Weekly Release #17

Upcoming Schedule
Fri-Sun., May 16-18 -- at Big Ten Conference Outdoor Championships (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Fri-Sat., May 30-31 -- at NCAA Mideast Regional Championships (Columbus, Ohio)

This Week: Big Ten Championships ...
The University of Michigan women's track and field team looks to complete the Big Ten Conference triple crown this Friday through Sunday (May 16-18) in Minneapolis, Minn., as the Golden Gophers of Minnesota play host to the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Michigan's defense of its 2002 outdoor team crown begins at 12:15 p.m. CDT Friday afternoon, as the weekend's first action begins with the heptathlon 100-meter hurdles. Saturday's action gets under way at 10:15 a.m. with the heptathlon long jump, while trials of the 4x100-meter relay begin at 2:10 p.m. The triple jump opens the final day of competition at 11:40 a.m., followed shortly by the finals of 4x100-meter relay at 12:45 p.m.

U-M has achieved the triple crown only once in its 26-year history. During the 1993-94 school year the Wolverines claimed team titles in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field.

Last Year in Madison ...
The Wolverines won their second Big Ten title of the 2002 season as they completed the season sweep of conference hardware for the third time in the last nine years. With 109 points at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships (5/17-19/02) in Madison, Wis., Michigan won its first outdoor title since 1998. The Maize and Blue earned event titles by four athletes as three came on the track and one in the field. Tri-captains Katie Jazwinski and April Phillips (Fraser, Mich./Fraser HS) led U-M with a pair of 18-point performances as each Wolverine posted an event victory and runner-up showing.

Michigan made its move on the final day of competition as the Wolverines earned 39 points in a 10-minute span with wins in the 800-meter run and 400-meter hurdles. Rachel Sturtz (Traverse City, Mich./Traverse City HS) defended her Big Ten 800-meter crown as she led four Maize and Blue runners in the event by winning the race with a personal-best, NCAA provisional qualifying and Big Ten Outdoor meet time of 2:07.45. Vera Simms (Mililani, Hawaii/Mililani HS) took the title in the 400-meter hurdles, setting a new school record with a time of 58.50, for the first conference crown of her career.

After leading his team to its second Big Ten team title of 2002, head coach James Henry was named Big Ten Outdoor Coach of the Year for the third time in his 18-year career.

Michigan at the Big Ten Outdoors ...
The Wolverines have won the outdoor team title four times in the program's 21 years of Big Ten Conference outdoor competition. Michigan's four conference titles came in 1993, '94, '98 and 2002. U-M's 179 total points in 1994 rank as the most points ever scored by a Big Ten program. The Maize and Blue also produced three second-place finishes in 1982, 1983 and 1997. The Wolverines have had two athletes named Athlete of the Championship as Richelle Webb (1991-94) won the award in 1994 and Tania Longe (1995-98) earned the honor in 1998. Head coach James Henry has been named Big Ten Conference Outdoor Coach of the Year on three occasions, in 1994, '98 and following his team's championship last year.

The Wolverines' four conference outdoor titles tie them with Illinois for second most wins by a program in league history. Wisconsin leads all Big Ten teams with 13 conference team titles.

Hail to the Victors Valiant ...
With its 2003 Big Ten indoor title, coupled with the conference crown at the 2002 cross country championships, Michigan has achieved two-thirds of a proper triple crown. Michigan only needs to defend its Big Ten outdoor title at this week's conference championships in Minneapolis, Minn., to earn the triple crown for the 2002-03 academic year. U-M achieved the triple crown in 1993-94 with all three titles in the same academic year. The only other school to achieve this feat is Wisconsin, which has done so four times, most recently in 1996-97. As it stands now, Michigan has won the last four combined Big Ten titles in track and field and cross country.

Michigan's Top 10 in the Conference ...
The Wolverines enter the 2003 Big Ten Outdoor Championships with 31 top 10 times/distances in the league, including five athletes who will travel to Minneapolis, Minn., as the top seed in their respective events. April Phillips earned the top spot in both the hammer throw (199-3) and shot put (53-11), Lindsey Gallo (Freehold, N.J./Howell HS) in the 1,500-meter run (4:16.35), Rebecca Walter (Beverly Hills, Mich./Groves) in the 5,000-meter run (16:18.29), Vera Simms in the 400-meter hurdles (58.43) and Stephanie Linz (Okemos, Mich./Okemos HS) in the high jump (5-9 3/4).

