U of M Women - Three Top-Five Finishes Highlight Final Day of Stanford Invite

U of M Women - Three Top-Five Finishes Highlight Final Day of Stanford Invite

Provided by U of M

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- The University of Michigan women's track and field team wrapped up competition in its second trip to California in three weeks at the Stanford Invitational on Saturday (April 7). The Wolverines finished the two-day event at Angell Field with five top-five performances, three of which came on the final day, and 10 athletes who recorded personal records.

Fifth-year senior Emily Pendleton and (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore) had Michigan's highest finish on Saturday, placing second in the discus with a toss of 54.66 meters (179-4.00). Junior Erin Pendleton (Lindsey, Ohio/Woodmore) recorded a sixth-place finish in the discus with a throw of 52.55 meters (172-5.00).

In the invitational section of the triple jump, junior Ada Unachukwu (Morganville, N.J./Marlboro) cleared a personal-best height of 12.60 meters (41-4.25) to take fourth. Sophomore Erin Busbee (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) competed in the collegiate section of the triple jump and placed fifth with a lifetime-best mark of 11.73m (38-6.00).

In a field of 75 runners in the 800-meter run, junior/sophomore Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) and junior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) finished ninth and 11th overall with times of 2:06.89 and 2:06.96, respectively. The pair competed in section two of the event where Addison led the pack of 10 runners until the 600-meter mark when three runners began to make a move around her. In the final 50 meters, Smith slipped past her to finish fourth in the heat, while Addison placed fifth.

Sophomore Alex Leptich (Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline) highlighted the opening day of competition on Friday, winning section two of the 3,000-meter steeplechase. She shaved 42 second off her previous personal record, clocking a time of 10:11.85. Sophomore Megan Weschler (Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt) ran an 18-second PR to finish 15th in 10:38.17.

In the second-fastest section of the 1,500-run, Addison finished fifth in a personal-best time of 4:21.15. Sophomore Amber Smith (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) finished eighth overall in the 400-meter hurdles, clocking a time of 1:01.57.

In the field, Emily Pendleton placed fifth in the invitational section of the hammer throw, reaching a mark of 54.39 meters (178-5.00).

Michigan will be back in action next Friday and Saturday (April 13-14) at the Sea Rays Relays at the University of Tennessee.

Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day 2)

800m Run

1. Nachelle Mackie, BYU 2:03.02

9. Jillian Smith, U-M 2:06.89

11. Rebecca Addison, U-M 2:06.96

45. Meg Bellino, U-M 2:12.66

200m Dash

1. Ashton Purvis, Laney 23.42

18. Charlotte Cahill, U-M 24.75

33. Erin Busbee, U-M 25.17

46. Ada Unachukwu, U-M 25.68

58. Tofunmi Akeredolu, U-M 26.52

Hammer Throw (Collegiate)

1. Taylor Smith, Wisconsin 54.72m (179-6.00)

17. Joanna Fleming, U-M 44.55m (146-2.00)

Triple Jump (Collegiate)

1. Amanda Hunter, California 12.25m (40-2.25)

5. Erin Busbee, U-M 11.73m (38-6.00)

Triple Jump (Invitational)

1. Erica McLain, Nike 13.96m (45-9.75)

4. Ada Unachukwu, U-M 12.60m (41-4.25)

Discus Throw (Invitational)

1. Jere Summers, Unattached 56.99m (187-0.00)

2. Emily Pendleton, U-M 54.66m (179-4.00)

6. Erin Pendleton, U-M 52.55m (172-5.00)

12. Kari Prena, U-M 45.34m (148-9.00)

14. Allison Liske, U-M 43.89m (144-0.00)

Pole Vault (Invitational)

1. Melissa Gergel, Nike 4.30m (14-1.25)

8. Victoria Wesley, U-M 3.70m (12-1.50)

-- Kiley Tobel, U-M NH

• Day 1 Results


Name Event Mark

Erin Busbee 200m 25.17

Meg Bellino 800m 2:12.66

Erin Busbee Triple Jump 11.73m (38-6.00)

Ada Unachukwu Triple Jump 12.60m (41-4.25)


Michigan Head Coach James Henry

On the team's second trip to California in three weeks ... "It's an interesting meet for us. There were some good teams here and across the board there were solid performances. I thought Mary Grace (Pellegrini) in the 10,000 was what stood out the most for us and then Becca (Addison) in both the 1,500 and the 800 meters. The throwers again, especially Emily (Pendleton), had very solid performances. Alex Leptich had another outstanding performance for us in the steeple. Erin Busbee had PRs in the 200 and triple jump and Ada (Unachukwu) as well in the triple jump. I thought those were both solid."

On scheduling three meets in California this season ... "We always want to give the kids something different to look at. Coming out to the West Coast is a challenge for us, but we think in the long run it's going to work to our benefit, so we put up with it. It makes it a long weekend and a long week, but it's blue collar work and hopefully it will pay off for us when we want it to in the next four or five weeks."

On what he expects in the next couple meets moving forward ... "We should be rounding the corner. We've gotten through the long weekends coming out west and the time change. It's taken a physical beating on the body, so by us not traveling as far we should get around the corner. We should continue to improve and gain confidence. There is a group of ladies that need good performances because they have been working hard and it hasn't showed on the weekends yet. We're hoping that by next weekend we should be getting some good performances."

U-M Sophomore Alex Leptich

On her win in the steeplechase ... "I talked to coach Mike (McGuire) before hand and he said the race was set up for me and I wasn't in over my head. That's how I took it from the beginning. I got out in front and found a secure, safe position because in the steeple you're really not grouped up because you can't hurdle very well. I knew a couple of the racers, especially Grace Heymsfield from Arkansas. I was on Team USA with her. I honestly didn't know we were going that fast until about half way through when someone said we were on a 10:05 pace. With about 200 to go I saw the sign said 9:38 and I was pretty excited. The entire race I didn't expect that because I hadn't run it in so long. Looking at my 3K time from last year, I knew I was going to drop time, I just didn't know how much. It felt really good. It's always really good to finish with a PR like that."

On being stronger at this point of the season compared to last year ... "Looking at the condition I was in yesterday, not even knowing that we were going that fast, I felt pretty comfortable with the pace. I still think there is a lot of time to drop. My water jumps were horrific yesterday. I really need to work on jumping off my non-dominate leg. Especially in the water jumps, I had a lot of double-leg planting in the water. That takes a lot of time away from your stride and the momentum you have going throughout the race. There are a lot of things to improve on and I'm really excited about the time, but I think there's more to come, especially with how well the training has been going at home."

On training for the steeplechase ... "With the steeple, especially with Coach Mike, when you're a natural at going over hurdles, which a lot of steeplers are, you don't need to practice it that much. You can get a little technical, like I said my water jumps are something I want to work on. But with Mike and the program he has going, it's really different for the 3K and the 5K and we don't really practice hurdles that much because it's just that big of a concern. More volume and more mileage in our workouts is where were getting a lot of stamina. I think that's our advantage -- not only are we running fast 3 and 5K times, but that allows us to run a fast steeple time because the hurdles aren't really getting in our way because we're naturally good at jumping over them."