Weekly #13: Wolverine Women to Return to West Coast for Stanford Invite

Weekly #13: Wolverine Women to Return to West Coast for Stanford Invite

Provided by U of M

The University of Michigan women's track and field team will compete in the Stanford Invitational for the third straight season on Friday and Saturday (April 6-7). Action on Friday will begin at 11 a.m. PDT and resume again on Saturday at 9 a.m. PDT at the Cobb Track at Angell Field.

Cobb Track features a 400-meter, nine-lane track, which was resurfaced with Beynon synthetic track surfacing in 2011.


Competing in California -- The Stanford Invitational will mark the second time Michigan will compete in the state of California this season. The Wolverines participated in the USC Trojan Invitational March 23-24. Michigan will also return to Palo Alto, Calif., for the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford on April 29.

The Wolverines have competed in the Stanford Invite in five of the last six years and appeared in the Payton Jordan Invite for three straight years from 2008-10.

Steeplechase Debut -- Three Michigan athletes will compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the first time this season. Sophomores Alex Leptich (Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline) and Megan Weschler (Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt) and freshman Anna Pasternak (Brighton, Mich./Hartland). As freshmen, Leptich and Weschler finished 15th and 23rd, respectively, in the steeple at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Leptich won her second straight steeplechase crown at the 2011 Pan American Junior Championships last summer.

Fresh Faces -- Michigan added 17 new student-athletes to the roster this season -- 17 freshmen and one transfer. Of those 18, nine competed for the Wolverines during the indoor track and field season. Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) highlighted the group of newcomers as the only freshman in the country to advance to the finals of the mile at the NCAA Indoor Championships. She earned Second Team All-America Honors after placing ninth.

Seven Wolverine freshmen have made their collegiate outdoor debuts in the first three meets of the season. Brook Handler (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester)was the most recent Wolverine to make her first career outdoor appearance, running the 1,500-meter at last weekend's Yellow Jacket Invitational. Two redshirt freshman have also made their collegiate outdoor debuts -- Erica Crane (Dearborn, Mich./Divine Child) and Ariel Dempsey (Jenison, Mich./Jenison).

Sensational Sisters -- The dynamic duo of sisters, fifth-year senior Emily Pendleton and junior Erin Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore), have dominated the Big Ten discus scene over the last three years. Emily won the Big Ten title in 2008 and 2009 and Erin took the crown in 2010. After winning the title in 2010, Erin was named Big Ten Outdoor Freshman of the Year. Erin finished fourth at last year's conference meet and went on to finish 21st the NCAA Championships, while Emily redshirted the 2011 indoor and outdoor seasons.

In their three throwing events, the pair currently owns five Big Ten top-10 rankings. Emily ranks first in the discus, third in the shot put, and sixth in the hammer, while Erin is second in the discus and ninth in the hammer.

Among The Big Ten's Best

Several Michigan track and field athletes rank among the best in the Big Ten through the early season.

Name Event Time/Mark Rank

Brittani Williams (Sr.) 400m Dash 55.50 8

Rebecca Addison (Jr.) 1,500m Run 4:25.75 3

Jillian Smith (R-So.) 1,500m Run 4:25.82 4

Brook Handler (Fr.) 1,500m Run 4:07.05 6

Mary Grace Pellegrini (Sr.) 5,000m Run 16:57.97 2

Amber Smith (So.) 100m Hurdles 13.74 5

Erin Busbee (So.) High Jump 5-6.00 ft. 9

Kiley Tobel (R-So.) Pole Vault 12-8.25 ft. 3

Tofunmi Akeredolu (R-Jr.) Long Jump 18-9.25 ft. 5

Ada Unachukwu (Jr.) Triple Jump 39-0.25 ft. 10

Allison Liske (R-Sr.) Shot Put 51-10.00 ft. 3

Emily Pendleton (R-Sr.) Shot Put 50-3.50 ft. 7

Emily Pendleton (R-Sr.) Discus 172-4.00 ft. 1

Erin Pendleton (Jr.) Discus 168-10.00 ft. 2

Allison Liske (R-Sr.) Discus 157-9.000 ft. 6

Emily Pendleton (R-Sr.) Hammer 186-11.00 ft. 6

Erin Pendleton (Jr.) hammer 180-3.00 ft. 9

Last Time on the Track: Yellow Jacket Invitational -- Three Wolverines represented Michigan at the Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Invitational on Saturday (March 31). Junior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven), junior/sophomore Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) and freshman Brook Handler (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester) each finished in the top four of the 1,500-meter run. Addison won the event with a time of 4:25.75, while Smith crossed the finish line right on her heels at 4:25.82. In her collegiate outdoor debut, Handler took fourth, clocking a time of 4:27.05. [Recap: MGoBlue]

Personal Improvement -- With just three meets crossed of the 2012 outdoor schedule, 12 Wolverines have set new PRs in at least one event, with two improving in two events. During the 2012 indoor season, 42 student-athletes recorded new PRs.

In the Rankings -- Michigan was tabbed No. 4 in the first Great Lakes Region poll released Tuesday (April 3) by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). U-M is one of six Big Ten schools in the Great Lakes Region, including No. 1 Ohio State, No. 5 Michigan State, No. 7 Wisconsin, No. 9 Indiana and No. 11 Purdue.

Same Name -- The Wolverines have three sets of sisters on the 2012 team in addition to four other sets of same last names. Sisters Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) and Laura Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) both compete in distance events; Emily Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore), and Erin Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore), both throw; and Chloe Prince (Okemos, Mich./Okemos) and Nicole Prince (Okemos, Mich./Okemos) both run mid-distance for the Wolverines. In addition, Alicia Patterson (DeWitt, Mich./DeWitt) and Kaitlyn Patterson (Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac), Amber Smith (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) and Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional), Chelsey Miller (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) and Samantha Miller (Edina, Minn./Edina), and Alexandria Williams (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven) and Brittani Williams (Detroit, Mich./Jackson) all share last names but are not related.

Leaders of the Pack -- Fifth-year senior Emily Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore), senior Alexandria Williams (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven) and junior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) will continue to serve as team captains for the 2012 outdoor season. Pendleton repeats as captain for the second season, having captained the Wolverines in 2010, while Williams and Addison were selected to represent the Maize and Blue for the first time.

2011 Outdoor Rewind -- Michigan returns one Big Ten outdoor champion and two athletes who competed in the NCAA Indoor Championships in 2011. Junior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) won her first Big Ten outdoor title in the 1,500-meter run at last year's conference championships. The Wolverines were represented by junior Erin Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore) in the discus and junior/sophomore Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) in the pole vault at the national meet. Both athletes earned Honorable Mention All-America honors in their respective events.

2012 NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING -- For the third consecutive season, the East and West Preliminary Championship competition will be utilized to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Using a descending order list, the top 48 athletes in each event will participate in two rounds (first round and quarterfinals) during the Preliminary Round. Twelve competitors from each individual event and 12 teams from each relay event will advance from each Preliminary Championship competition to the NCAA Championships. There are no qualifying marks used during the outdoor season. This year's NCAA East Preliminary Round will be held at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.


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., April 13-14 -- at Sea Rays Invitational (Knoxville, Tenn.), 12:45 p.m./8:45 a.m. CDT