Michigan Performers in the Big Ten Top 10

100m Dash 1. Rachelle Boone, Ind. 11.41 3. Sierra Hauser-Price, U-M 11.51 200m Dash 1. Rachelle Boone, Ind. 23.15 3. Sierra Hauser-Price, U-M 23.66 4. Carly Knazze, U-M 23.86 400m Dash 1. Shellene Williams, Iowa 53.02 3. Carly Knazze, U-M 54.81 10. Shavonne Maclin, U-M 56.46 800m Run 1. Hillary Edmondson, Wis. 2:06.88 2. Rachel Sturtz, U-M 2:07.26 3. Theresa Feldkamp, U-M 2:07.32 5. Tracy Egnatuk, U-M 2:10.47 1,500m Run 1. Lindsey Gallo, U-M 4:16.35 5. Rachel Sturtz, U-M 4:24.49 10. Jane Martineau, U-M 4:32.16 3,000m Steeplechase 1. Molly Landreth, Penn State 10:21.83 6. Andrea Parker, U-M 10:38.18 5,000m Run 1. Rebecca Walter, U-M 16:18.29 3. Lindsey Gallo, U-M 16:39.03 8. Andrea Parker, U-M 16:57.51 10,000m Run 1. Jamie Krzyminski, MSU 33:29.98 5. Chelsea Loomis, U-M 35:48.60 9. Amy Baker, U-M 38:13.88 100m Hurdles 1. Perdita Felicien, Illinois 13.00 5. Robin Landfair, U-M 13.65 400m Hurdles 1. Vera Simms, U-M 58.43 4x100m Relay 1. Indiana 44.09 4. Michigan 45.36 (Landfair, Knazze, Simms, Hauser-Price) 4x400m Relay 1. Minnesota 3:40.28 6. Michigan 3:44.78 High Jump 1. Stephanie Linz, U-M 5-9 3/4 (1.77m) 3. Jennifer Kulchar, U-M 5-8 3/4 (1.75m) 10. Porsha Ellis, U-M 5-7 (1.70m) Long Jump 1. Aisha James, Iowa 22-8 (6.78m) Triple Jump 1. Shani Marks, Minnesota 45-3 (13.79m) Discus 1. Krista Keir, Ohio State 186-1 (56.72m) 4. Melissa Bickett, U-M 178-1 (54.27m) Hammer Throw 1. April Phillips, U-M 199-3 (60.74m) 5. Melissa Bickett, U-M 180-0 (54.87m) Javelin  1. Alana Redfern, Iowa 181-6 (55.33m) 8. Janelle Jaha, U-M 126-9 (38.63m) 9. Melissa Bickett, U-M 126-0 (38.40m) Shot Put 1. April Phillips, U-M 53-11 (16.43m) 9. Melissa Bickett, U-M 49-7 (15.11m) Heptathlon 1. Alicia Monroe, Ohio State 3,638 pts.

Recapping Last Weekend ...
The Wolverines hosted their lone home meet of the outdoor season last weekend and the home team did not disappoint its fans, posting 16 NCAA Regional qualifying marks, winning nine events, breaking two Ferry Field records and setting one U-M record during the two-day Len Paddock Invitational (May 9-10).

Senior tri-captain April Phillips lead the way as she reset the Michigan mark in the hammer throw as she sent the anvil 199-3 feet away from the circle for the event title. Phillips' throw also broke the Ferry Field mark for the event. Junior Melissa Bickett (Akron, Ohio/Revere HS) set a Ferry Field mark of her own, tossing the discus a season-best 178-1 for a first-place finish.

On the track sophomore Sierra Hauser-Price (Van Nuys, Calif./Notre Dame HS) earned three event victories, winning the 100- and 200-meter dashes, as well as anchoring the victorious 4x100-meter dash. In each of Hauser-Price's victories she clocked in with an NCAA Regional qualifying time.

Drop the Hammer ...
In the final home meet of her career, senior tri-captain April Phillips reset her hammer throw school record for the second consecutive week as she chucked the ball and chain a personal-best 199-3 to win the Len Paddock Invitational (May 9). Phillips' mark also shattered the Ferry Field record of 192-7 set by Ohio State's Katy Craig in 2002. Phillips' record throw bettered her week-old previous best by four and a half feet. Two weeks ago at the Jesse Owens Classic, the 2002 Big Ten runner-up in the event marked a then school-record 194-9.

Ball Go Far ...
Following her school-record heave of 199-3 in the hammer throw last Friday (May 9) at the Len Paddock Invitational, April Phillips now holds the longest throw in both the Big Ten and NCAA's Mideast Region. She surpassed Katie Johnson of Penn State as the conference leader, bettering the Nittany Lion's throw of 197-3. Regionally Phillip's mark bettered Mallory McDonald of Louisiana State, who previously held the top spot at 197-4.

