May 7, 2013
Fri-Sun., May 10-12 -- at Big Ten Outdoor Championships (Columbus, Ohio), Noon/9:30 a.m./11 a.m.
Coverage: Big Ten Championships Central | Live Results
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The University of Michigan women's track and field team will kick off the championship portion of its season at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships from Friday to Sunday (May 10-12). Action will begin on Friday at noon p.m. and resume again on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and on Sunday at 11 a.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Championships on BTN -- The Big Ten Outdoor Championships will be aired on the Big Ten Network on May 19 at 1 p.m.
WOLVERINES IN ACTION
Rebecca Addison, Tofunmi Akeredolu, Meg Bellino, Erin Busbee, Charlotte Cahill, Amanda Eccleston, Joanna Fleming, Nicola Hallenborg, Brook Handler, Lindsey Hilton, Meghan Lark, Alex Leptich, Maya Long, Taylor Manett, Elly Mioduszewski, Sara Nitz, Cindy Ofili, Chinyere Onimo, Shannon Osika, Erin Pendleton, Danielle Pfeifer, Taylor Pogue, Kari Prena, Jillian Smith, Kiley Tobel, Ada Unachukwu, Megan Weschler, Victoria Wesley, Alexandria Williams.
With the addition of Nebraska to the Big Ten Conference in 2011, the championship meet includes 11 teams as Northwestern does not have a track and field program.
Michigan has won seven Big Ten outdoor titles, with the most recent coming in 2007. The Maize and Blue tied Illinois for the conference crown with 129 points that year. Since Michigan began competing in the Big Ten Outdoor Championships in 1978, the Wolverines have won 86 individual-event titles.
Ohio State captured the 2012 Big Ten outdoor title with 117 points. The Wolverines finished seventh a year ago with 67 points.
Senior Erin Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore) is the defending Big Ten discus champion and also won the event in 2010. Her season-best toss of 52.03 meters (170-8) currently ranks seventh in the Big Ten.
Junior multi-event athlete Erin Busbee (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) will not compete in the full heptathlon at the Big Ten Championships. She will compete in four open events, including the 100-meter hurdles, long jump, triple jump and 4x100-meter relay.
Senior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) won the 2011 Big Ten 1,500-meter run title. Last year, she finished sixth in the 1,500-meter run and eighth in the 800-meter run.
Junior Amber Smith (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) qualified for the finals in two events at the 2012 outdoor conference meet, finishing fifth in the 100-meter hurdles and eighth in the 400-meter hurdles. She currently ranks seventh in the 100-meter hurdles.
Senior/junior Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) set a new U-M outdoor pole vault record (4.24m, 13-11) at the 2012 outdoor meet to finish runner-up. Her mark of 4.05 meters (13-3.5) currently ranks third in the Big Ten standings.
Heading into the Big Ten Championships, Michigan has 13 student-athletes, as well as the 4x100-meter relay, ranked in the top eight in the Big Ten in at least one event (the top eight score at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships). Freshman Cindy Ofili (Ypsilanti, Mich./Huron) owns the conference's fastest time in the 100-meter hurdles of 13.34, while senior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) holds on to the top time in the 800-meter run (2:05.74).
Rebecca Addison -- 800m (2:05.74)
Jillian Smith -- 800m (2:06.17)
Rebecca Addison -- 1,500m (2nd, 4:17.41)
Amanda Eccleston -- 1,500m (3rd, 4:17.49)
Shannon Osika -- 1,500m (4th, 4:19.00)
Jillian Smith -- 1,500m (8th, 4:21.78)
Amanda Eccleston -- 5,000m (3rd, 16:13.07)
Taylor Pogue -- 10,000m (4th, 34:48.15)
Lindsey Hilton -- 10,000m (8th, 35:05.97)
Cindy Ofili -- 100m Hurdles (1st, 13.34)
Amber Smith -- 100m Hurdles (7th, 13.65)
Brook Handler -- 3,000m Steeple (8th, 10:28.05)
Smith, Ofili, Busbee, Cahill -- 4x100m Relay (8th, 45.96)
Kiley Tobel -- Pole Vault (3rd, 13-3.5 ft.)
Erin Busbee -- Long Jump (4th, 19-11.5 ft.)
Ada Unachukwu -- Triple Jump (6th, 41-1.75 ft.)
Erin Pendleton -- Discus (7th, 170-8 ft. )
2013 NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING -- For the fourth consecutive season, the NCAA East and West Preliminary Rounds 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. This year's NCAA East Preliminary Round will be hosted by North Carolina A&T State University from May 23-25, in Greensboro, N.C.
Several different events are contested during the outdoor season that were not during the indoor season. The 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles are replaced by the 100-meter dash and 100-meter hurdles; the mile run is replaced by the 1,500-meter run; and the weight throw is replaced with the hammer throw. The 400-meter hurdles, 3,000-meter steeplechase, 10,000-meter run, javelin and discus, as well as the 4x100-meter relay, are also added to the list of events. The multi-event competition also increases from five events to seven events with the heptathlon (100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-meter dash, javelin, long jump and 800-meter run).
Family Ties: Freshman Cindy Ofili is the younger sister of former Wolverine, five-time NCAA Champion, and 2012 Olympian, Tiffany (Ofili) Porter (2006-09), as well as Alex Ofili who played football at U-M (2002, 04). Newcomer, Elly Mioduszewski, is the younger sister of Melany Mioduszewski, who ran cross country for U-M in 2009. Erin Pendleton is the younger sister of two-time Big Ten champion discus thrower, Emily Pendleton (2008-10, 12). Sophomore/freshman Laura Addison and senior Rebecca Addison are the only sisters remaining on the Wolverine roster this season. Junior Amber Smith and senior/junior Jillian Smith have no relation.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
On last weekend's graduation ceremony ... "It was really exciting. I don't think it's really hit me yet and probably won't until I'm not going to class in the fall. All of our track and field graduating seniors sat together in the front row. It was a really cool experience, especially to be in the front because Bri (Jenkins) was on crutches after her surgery. It's awesome to be done and be able to focus on track. I've been in this situation the last three years, but it's really cool to not have any other responsibilities and to be able to practice whenever."
On her postgraduate plans ... "I'm going to physical therapy school at U-M Flint. Ada (Unachukwu) and I will both be going there in the fall. It's a three-year doctorate program."
On competing in four events at the Big Ten Championships ... "It is a lot, but I feel like I've definitely gotten used to competing in that many events. Ever since high school I've done four events at meets. It's really exciting to be part of two relays because I like the team aspect more than the individual races, but I'm excited for my individual events too."
On improving upon a successful indoor season ... "Our indoor season was really great for us, especially with improving on our team finish at Big Tens. We're really excited to carry our momentum into our outdoor season. During finals, we were getting a little sore and a little run down, but we're working on getting mentally prepared and getting excited for this weekend."
On having the whole team back together for a scored meet ... "We're excited to be back together. In the middle of the season, it was kind of hard with everyone being in different places, but we've had a lot of team gatherings and team meetings to help with that. Graduation was a good thing -- we were all together with the distance people who were graduating. We also came together for our team banquet last weekend -- it's good to have that recognition and it boosts our momentum going into our last stretch. I think we're ready to come back together this weekend."
A LOOK AHEAD
Thu-Sat., May 23-25 -- at NCAA East Preliminary Rounds (Greensboro, N.C.)
Wed-Sat., June 5-8 -- at NCAA Championships (Eugene, Ore.)