Geena Gall, 4:20.05
One-Mile Run: Geena Gall, 4:43.34
3,000-Meter Run: Danielle Tauro, 9:33.18
5,000-Meter Run: Lisa Montgomery, 17:00.10
100-Meter Hurdles: Tiffany Ofili, 12.82
400-Meter Hurdles: Amber Hay, 58.80
4x100-Meter Relay: Ofili, Vinson, Rose, Taylor, 45.79
4x200-Meter Relay: Neville, Vinson, Graham, Taylor, 1:37.64
4x400-Meter Relay: Graham, Neville, Hay, Vinson, 3:41.24
Sprint Medley Relay: Ofili, Vinson, Hay, LaValley, 3:59.79
High Jump: Christina Solomon, 1.83m (6-0)
Long Jump: Casey Taylor, 6.22m (20-5)
Triple Jump: Casey Taylor, 12.88m (42-3 1/4)
Pole Vault: Sarah Conkle, Abbey Breidenstein, 3.70m (12-1 1/2)
Shot Put: Allison Liske, 14.03m (46-0 1/2)
Hammer Throw: Melissa Gurchinoff, 50.28m (164-11)
Discus: Emily Pendleton, 54.64 (179-3)
Javelin: Bettie Wade, 32.52m (106-8)
Heptathlon: Bettie Wade, 5,635 points

NCAA Regional Qualifiers
800-meter run: Geena Gall (2:02.69), Danielle Tauro (2:08.32)
1,500-meter run: Geena Gall (4:20.05), Danielle Tauro (4:25.22)
One-mile run: Geena Gall (4:43.34)
100-meter hurdles: Tiffany Ofili (12.82), Julian Purvis (13.79), Bettie Wade (13.86)
400-meter hurdles: Katie LaValley (58.77), Amber Hay (58.80)
4x400-meter relay: Graham, Neville, Hay, Vinson (3:41.24)
High Jump: Christina Solomon (1.83m), Bettie Wade (1.81m)
Long Jump: Casey Taylor (6.22m)
Triple Jump: Casey Taylor (12.88m)
Discus Throw: Emily Pendleton (54.64m)
Heptathlon: Bettie Wade (5,625 points)*

* NCAA Championship Qualifier

Looking Ahead ...
The Wolverines will make their lone appearance in Ann Arbor next weekend (May 8-9) when they host the Len Paddock Invitational at Ferry Field. Competition begins on Friday at 11 a.m., and resumes at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Contact: Jeremy Reid (734) 763-4423