I Go Around and Around and Around ...
Following her record-breaking performance of 199-3 in the hammer throw, April Phillips has now reset four Michigan throwing records during the 2003 season. Three weeks ago at the Drake Relays (April 26), Phillips reset the outdoor shot put record with a winning throw of 53-11. During the indoor season, she set the school mark in the shot put at 55-0 while at the NCAA Indoor Championships (March 15). She also etched her name in the Michigan record book with a heave of 63-1 1/4 in the weight throw at the Sykes-Sabok Challenge Cup (Feb. 15).

Event Distance   Date Meet
Indoor Shot Put   55-0 3/15/03   NCAA Indoor Championships
Weight Throw   63-1 1/4 2/15/03 Sykes-Sabok Challenge Cup
Hammer Throw 199-3 5/9/03 Len Paddock Invitational
Outdoor Shot Put    53-11 4/26/03 Drake Relays

I Love Goooooooooold ...
Senior tri-captain Rachel Sturtz enters the 2003 Big Ten Outdoor Championships as the winningest 800-meter runner in Michigan history. She has won four Big Ten 800-meter crowns during three and a half years of competition, as she has won twice indoors and twice outdoors. Sturtz has won the two most recent 800-meter titles, with wins at the 2002 outdoor and 2003 indoor championships. If Sturtz is victorious this year, she will become only the third Wolverine in Michigan history to win five or more Big Ten individual titles.

Tania Longe (1995-98) boasts the most conference crowns by a Wolverine with seven,  followed Katie (Clifford) Jazwinski (1999-2002), the 2002 Michigan Female Athlete of the Year, who won five. Sturtz is currently tied with Nicole Forrester (1996-99), Molly McClimon (1990, '93-94) and Mindy Rowand (1988-90) for third place in Michigan history as each athlete has won four league titles since Big Ten women's competition began in 1982. Debbie Williams (1979-82) won the javelin four straight years, however, three wins came prior to 1982.

UF-Ohh That's Long ...
Melissa Bickett, the school record holder in the discus, posted a Ferry Field record toss of 178-1 last Friday (May 9) at the Len Paddock Invitational. Bickett's season-best performance in the event bettered the field mark by nearly six feet. Ohio State's Krista Keir previously held the record with a distance of 172-2 set at the 2002 Paddock Invitational.
Break It Down ...
As of the 2003 outdoor season, four regional meets will now be held to determine the participants for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Michigan is in the Mideast Region and will compete in its regional May 30-31 at the Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. In order for an athlete to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships, she must finish in the top five of an individual event or be a member of a top three relay at the regional championship. The track and field committee will also select a group of at-large athletes to round out the remainder of the Championships field in each event, similar to provisional-qualifying marks in the past.

Big Ten Indoor Champs ...
With their most points (129.5) since winning the Big Ten Indoor Championships in 1998 (133), the Wolverines defended their Big Ten team title with a 14.5-point victory over meet host Indiana in the Hoosiers' Gladstein Fieldhouse (March 1-2). It marked the Wolverines' third straight track and field team championship (2002 indoor and outdoor) and fourth consecutive running team title (2002 cross country). Leading the way for the Maize and Blue were Big Ten individual champions April Phillips, Rachel Sturtz and Katie Erdman (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac HS).

Phillips, one of three Michigan captains, got things started for the Wolverines with her first career Big Ten indoor shot put title, with an NCAA provisional mark of 54-2 on Saturday. In Sunday's action, U-M received its second individual title when Sturtz, another tri-captain, ran a Big Ten Championships and school-record time of 2:06.02 for the second indoor 800-meter title of her career. Erdman, the Big Ten Conference Freshman of the year, gave the Wolverines their third event crown, crossing the finish line of the 600-meter run in 1:30.54. During prelims of the event on Saturday, Erdman set the 600-meter school record, clocking in at 1:30.33.

Earning All-Big Ten second team honors with runner-up performances were Stephanie Linz, high jump; Vera Simms, 400-meter dash; Rebecca Walter, 5,000-meter run; and the distance medley relay team of Andrea Parker (Livonia, Mich./Stevenson HS), Keri Kirk (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron HS), Sturtz and Chelsea Loomis (Traverse City, Mich./West HS).

Looking Ahead ...
The Wolverines have a week off before several Maize and Blue athletes travel to Columbus, Ohio, Friday and Saturday (May 30-31) for the first-ever NCAA Mideast Regional Championships. Each day's action begin at noon, with Friday's action getting under way with the javelin, while Saturday's competition is scheduled to begin with the hammer throw.

Contact: Gene Skidmore (734) 763-4423