Weekly Release #19: U-M to Compete at Big Ten Championships in Iowa

May 10, 2011

Fri-Sun., May 13-15
-- at Big Ten Outdoor Championships (Iowa City, Iowa), 10 a.m. CDT
Live Results | Championships Central | Schedule of Events

The University of Michigan women's track and field team heads to the University of Iowa this weekend (Fri-Sun., May 13-15) for the Big Ten Outdoor Championships at Francis X. Cretzmeyer Track in Iowa City, Iowa. The Wolverines finished eighth (56 points) at last year's championship meet. It is the third time Iowa has hosted the event (1987, 2000).


Championships Time! -- The Wolverines look to improve upon their eighth-place finish from last season at this year's Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Erin Pendleton was Michigan's lone champion, winning the discus. Michigan totaled 56 points during the three-day event.

First Time? -- Michigan has never won a Big Ten outdoor title in the 4x400-meter relay since the Big Ten Championships began in 1982. It is the only outdoor crown that has eluded the Wolverines. Michigan has accumulated the most individual titles (10) in both the 800-meter run and the 5,000-meter run.

Outdoor Champions -- Michigan's last Big Ten Outdoor championship came in 2007, when the Wolverines came from behind on the final event to share the title with Illinois. The Wolverines have won seven titles (1993-94-98-02-03-04-07), which is second best in the Big Ten (Wisconsin, 8). U-M boasts 75 individual crowns, winning 46 on the track, 27 in the field and two relays. Erin Pendleton, Emily Pendleton and Alisha Cole are the only three current Wolverines to hold an outdoor crown. Cole ran on Michigan's victorious 4x100-meter relay team in 2009, while Emily Pendleton has two discus titles (2008, 2009) and Erin Pendleton won the event last year.

Catch Us On TV -- The 2011 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, running from May 13-15 in Iowa City, will be shown on the Big Ten Network on Sunday, May 22, at 1 p.m.

Tops in the Big Ten -- Jillian Smith ranks first in the Big Ten in the 1,500-meter run and second in the 800-meter run. Alisha Cole comes in second in the 200-meter dash, Erin Pendleton ranks second in the discus and Ada Unachukwu is third in the triple jump to round out Michigan's top three performers. The top eight positions are scored at the Big Ten meet (10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1).

Who's it Gonna Be? -- For the past four seasons, Michigan has had an athlete win an award at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Anna Willard and Bettie Wade were named Big Ten Athletes of the Year and Championships in 2007; Emily Pendleton was named the Freshman of the Year in 2008; Geena Gall was honored as Athlete of the Year and Championships in 2009; and Erin Pendleton was named Freshman of the Year in 2010.

Defend the Discus -- The Wolverines have won the discus at the past three outdoor championships by virtue of the Pendleton sisters. Senior Emily Pendleton won as a freshman in 2008 en route to earning Big Ten Outdoor Freshman of the Year and successfully defended her title in 2009. Sophomore Erin Pendleton won the event last year, to also earn Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Erin Pendleton will compete this year, while Emily Pendleton is redshirting this season.

Twin Competition -- Redshirt freshman Kari Prena will compete against her twin sister, Kelsey, in the discus at this year's meet. Kelsey Prena is also a redshirt freshman thrower at Michigan State.

Saving the Best for Last -- Fifth-year senior Andrea Marcos made the most of her final appearance at Ferry Field, clearing a career-best 3.80 meters (12-5 1/2) in the pole vault to finish runner-up at the Len Paddock Invitational. Her previous best was 3.55 meters (11-7 3/4).

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.

Second of Three in Iowa? -- This weekend's meet marks the second trip to the state of Iowa this season for Michigan. A group of Wolverines went to Des Moines, April 28-30, for the Drake Relays. The 2011 NCAA Championships are being held at Drake Stadium in Des Moines at the end of the season, June 8-11. If any Wolverines qualify for the NCAA Championships, U-M will have competed as many times in Iowa (three) as the state of Michigan.

Big Meets Coming Up -- The NCAA East Region Preliminary Round (held at Indiana) runs from May 26-28. To qualify, the top 48 athletes in each event (in descending order) 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. After this weekend, Michigan only has these two competitions remaining.

Last Meet at Home -- Alisha Cole, Danica Haight, Andrea Marcos, Jennifer Neville, Kaitlyn Peale, Danielle Tauro and Lauren Young said goodbye to Ferry Field this weekend. Each Wolverine has either already graduated or will before next season and has exhausted all eligibility.

Last Time Out -- The Wolverines hosted the Len Paddock Invitational last weekend (Fri-Sat., May 6-7) for their only home outdoor meet of the season. Taking advantage of beautiful weather, the Maize and Blue won five events. Charlotte Cahill (100-meter dash), Brittani Williams (400-meter dash), Kiley Tobel (pole vault), Jennifer Neville (400-meter hurdles) and Julian Purvis (100-meter hurdles) were all victorious at Ferry Field.

Pendleton Earns Weekly Laurels -- After winning the discus at the Jesse Owens Memorial Classic for the second straight season, Erin Pendleton became the fourth Wolverine to earn Big Ten Weekly honors this season. She earned the honor for the third time in her career after winning twice as a freshman. She joins Rebecca Addison (two), Jillian Smith and Allison Liske as winners this season.

Outdoor POP List -- Jillian Smith is the highest-ranked Wolverine in the current outdoor POP list, coming in at No. 7 in the 1,500-meter run. [ Full List ]

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 ]

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.

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.

Thu-Sat., May 26-28 -- at NCAA East Preliminary Round (Bloomington, Ind.), 1 p.m./1 p.m./11 a.m.