Five Event Wins Pace Michigan at Simmons Invitational

Five Event Wins Pace Michigan at Simmons Invitational

Provided by U of M

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (U-M Indoor Track Building)

Event: Red Simmons Invitational

U-M Team Result: No Team Scoring

Next U-M Event: Saturday, Jan.28 -- at Nebraska's Mark Colligan Memorial (Lincoln, Neb.), 12:30 p.m. CST

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's track and field team hosted in the annual Red Simmons Invitational on Saturday (Jan. 21) at the U-M Indoor Track Building. The Wolverines were led by winning performances from fifth-year senior thrower Emily Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore) and junior/sophomore pole vaulter Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western).

Tobel improved upon her school-record setting vault of 13-1.50, which she recorded earlier this season, clearing a personal-best height of 13-7.25 to win the pole vault.

The Wolverines went one-two-three in the shot put, with Emily Pendleton leading the way with a throw of 15.28 meters (50-1.75). Fifth-year senior Allison Liske (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East) followed in second place (14.45 meters, 47-5.00) and Erin Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore) took third with a personal-best throw of 13.88 meters (45-6.50).

Sisters Emily and Erin Pendleton also went one-two in the weight throw. Emily took first with a personal-best throw of 17.99 meters (59-0.25), while Erin finished second at 17.36 meters (56-11.50).

On the track, sophomore/freshman Alicia Patterson (DeWitt, Mich./DeWitt) recorded her first career win with a personal-best time of 5:08.62 in the mile run. Senior Brittani Williams (Detroit, Mich./Jackson) followed with a winning effort in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:15.64.

Sophomore Amber Smith (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) was Michigan's top finisher in the 200-meter dash (25.56) and the 60-meter hurdles. She clocked a personal-best time of 8.62 in the prelims to advance to the finals, where she took third in 8.72.

The Wolverines will travel to Lincoln, Neb., on Saturday (Jan. 28) to compete in Nebraska's Mark Colligan Memorial. Action begins at 12:30 CST at the Devaney Center Indoor Track.


• Today's attendance for the Simmons-Harvey Invitational was 1,168.

• Three former Michigan student-athletes competed unattached in the Red Simmons Invitational. Tiffany Porter (Ofili) (2006-09) competed for Adidas, winning the 60-meter dash, 200-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles. Nicole Siruentes (Edwards) (2005-08) competed for Saucony and won the 600-meter run. Nicole Forrester (1996-99) competed for Mizuno, winning the high jump.

• Volunteer assistant throw coach Zara Northover competed unattached in the shot put.


Name Event Mark

Lauren Drayton 60m 7.99

200m 26.78

Auriel Bell 60m 8.14

Amber Smith 200m 25.56

60m Hurdles 8.62

Jami Hill 600m 1:35.63

Ariel Dempsey 800m 2:18.82

Alicia Patterson Mile 5:08.62

Alex Mathews Mile 5:09.54

Nicola Hallenborg Mile 5:14.99

Erica Crane Mile 5:17.34

Morgan Bailey Mile 5:21.68

Courtney Clancy 3,000m 10:30.18

Liz Sherzer 60m Hurdles 9.47

Taylor Moore-Willis High Jump 1.50m (4-11.00)

Kiley Tobel Pole Vault 4.15m (13-7.25)

Morgan McNeil Pole Vault 3.25m (10-8.00)

Meghan Lark Pole Vault 3.10m (10-2.00)

Erica Marcos Pole Vault 2.95m (9-8.00)

Erin Pendleton Shot Put 13.88m (45-6.50)

Emily Pendleton Weight Throw 17.99m (59-0.25)

Kari Prena Weight Throw 15.22m (49-11.25)


U-M Sophomore Sprinter Amber Smith

On her performances in the 60m hurdles and 200 meter dash ... "Today in the 60-meter hurdle prelims I hit a PR and I felt pretty good. I felt like my last three hurdles of the race were kind of floaty so it was good that I hit a PR and still found mistakes. In the finals, I hit the first hurdle, which kind of threw me off balance, but I still had a good finish and was able to come back in third. In the 200 -- that was my first time running the 200 since February of last year so that was a pretty good start of me."

On training and competing with professional unattached athletes ... "I compete with them every day at practice so to get out here and run against them in a real race, I'm not nervous as I should be. It's kind of intimidating competing against Tiffany Porter (formerly Tiffany Ofili, U-M student athlete 2006-09), who might be second or third in the world right now. It would be intimidating, but I just treat it like practice and that's what keeps my nerves down. Sometimes if I'm a step behind at practice, I just know that if I'm within her reach, I can be a step behind her finishing because I know she's going to do her thing. If I'm a step behind her, then I'm at a good pace for me. They're all fast, so to be in range of them makes me feel good."

On the improved team chemistry ... "This year the atmosphere and our drive is a lot different. Since I've been here, there has never been any sort of hostility or issues, but it was more fun. This year, our chemistry is good, but it's more of a driven chemistry. We all want this and we all want it together. We all don't want to take last place in the Big Tens. We have a different chemistry where we are driven and all work for each other. We are working toward a common goal together and what's what I like about it. I'm the type of person that when I get to a competition I want to be focused, I want to be ready and my teammates are all focused too and we're all in unison. When it all comes together it's going to be something amazing."

Michigan Assistant Coach Sandy Fowler

On the team's overall performance at the Simmons Invitational ... "I am very proud or our team and the way they competed today, with the number of first- and second-place finishes. The team shows great promise moving forward toward the Big Ten Championships. The highlights would include personal-best performances from Kiley Tobel with a new Michigan record in the pole vault, Emily Pendleton in the weight throw, Amber Smith in the 60-meter hurdles, Erin Pendleton in the shot put and Alicia Patterson in the mile."

On the expectations for the team to improve moving forward ... "The team continues to compete at a high level with consistency, which means they are headed in the right direction for more personal bests as we go toward our next competition at Nebraska. Kiley Tobel is a national level competitor and is showing those skills every time she competes -- she is a tough competitor. Amber Smith is coming into her own in the hurdles. Every time Amber competes it is to surpass her personal best and that type of attitude is showing in her times. Emily Pendleton competed very well today in the weight throw. She now has the capability to compete at the highest level. Emily is very intense; l believe this will be her first personal best of many to come."