Weekly #5: Michigan Women Set for Two-Day Notre Dame Meyo Invitational

Weekly #5: Michigan Women Set for Two-Day Notre Dame Meyo Invitational

Provided by U of M


Fri-Sat., Feb. 3-4 -- at Notre Dame Meyo Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 5 p.m./10 a.m.

The 23rd-ranked University of Michigan women's track and field team will travel to South Bend, Ind., to compete in the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 3-4). Friday's events will begin at 5 p.m., with action resuming again on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Loftus Center.

Michigan has competed in the non-scored Meyo Invitational in each of the last nine years. The annual meets boasts roughly 80 men's and women's teams from around the country each year. The Loftus Center features one of the largest six-lane banked tracks in the nation at one-fifth of a mile. The facility's Mondo track surface, lengthy straightaway and wide turns make for optimum conditions.


Rally the Relay -- In eight of the last nine years which Michigan has competed in the Meyo Invitational, the Wolverines' distance medley relay has run an NCAA automatic qualifying time. Michigan finished in the top three in each of those years, winning the event on five occasions. The Maize and Blue did not compete in the distance medley relay in 2010. This weekend, Michigan's relay squad will consist of freshman Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) in the 1,200-meter, senior Brittani Williams (Detroit, Mich./Jackson) in the 400-meter, junior Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) in the 800-meter and junior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) in the 1,600-meter. It will be the Wolverines' first time competing in the distance medley relay this season. The NCAA automatic qualifying time for Division I women is 11:03.50.

National Notables -- Michigan has seven student-athletes ranked in the top 15 in the nation in their respective events. Juniors Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) (4:40.37) and Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) (4:40.41) rank 13th and 14th, respectively in the mile with times they clocked at the Nebraska Mark Colligan Memorial. Sophomore Taylor Pogue (Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich) (16:42.72) and junior/sophomore Lindsey Hilton (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams) (16:52.73) also recorded nationally recognized times at Nebraska, good for 12th- and 14th-place rankings, respectively. In the field, junior Ada Unachukwu (Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt) ranks eighth in the triple jump (12.68 meters, 41-7.25), while junior/sophomore Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) is ninth in the pole vault (4.15 meters, 13-7.25). [ NCAA Division I Indoor Rankings ]


• U-M has gone 1-2 in all three mile races it has competed in this season. The Wolverines also went 1-2 in the only 5,000-meter run (at Mark Colligan Memorial, Jan. 28).

• Kiley Tobel has four top-two finishes in the pole vault so far, including victories in the first three meets.

• Tofunmi Akeredolu has won both long jumps she has entered (at Ohio State, at Mark Colligan), while Ada Unachukwu has taken the triple jump title in both her attempts (at Ohio State, at Mark Colligan).

In the Rankings -- Michigan was tabbed No. 23 in this week's regular season NCAA Division I 25-top poll released on Jan. 31 by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Last Time on the Track Michigan took first at the Nebraska Mark Colligan Memorial (Jan. 28), held at the Devaney Sports Center, which is the site of the 2012 Big Ten Indoor Championships. The Wolverines recorded victories in five of the 15 events they competed in and scored points in 14 of 15. Michigan had a strong showing in the distance and middle-distance events, with 97 of its total 161.50 team points coming from those areas. The Maize and Blue went one-two three in the mile run, secured the top-four spots in the 3,000-meter run and went one-two in the 5,000-meter run. Michigan also took first in the long and triple jump. [ Recaps: MGoBlue | Michigan Daily ]

Personal Improvement -- At the Nebraska Mark Colligan Memorial (Jan. 28), 14 Michigan student-athletes recorded personal-best marks. With just four meets crossed of the 2012 schedule, 36 Wolverines have set new PRs in at least one event, with 11 improving in two events.

Among The Big Ten's Best

With four meets crossed off the 2012 schedule, several Michigan track and field athletes rank among the best in the Big Ten (# - converted mark).

Name Event Time/Mark Rank

Jillian Smith (Jr.) 600m Run 1:30.30 # 2

Rebecca Addison (Jr.) 800m Run 2:10.55 # 4

Jillian Smith (Jr.) 800m Run 2:11.02 7

Brook Handler (Fr.) 800m Run 2:11.42 10

Jillian Smith (Jr.) Mile 4:40.37 2

Rebecca Addison (Jr.) Mile Run 4:40.41 3

Shannon Osika (Fr.) Mile Run 4:41.31 4

Shannon Osika (Fr.) 3,000m Run 9:37.45 # 10

Taylor Pogue (So.) 5,000m Run 16:42.72 2

Lindsey Hilton (R-So.) 5,000m Run 16:52.73 4

Mary Grace Pellegrini (Sr.) 5,000m Run 16:56.28 5

Ellen Junewick (Fr.) 5,000m Run 17:14.47 10

Amber Smith (So.) 60m Hurdles 8.59 7

A. Smith, J. Smith, A. Williams, B. Williams 4x400m Relay 3:44.21 # 5

Kiley Tobel (R-So.) Pole Vault 13-7 1/4 feet 2

Tofunmi Akeredolu (R-Jr.) Long Jump 19-8 feet 3

Erin Busbee (So.) Long Jump 18-11 1/4 9

Ada Unachukwu (Jr.) Triple Jump 41-7 1/4 feet 2

Emily Pendleton (R-Sr.) Shot Put 50-6 1/4 7

Qualifying Standards for NCAA Championships -- For the second straight year, provisional standards are no longer part of the qualifying process. Championship fields will first be filled with those who declare for their events with automatic status. Then, the remainder of the field will be filled by the highest-remaining ranked performances. [ Indoor Qualifying Standards ]


Michigan women's track and field is on Facebook. Connect with the program, alumni and fans by clicking the "Like" button at facebook.com/michiganwomenstrack. Also, be sure to follow the team on Twitter (@umichtrack) for up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond.


Fri-Sat., Feb. 10-11 -- at SPIRE Invitational (Geneva, Ohio), 1 p.m./9 a.m.

Saturday, Feb. 18 -- host Silverston Invitational (U-M Indoor Track Building), 10 a.m.