June 4, 2013
Rebecca Addison on the Hot Seat (South Campus Times)
Wed-Sat., June 5-8 -- at NCAA Outdoor Championships (Eugene, Ore.), Noon/11 a.m./12:30 p.m./12:30 p.m. PDT
The University of Michigan women's track and field team will represented by senior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) and fifth-year senior Amanda Eccleston (Adrian, Mich./Tecumseh) in the 1,500-meter run, senior/junior Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) in the pole vault and senior Erin Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore) in the discus at the NCAA Outdoor Championships from June 5-8 at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Twelve competitors from the east and west regions in each individual event and 12 teams from each relay event advanced from the preliminary championship competitions to the NCAA Championships.
WOLVERINES IN ACTION
Kiley Tobel -- Pole Vault (13, 4.10m)
Trials/Finals (Friday, June 7 at 3:15 p.m. PDT)
Erin Pendleton -- Discus (9, 53.13m)
Trials/Finals (Thursday, June 6 at 2 p.m. PDT)
Rebecca Addison Senior 1,500m Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven
Addison, a four-time NCAA Indoor Championships participant, will be making her first career appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. She won the east region 1,500-meter run crown with a career-best time of 4:15.81 to automatically advance to the national meet.
Amanda Eccleston Fifth-Year Senior 1,500m Adrian, Mich./Tecumseh
Eccleston, the NCAA Division II national champion in the 1,500-meter run, transferred from Hillsdale College for her final year of eligibility and will be making her career debut at the Division I NCAA Outdoor Championships. She was the Big Ten 1,500-meter champion and finished second at the NCAA East Preliminaries to advance to Eugene.
Michigan has never had a national champion in the 1,500-meter run. The last U-M distance runner to win a national title was two-time 800-meter champion Geena Gall in 2008 and 2009. The Wolverines have had eight All-Americans in the 1,500 meter, with the last coming in 2008 (Nicole Edwards).
Erin Pendleton Senior Discus Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore
Pendleton will be making her third career appearance at the NCAA Championships in the discus after finished third at the NCAA East Preliminaries to advance to Eugene. After winning her second Big Ten discus crown in 2012, she fouled all her attempts at the NCAA East Preliminaries and did not qualify for the 2012 NCAA Championships. Pendleton finished 12th as a freshman in 2010 and 21st as a sophomore in 2011. She currently holds the school record with a mark of 56.87 meters (186-7), while her season-best throw of 53.13 meters (174-4) came at the NCAA East Preliminaries (May 23).
Michigan has had five All-American first team members in the discus in program history. Melissa Bickett was the last to earn All-America first team honors in the discus in 2004. Former Wolverine Penny Neer is Michigan's most decorated thrower in program history, earning All-America honors in 1981 and 1982. Neer also won the program's first national title in 1982 in the discus and is the only thrower in U-M history to win an individual NCAA championship.
Kiley Tobel Senior/Junior Pole Vault Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western
Tobel will be making her third straight appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the pole vault and is the only returning Wolverine from the 2012 national meet. At the 2013 NCAA East Preliminaries, she tied for seventh place to automatically advance to Eugene. She finished 10th at the 2012 national competition to earn All-America second team honors and placed 18th in 2011. Her career-best mark of 4.24 meters (13-11) is currently a school record, while her season-best mark, which came at the NCAA East Preliminaries (May 24), is 4.10 meters (13-5.25).
Michigan has never had a national champion in the pole vault. In 2011, Tobel became the first All-American in the pole vault in program history, earning honorable mention recognition. (Note: All-America criteria changed at the start of the 2011 season. Since then, All-America honors have been given to first, second and honorable mention teams for all events, both individual and relays.)
Rebecca Addison, Jillian Smith and Kiley Tobel were each named to the Capital One Academic All-District V list last week. Addison and Smith each earned spots on the first team and will now appear on the Capital One Academic All-America Team ballot, while Tobel appeared on the second team. It marks the second straight year that all three Wolverines earned the honor. As the only first team all-district member a year ago, Addison went on to receive Capital One Academic All-America third team honors.
2012 NCAA Championships in Review: Michigan sent three student-athletes to the 2012 NCAA Championships. Tobel finished 10th in the pole vault, former Wolverine Emily Pendleton placed 12th in the discus, and Jillian Smith took 13th in the 1,500-meter run. All three Wolverines earned All-America second team honors.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Commerce Twp., Mich.
On being a two-time Academic All-District V member ... "I came to Michigan first and foremost for the education and because it was such a great school. For me, academics always come first, and sometimes other parts of your life have to take a back seat. At this point, my athletic goals are just as high as my academic goals, so it's a tough balance, but you make it work. We have to do work on trips even if that means not having as much fun with your other teammates. At this point of the season, I'm not in school anymore and I get to focus on the sport and it's all worth it in the end."
On her third straight year at the NCAA Outdoor Championships ... "I'm definitely excited to be in Eugene -- the past two years have been at Drake, which is a cool experience, but I'm looking forward to something different. The outdoor championships are always a lot of fun -- you have a couple more people than indoor, and it's really competitive. Usually heights end up really good, so I'm really looking forward to getting after the competition. In the last two years, I didn't come in with very high expectations, I just wanted to enjoy the experience and learn from it. I feel the same this year, but I don't feel as nervous -- it's more excitement. I'm ready to compete, and I'm not afraid of anyone. I'm going to take in the whole experience and enjoy it."
On being mentally and physically prepared for the meet ... "Coach (Shean) Conlon and I talked about what I need to focus on for this meet. At this point in the season, most of our technical training is done, and I'm starting to peak in our training cycle. With everything coming together like it is, things are really looking good. I haven't been more excited for any other meet this outdoor season. I feel like I'm really ready for it, and I feel prepared. Over the past week, I've had some of the best practices of the year -- not only because our training is a little lighter, but things just feel really good technically. That is the confidence I need going into this meet. It's the last meet of the year, and it's time to lay everything on the table. Going into Big Tens I was worrying about placing and scoring points for my team, and at regionals it was just about making it to nationals, and now it's about going out there and competing, having fun and doing what I already know I can do."
On spending a week in Eugene with three graduating seniors ... "It's a little bittersweet because Becca (Addison), Erin (Pendleton) and Amanda (Eccleston) too, are such huge parts of the team -- they're all leaders in every way. They've really made this team a special team this year. I'm excited for all of them to be able to compete here, and I think they're all going to do really well -- I'm so excited to watch them. It's going to be weird next year not traveling and competing with them, so having this whole week out here, in a place none of us have ever been, is so exciting. We're all thrilled to be here, and that's a really good feeling when all the energy is positive between all of us."
On her summer plans before returning for her fifth year ... "I have a job lined up at a dermatology office in Farmington, where I worked last summer. It's a full-time job, but I'm coming back next year, and I've decided to come back and compete hard. Next year is about me and my unfinished business, and although I need to take a little bit of time off, I'm going to work harder than ever and have no regrets. I'm looking forward to a little bit of a break and to shift my mindset to the work world for a little bit, but I'm really excited to get back in good shape and train hard. Our training during competition is a little more specific, and I'm looking forward to the more general prep that will help out in the long run. Summer is a good time to get your strength, get you speed up and work on technical goals that you can't always fix during the year when you're in competition season. It's actually my favorite part of training -- getting out there every day in the heat and working hard."