Weekly Release #20: U-M Sends Eight to NCAA East Preliminary Round
Alexandria Williams

May 24, 2010

Thu-Sat., May 27-29 --
at NCAA East Preliminary Round (Greensboro, N.C.), 3 p.m./5 p.m./3:30 p.m.
Live Results | Preliminary Round Site | Schedule

The University of Michigan women's track and field team will send eight athletes to the NCAA East Preliminary Round this weekend (Thu-Sun., May 27-29), hoping to earn berths to the NCAA Championships (Wed-Sat., June 9-12). The three-day event is being held at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, N.C.

Who is Going -- Michigan will have eight athletes in competition this weekend, with Allison Liske earning the distinction as the only Wolverine to compete in multiple events. Following is a list of competing U-M athletes and their respective qualifying time/mark:

Rebecca Addison: 800-meter run (2:07.63)
Allison Liske: Shot put (15.66m); discus (48.29m)
Charnee Lumbus: 100-meter hurdles (13.33)
Emily Pendleton: Discus (54.86m)
Erin Pendleton: Discus (56.87m)
Julian Purvis: 100-meter hurdles (13.57)
Shana Vinson: 400-meter dash (53.70)
Alexandria Williams: 400-meter hurdles (59.92)

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 (East and West). There were previously four regions: East, Mideast, Midwest and West. U-M will participate in the East preliminary round this weekend (May 27-29) at North Carolina A&T State University. Twelve competitors from each individual event and 12 teams from each relay event advance from each preliminary-round site to the final championships meet (June 9-12).

Another Trip Out West? -- After spending two of the first four weekends in California, the Wolverines 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.

NCAAs Times 2 -- Rebecca Addison, Charnee Lumbus and Shana Vinson are the only three Wolverines to compete at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships and the 2010 East Preliminary Round. Addison and Vinson were both part of U-M's distance medley relay team, while Lumbus was the only individual to compete, running the 60-meter hurdles.

Sweeping Freshman of The Years -- Michigan came away with both the Indoor and Outdoor Freshman of the Year awards this season. During the indoor campaign, freshman Jillian Smith was tabbed the award winner after winning the 800-meter run and leading off the distance medley relay team to its seventh consecutive Big Ten title. During the outdoor season, freshman Erin Pendleton garnered the award after winning the discus while setting a new Big Ten Championships record. It is the first time in school history that the Wolverines have won both awards in the same season.

Taking Eighth at Big Ten Championships -- The Wolverines equaled their 2010 indoor championships finish at the outdoor championships, finishing with 56 points for eighth place. Freshman Erin Pendleton was the lone Wolverine to win a title, setting a new championships record in the discus (56.31m). Her sister, junior Emily Pendleton, put up 18 points for U-M with a pair of runner-up finishes in the hammer (55.86m) and discus (54.57m) to go along with a seventh-place performance in the shot put. Erin Pendleton was honored with All-Big Ten first-team honors, while Emily Pendleton earned second-team accolades.

Overcoming Obstacles -- For his entire coaching career, head coach James Henry has taught his student-athletes about overcoming obstacles. When he had an opportunity to heed his own advice, he took it. [ Positive Outlook Helps Henry Cope ]

Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week Twice -- After being shut out during the indoor season and for most of the outdoor season, the Wolverines were honored by the Big Ten office two weeks in a row. Freshman Erin Pendleton was selected the Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week in consecutive weeks, becoming the only Wolverine to earn the honor this season. After winning the discus at the Drake Relays on April 22, Pendleton was named Co-Athlete of the Week before earning the honor outright the following week after her school-record setting performance at the Jesse Owens Classicon May 1.

Pendleton Sets New School Record -- Erin Pendleton won her second consecutive discus title at the Jesse Owens Classic on May 1, setting a new school record with a throw of 56.87 meters (186-07). Her throw beat the old record of 186-02, set by former Wolverine Melissa Bickett in 2002. Pendleton joins Shana Vinson as Wolverines to have established new records this season. Vinson rewrote the indoor 400-meter dash record (53.86) with her third-place finish at the Big Ten Indoor Championships on Feb. 28.

Friendly Competition -- Emily Pendleton and her younger sister, Erin Pendleton, push each other to get better while forming a support system for each other. [ Emily and Erin Pendleton work, succeed together on Michigan women's track team ]

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! ]

Wed-Sat., June 9-12
-- at NCAA Championships (Eugene, Ore.), 3 p.m. PDT